Grim’s Guide to LHC

Aha, our first request.  One of our readers has expressed an interest in learning about LHC.  Now to give you a brief history on long horn cattle…..  just kidding, maybe some other post.  I believe however that our reader was referring to a “Large Hadron Collider”  A recent hot topic in the news as the use of one of these LHC’s brings about many fears, worries, doubts and for the partically inclined, excitement.  We shall explore the hype in a bit, but first lets explore what a LHC is.

LHC’s What?

Whipping out the google and wikipedia resources we find a wiki on Large Hadron Collider.  Described loosely as a particle  accelerator, we would be right in picturing two transport trucks in a head-on out on I-95, or for our Canadian readers, the 401.  Essentially this Large Hadron Collider is designed to take two high energy particles and smash em’ together at near the speed of light.  By near I mean 99.9999999% near the speed of light.  Ohhhh Ahhhh, the speed of light.  Unless you are into that sort of thing we really don’t have much to compare to the speed of light so please understand that it’s really bloody fast.  So fast we could not perceive it.

LHC’s Who?

The Large Hadron Collider was designed and built by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) hither on referred to as “they”  Being a large mish-mash of big brained scientific types, they represent 500 or so universities and 80 nationalities.

LHC’s Why?

Those involved in the project expect to spend 3.2–6.4 billion when all is said and done.  That equates to approximately $4-8 billion USD.  One would think that there must be one hell of a justification for that kind of expense.  Why the hell spend that much money?  It’s simple really.  They want answers.  I am glad to see that cost is not an issue in the pursuit of knowledge, though we may debate on another article about where the money could be better spent.  Anyway, back to the why.  The purpose of LHC is to answer some questions that have been plaguing the scientific community for countless (I only say this because I haven’t bothered to look it up yet) years.  Some of those are the following,

  • Why is gravity weaker than the other three fundamental forces?
  • What is the nature of dark matter and dark energy, a.k.a black-hole?
  • Are there extra dimensions?

There are many other questions they wish to answer of a more detailed nature, however these questions I choose as most of us would have some familiarity with these concepts.

LHC’s When and Where?

Several versions of LHC’s have been built over the years, but the one bringing the most heat right now, lies underneath the Franco-Swiss border between the Jura Mountains and the Alps near Geneva, Switzerland.  Having been in development since 1995, they officially inaugurated their LHC on October 21, this year.  Due to incidents and accidents, the first particle collision scheduled in September was a no go and they do not anticipate the next test until spring 2009.

LHC Controversy

Here is where we read, digest, speculate and regurgitate.  Despite having the go ahead from the worlds top science safety minds and organizations, the public is fed doomsday style ramblings from such reputable sources as CNN and The inquirer.  They would have us believe that there is a very real possibility that the LHC has the potential to create a Doomsday effect by the production of micro black-holes.  For those unfamiliar with black-holes, try visualizing a vacuum so powerful that it could suck planets and stars through a straw and compress them into nothingness.  Of course this is an artistic representation of what we don’t know, but of course as nobody knows what a black-hole really is or does, I could very well be right.  In my opinion there are no accidents, so if we manage as a species to create a black-hole and suck ourselves into oblivion… I think we have a term for this already.  Natural Selection.

In conclusion, this Large Hadron Collider seems to be congruent with the <a href=””>Quest for Informational Enlightenment</a>.  As such it gets a big thumbs up from my end.  Keep in mind however the the <a href=””>Quest for Informational Enlightenment</a> is full of debate and ponderance<insert maniacal laughter here>, so look forward to an ongoing debate on the topic.


~ by grimsguide on November 26, 2008.

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