I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty pumped to hear how the first test of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN goes on September 10th. I just read the news here.
For those of you unfamiliar, CERN is the European Organization for Nuclear Research. Don’t let the acronym fool you, its just not abbreviated in English. CERN is the place that cool things like the World Wide Web were created. And it’s going to be the place that gives mankind its next glimpse into the origins of the entire universe.
There is currently a lawsuit in the works to prevent the collider for going live, for fear that it could destroy the world. I think the popular theory is that it would create a small black hole capable of absorbing and crushing the entire planet down to the size of a hydrogen atom. Serious scientists dismiss this notion and I’m inclined to trust their judgement.
On a side note, there is a terrific book called Flash Forward by one of my favorite sci-fi authors of all time, Robert J. Sawyer, which takes place in and around CERN in the not too distant future. The plot revolves around an experiment that is run in the very same Large Hadron Collider that goes live next month. In the book, the experiment is a failure, but has the side effect of transporting every person on the planet’s consciousnesses 21 years into the future for about 2 minutes, then returns them to the present. The rest of the story discusses the idea of fate, and if we are destined to live out those same 2 minutes we caught a glimpse of 21 years in the future. I highly recommend this book to anyone who reads at all; it is truly wonderful.
So here’s to CERN, may all your colliding go well!