Monday, April 6, 2015

No cause for con-Cern.*

That sound you're hearing? That deafening thunder that seems to be approaching from all sides and feels like it's shaking you down to your constituent atoms and grinding time to a halt? That's just the sound of an artificial singularity consuming the Earth from the inside out. Yup, the Large Hadron Collider is back up and running.
"Thanks Obama..."

Visit beautiful Geneva, Switzerland,
you know, while it's still there.
So obviously that's a ridiculous scenario that can't possibly happen in real life (probably), but the Cern (which stands for the European Organization for Nuclear Research, because I don't know, French I guess) has finally turned the LHC back on after a two-year hiatus for maintenance and up-grades. And that's awesome. Hurray for the advancement of science. But does anyone else feel a little unsettled by the news that the LHC is doing whatever the hell it does again?

Sure, physicists were able to use the LHC to confirm the existence of the Higgs Boson particle which is great...I think. I mean, I get that it's a breakthrough in physics, but I can't even follow the goddamn Wikipedia page about it. For all I know, the thing could have opened a hell-portal and it's just taken two years to clean up all the corpses and blood.
Better get the hose.
"Relax, the LHC won't destroy the Earth. I mean, 
I don't think it will. Although, come to think of it, 
I'm not sure what a lot of this stuff"
Like, on a rational level, I can grasp Cern's assurances that the LHC is perfectly safe and isn't doing anything that hasn't already occurred in nature at exponentially greater energies, but I'm not a physicist or anything, so as much as I don't fully understand what it does, I also have a hard time wrapping my head around what it doesn't do. You know what I mean? Like, science really isn't in the business of saying things are impossible, just improbable, right? So we can't say the LHC won't create blackhole or a radiation burst that kills us all, we can only say that it's not statically likely.

What? It could be pudding. The point
is we won't know for sure until we
start smashing some particles together.
Look, just to be clear, I'm not putting on a tin-foil hat and hunkering down in my rapture shelter or anything, I'm just voicing an admittedly irrational concern. In fact, I am all for the LHC starting up again and scientists solving the mystery of dark matter or dark energy or pudding or whatever the hell is out there holding the universe together. It's important work and I'm glad to hear that they'll be back at it. It's just that I just want to be honest and admit that I have a healthy apprehension about, you know, the imploding. Is that crazy?

*also, I am very sorry about the title. Like, really sorry. You may have thought that I was better than that, but you would be mistaken.

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