I watched Horizon on Tuesday this week.
For those of you who don’t know, Horizon is a science programme on BBC.
This week they did a piece about CERN in Geneva, where they are building the world’s largest experiment – the Large Hadron Collider. Sounds exciting, doesn’t it?
They interviewed the scientists involved including the World’s Greatest Geek. He looked about 15 [funny how when you get older all scientists seem so young]. He literally hopped from one foot to the other as he excitedly listed the sub-atomic particles. He listed them with a glowing face – Neutrino, Muon, Tau, Up, Down, Strangeness, Beauty, Truth, [I'm not making this up. Honestly!], Pion, Kaon and so on. He forgot the Quark and was very embarrassed by that. At one stage, he was in an underground tunnel and pointed to a pipe. I thought we were going to be told about the incredible energies flowing in that pipe.
“It’s blue” says he. “Isn’t that exciting”
That kid needs help.
Anyway, the point of the program was that this Large Hadron Collider is going to be completed in November. They’ve been building it for 20 years at a cost of billions. And on November 26th they are going to run their big experiment.
This experiment is to find out what caused the Universe at the time of the Big Bang. It involves flinging things into each other at very high speed [sounds like any road in Ireland].
They admitted that there was a chance that this might cause a Black Hole. If that happens, the Black Hole will suck the new machine into itself, followed by CERN, followed by Geneva, followed by Switzerland, Europe and the the rest of the world. All matter that makes up the world, including you and me will be crushed down to a blob the size of a football. I bet I end up as a Strangeness.
You know what scientists are like when they get excited about something. Nothing will stop them. That’s how we ended up with the Atomic Bomb after all. And this lot are so excited that the prospect of ending the world doesn’t bother them. It’s a small price to pay for the knowledge to be gained. It doesn’t seem to occur to them that they won’t be around to study this knowledge.
So, whatever you are doing now, you had better have it finished by November the 26th.
For those of you who may be worried by this, I have written an update.