Armageddon As Comedy

The Large Hadron Collider was fired up this morning, and if you are reading this post, that means that it has not, as of yet, created a minature black hole, a new Big Bang, or some other form of exotic matter which resulted in the end of the Universe as we know it.  The LHC is the single most complicated scientific apparatus ever created, a 17-mile tunnel dug deep underground, surrounded by electric and magnetic fields designed to accelerate protons to significant portions of the speed of light and smash them into one another.  The resultant shower of particles created in the collisions will, hopefully, shed some new light on the substituent forms of matter that make up the Universe.

It’s way above my pay grade to deliver a lecture about what kinds of matter are hopefully going to be found, although I will note that the discovery of the long-theorized Higgs Boson would be an interesting development.

The funniest thing, by far, that I’ve read about the LHC is to be found on the website  Funnier than the site itself is the source code.  I’ll reprint the two best bits

if (!(typeof worldHasEnded == "undefined")) {
} else {

<!-- if the lhc actually destroys the earth & this page isn't yet updated
please email to receive a full refund -->

I will say that I’m not actually the least bit concerned about the LHC destroying planet Earth.  Every day, cosmic rays with energies orders of magnitude higher than anything the LHC can produce slam into our atmosphere, and not a single one of them has managed to destroy the planet, at least not so far as we can tell, so I don’t think there’s any reason to worry.

Still, it’s probably worth running up your VISA bill and, when they come asking for payment, tell them ‘Oh, I thought the world was going to have ended by now…’


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