Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Smashing / particles or / articles of faith

The Present looks towards The Future
Scientists will conduct the world's greatest ever particle physics experiment, a historic "Big Bang" experiment, on Wednesday 10 September, hoping to revolutionize our understanding of the universe, according to media reports.

In the 6.4 billion euro (9.2 billion U.S. dollars) CERN experiment to be conducted inside an 27-km tunnel deep beneath the French-Swiss border, scientists hope to detect evidence of extra dimensions, invisible "dark matter" and an elusive particle called the "Higgs boson."

"Higgs boson," named after Scottish physicist Peter Higgs who in 1964 pointed to such a particle as the force that gave mass to matter and made the universe possible.


Large Hadron Rap

Scientists plan to smash particle beams together at close to the speed of light inside CERN's tightly-sealed Large Hadron Collider to create multiple mini-versions of the primeval Big Bang, which occurred about 13.7 billion years ago and led to formation of stars, planets — and eventually to life on earth.

CERN scientists insist that while the collider is capable of creating black holes, they would be miniscule and incapable of growing.

"Each collision of a pair of protons in the LHC will release an amount of energy comparable to that of two colliding mosquitoes, so any black hole produced would be much smaller than those known to astrophysicists."

The Present looks towards The Past



"You may have heard of Sarah Palin and her lack of experience with virtually anything having to do with national politics (except her talent in winning pork projects) and foreign relations. But she also doesn’t believe in evolution, which means that, in principle, [things like the Large Hadron Collider] cannot fit into her world view unless she actually thinks God designed the roseola virus into us rather than this being the product of a process of natural selection.

We don’t need a vice president or, should Senator McCain be elected and die in office, a president who disavows science. She insists Creationism be taught alongside evolution and opposes many forms of research based on her Biblical interpretations. The impact of a Palin presidency — or her influence within the administration as vice president — on U.S. research and development policy would be disastrous."

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