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September 11, 2008


M. Simon

My mate has a sure fire way of smoothing wrinkles in space-time. She uses a hot iron. She says there is one problem. The smoothing is only temporary. The wrinkles reappear when there is a disturbance in the Force.

Charlie (Colorado)

"There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable.

There is another theory which states that this has already happened."


Lest people think that this is just some useless egghead research project, let me point out that it may have some practical applications as well.

Charlie (Colorado)

Actually, I think the universe-destroying thing was a strangelet.


"DaveDave"? (trying out Google Chrome and not paying close attention, I guess)


The US would have already accomphished this by now, but Congress killed what TIME magazine called .. The $5.3 Billion Gizmo.

This prompted me to let my TIME subscription lapse.


I'm working exactly 3km away from CERN, and can see it from the office cafeteria.

I haven't seen any blackholes. Only...

... you're not supposed to see them. Time to panic, I say.

PS -and they haven't even started colliding stuff, that's due in a month.


it isn't one big black hole. it's thousands of them. The new collider will increase the holes and they will suck up more of our atmosphere making more global warming until there is no atmosphere left.

Lord of the Rings.


There is another theory which states that this has already happened

Hmm. Anyone feel, I don't know, less subsistent today than usual? I do. Are the effects of ceasing to exist subtle?

"More tea, sir?" said the waiter.

"I think not," replied Mr. Descartes and promptly disappeared.


Lest anyone get too excited...they haven't ACTUALLY tested the thingy yet. Sure they ran a proton beam around the racetrack, but they haven't slammed two proton beams into one another yet....

The world may yet end!!!

(and for the record, no I'm not worried...I'm just sayin'....)

Cecil Turner

"There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers . . .

Similar premise in The Nine Billion Names of God made for a good story:

"overhead, without any fuss, the stars were going out."


This might explain where some of the really crazy moonbats have come from the past couple of days. LOL


I'm feeling tingly...is it the hadron collider?


I really wish someone could explain this whole thing to me in baby language. Is this experiment an attempt to disprove the big bang theory (if it fails)? And if it succeeds we are all dead? And what if anything does it have to do with string theory?

Barry Dauphin

TM took the red pill.

Charlie (Colorado)

Jane, what it really comes down to is that to examine heavier particles the state of the universe at times close to the Big Bang, you need more energy. This comes because of E=mc² --- since mass is intimately connected to energy, you need lots of energy to get to higher masses.

The thing they're really hoping for is to observe the Higgs boson. The so called "Standard Model" predicts this very massive particle; it's never been observed. If they don't observe it, that sets a lower bound on how massive it has to be, and that would test the Standard Model.

The Higgs Boson is the thing being called the "God Particle" in the press. God only knows why.

Charlie (Colorado)

Oh, the "destroy the world/universe" thing is a very improbable case where some people think that the LHC could make matter in a "strange" state --- that's a noun, not an adjective, by the way, although strange matter is in fact pretty damn weird --- which would consume the earth in seconds; or create a bubble of vacuum expansion which would construct a whole new universe.

Since there are something like 100 billion trillion trillion stars, and the universe is still here, if that can happen it would mean that no one anywhere else every tried it before us. This strikes me as pretty improbable.

On the string theory thing, there are some hints that string theory predicts something observable at this kind of energy. Most theories suggest it's way too weak.


"...what it really comes down to is that to examine heavier particles the state of the universe at times close to the Big Bang, you need..."

Thanks for that explanation. Of course, I tried to read it three times and fell asleep each time I got to the word "particles".


This could explain why Joe Biden suggested Hillary would have been a better choice for VP then him.

Something had to change to make this blow hard admit there's somebody in this Universe more important them himself... especially her!


The thing they're really hoping for is to observe the Higgs boson.

Charlie, does this have to do with gravity?

Charlie (Colorado)

Yes. See, one of the things they can't quite explain in quantum theory is where mass --- and therefore gravity --- comes from. The Higgs boson is one route to explain it.

Unfortunately, there are two theories that explain the universe: General Relativity (Einstein), that works great on big scales; quantum mechanics (Bohr, Heisenbern, Schrödinger, Feynmann, others), which works great at very small scales. The "unfortunately" part comes in because they're, embarrassingly, contradictory.


So do you think it is something entirely different or something in the middle?


Creation, now that IS above my pay grade.


This is pretty cool.

They've set up a couple of live webcams at CERN so that you can see what's going on.


Oh, that's funny, Dave.

Soylent Red

Please, please people... Holes of Color.

And yesterday I ran over Schodinger's cat. Or did I?

Rob C

Soylent Red,

Ouch. And don't look for the cat.

As for the end of the world, I don't think we're out of the woods yet. So far they're just running teeny-tiny particles around the race track. I don't believe they've started slamming them together yet.


Dave: LOL!


Actually it's working and the first thing that got sucked into it was Obama's campaign.


I do not know how to use the habbo coins ; my friend tells me how to use.

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