Not the end of the world yet.

Ian ian.stardust at
Wed Sep 10 22:00:18 BST 2008

Positively the last on this - now back to Land Rights!

               Today is not Hadron Collider Day | The Register

All the world's media is going bananas over "first beam" day at the Large       
Hadron Collider (LHC) - the world's most stupendous particle-punisher, which    
switched on this morning (following an initial hiccup which appeared to be      
fixed by the traditional expedient of turning it off then on again). Today, it  
is being strongly implied, is the moment of truth - today is the big day, when  
the LHC might unmask the elusive "god particle" - or alternatively destroy the  
world and indeed perhaps the entire universe.                                   
There's just one snag with all that - it's cobblers. All the good, interesting  
stuff from the LHC - the Higgs deiton, the dark matter, the possibly            
planet-gobbling black hole dimensional portal threat and/or universe-buster     
runaway strangelet or monopole soup plagues, dessert topping apocalypses etc -  
none of that's on offer today. All of these excellent possibilities require the 
LHC boffins to actually collide some hadrons - well, duh. The clue's in the     
name. But they aren't ready for that yet.  ');
What's happening today is the inaugural, gentle bowling of some initial protons 
around the entire 27-km subterranean ultrachilled superconductor magno-track.   
That's your lot.                                                                
In coming months the underground Alpine boffinry chiefs, once happy that they   
have hadrons whipping round the big ring properly in one direction, will fire   
up the opposing stream going the other way.                                     
Only then, once the two unprecedentedly puissant particle cannons are reliably  
ripping out clips of protons on full auto both clockwise and anticlockwise,     
will the real fun begin. Only then will the boffins begin to seriously meddle   
with the very fabric of the universe, as they possibly rashly cross the streams 
of the two colossal energy guns, ramming protons into one another at almost     
light speed. Thus far, we are told only that this will happen "by the end of    
the year".                                                                      
Even then, it will be some little time more before nervous brainboxes actually  
turn the control known only* as "The Big Knob" right up, doubtless disregarding 
despairing warnings from their hunchbacked assistants with a cackle of insane   
laughter as they do so. Only then will the intensity of the LHC's               
criss-crossing proton or ion beams rise to previously unseen levels as the      
hurtling particles accelerate past the speeds previously achieved in earlier,   
lesser atom-smashers like the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider.                  
Only at that stage - probably a year or more from now - will the colliding      
protons be disintegrated with sufficient violence to produce the various treats 
we have been promised. Strangely perhaps, by then it seems a racing cert that   
the broadcasters will all have gone home, and the scribblers will mostly have   
ceased to file copy. Once the insane laughs begin to truly ring out in the      
LHC's underground caverns, once the mad scientists wipe the foam from their     
lips, roll up their sleeves, lock and load their outrageous particle guns and   
really start to show what they can do, the chances are that nobody will be      
But there will be at least one exception. The Reg hereby pledges to stay on the 
story, bringing you all the humonguous subterranean cavern magno-doughnut beam  
cannon news hot off the wires - perhaps with a garnish of hysterical            
rip-in-the-very-fabric-of-spacetime dimension portal angle here and there. As   
long as there's a universe to report from, we will continue to follow the Quest 
for the Big Answers. ®                                                  
Bye now,

More information about the Diggers350 mailing list