Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Tomorrow will either be awesome or terrible.

So for those of you who don't know (and I admit, I didn't until recently), tomorrow will be the first attempt to circulate a beam at the Large Hadron Collider, a Particle Accelerator in Switzerland. Unfortunately, it's been about five years since I saw the Nova program "The Elegant Universe", so I can't remember exactly what we hope happens here, but I'm pretty sure the concern is that the world might explode. That wouldn't be worth it for anyone, now would it.
In all seriousness, super colliders are actually pretty neat. We're talking about a multi-billion dollar facility in which physicists hope to create the Higgs boson, and then take steps towards proving superstring theory, and then ultimately the grand unifying theory. One of the knocks on string theorists to this point was that their ideas were untestable, therefore the entire concept is actually more philosophy than physics. Hopefully the result isn't an enormous black hole that eats the earth and spits it out in a distant galaxy. Unless that galaxy is totally livable and has other nearby planets with lot of fun alien species we can hang out with.

In unrelated news, ESPN showed footage from this past weekend's East Carolina-West Virginia game of police officers (I think they were rent-a-cops) beating the living you-know-what out of ECU students. More on that as soon as more videos circulate.

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