The World is Not Going to End Tomorrow, Morons

2008 September 9

I figured that the Large Hadron Collider would get as little mainstream publicity as just about every other advancement in science. Because honestly, who really cares about particle physics? But apparently many people do, since I’ve seen countless online articles, some newspaper articles, TV pieces, and even a radio commercial about the revving up of the LHC. There’s a chance that the world ends tomorrow, according to these people. There’s also a chance that I’ll have sex with Adriana Lima. 

Collisions with energy comparable to that of ones that will be created in the LHC (actually not even tomorrow, but in a week or so) take place in the upper atmosphere all the time, without black holes forming and swallowing the earth. Well, miniature black holes can and will form – if I remember what I’ve read and learned correctly — but their energy dissipates quicker than a lead handed over to the Mets bullpen.

It just blows my mind the manner in which this whole notion of the world possibly ending due to the LHC has picked up steam. I’m pretty sure this has happened with each progressively bigger particle collider, but never to this extent. Maybe the internet really has been able to influence the thinking of the unwashed masses. People actually have heard of “string theory” now. On the other hand, I’m sure most people couldn’t tell you that scientists at CERN (where the LHC is located) are looking for the Higgs boson a.k.a. the God Particle. Or supersymmetric particles that could help solidfy string theory.

Most people are inherently scared of stuff they don’t fully understand, so when they hear this LHC has even a tiny possibility of ending the world, they freak the fuck out. You know, there’s a probability of your TV spontaneously jumping on its own, but I’m pretty sure no one — out of the billions that have owned a TV — have ever seen a TV jump. Maybe probability isn’t even the point I should be making here. If the LHC amazingly manages to create a stable black hole that can suck up matter, it’ll all be over before anyone even knows it. So take solace in that.

But you won’t be able to call me a moron back. Muahaha.

P.S. I haven’t looked into the LHC enough to find out if a Half-Life scenario is possible. But that would be awesome, so whatever.

Edit: As if right on command, I checked my Google Reader after posting and this article came up:

Large Hadron Collider: Best and Worst Case Scenarios

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