Sunday, September 7, 2008
On Wednesday, 10 September, 2008, The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) will test the new Large Hadron Collider (LHC). This collider is the largest particle accelerator ever built and could become an incredible asset to scientists as they try to better understand our early universe from the Big Bang forward.
While some project scientists have doubt that the LHC will even work at all, others within the program have expressed concern over what could happen if the process gets out of control for even a few fractions of a second. The results, these scientists say, could create a super massive black hole that, within hours, would swallow the entire earth and its nearby neighbors. The problem, say these scientists, is that nobody really knows what's going to happen when the collider is switched on. It's never been done before on this level.
Colliders such as the LHC work by accelerating particles and then smashing them into each other thereby creating an explosion that, for a brief moment, creates a miniature version of the Big Bang. Smashing atoms in a collider on this scale could give the most accurate view of the formation of the universe we've ever seen. Or, it could end it all.
The videos above are from a discussion on the video website Seesmic on the topic. The originator of the topic also provides links to both the CERN Press Release on the collider and a YouTube video that provides a simulation of what might happen if things go terribly wrong.
What do you think will happen?
If things go wrong, we might have as much as 36 to 72 hours before we're all toast.
What would you do during those hours?