The Large Hadron Collider countdownMikey 34 comments
The Large Hadron Collider countdown has begun, and there is a dedicated web site up and running for it. The LHC is the 'most ambitious particle-physics experiment ever', and is the worlds largest particle accelerator which lies under the Franco-Swiss border near Geneva, Switzerland.
When activated, it is theorised that the collider will produce the elusive Higgs Boson, the observation of which could confirm the predictions and "missing links" in the Standard Model of physics and could explain how other elementary particles acquire properties such as mass. [Wikipedia]
This intimidating technical monster will shoot 14 trillion electron volts of energy particles around a 27 kilometre underground ring, and nearly half the particle physicists in the world will be involved in analysing its four-million-megabyte-per-hour stream of data. On the subject of what might happen, the science officer for the project Jos Engelen said:
"In quantum mechanics, there is a probability that this pen will fall through the table. All of a sudden, it will be on the floor. Because it can behave as a wave, it can go through; we call that the 'tunnel effect.' If you calculate the probability that this happens, it is not identical to zero. It is a very small probability. But it never happens. I've never seen it happen. You have never seen it happen. But to the general public you make a casual remark, 'It is not identical to zero, it is very small."
You see kids, this is what happens when you give 8 billion dollars to a group of geeks who can't get laid. More power to them!