Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Is it a bird? Is it a plane?


The Big Bang Day! Is Higgs our imaginary friend?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00dccnr

4 comments:

Indigobusiness said...

If any black holes created don't "evaporate", but remain stable, we won't know it for a few years. Then we will know it in a big way.

We can see the ones that do, but we can't the ones that don't. And though unlikely, the catastrophic consequences are not impossible, and the risk is ultimate.

(If this is explained in your bbc clip, sorry, I haven't yet listened.)

Indigobusiness said...

The clip won't play for us infidels, but I have a question anyway:

If an imaginary friend offered up the winning lottery numbers, would that confirm the existence of the Higgs boson?

Paulette said...

I don't get you IB.

And we're still here.

Indigobusiness said...

Me neither.

The joke was just to put this controversy in an absurdly proper context. Maybe I'm the only one who found it amusing? Not unusual. Status quo.

What surprised me about the whole Hadron affair is that I came around to the "other side" after looking into it. The scientists voicing concerns were far more reasonable and less propagandistic than the advocates (who annoyed me with their patronizing bullshit. They began to sound like used car salesmen.)

The fact that quantum theory allows for the possibility (however remote) of annihilation, reminds me of the Manhattan project, when serious questions were raised about the possibility of runaway chain reactions. They decided to gamble then, and they decided to gamble at CERN. They don't have that right without a full public examination.

As far as us still being here goes, the machine never got up to speed, so no protons were stripped, no collisions took place, so no extraneous particles had the chance to become hazardous. Even if they had, and didn't 'evaporate', it would take time to realize the situation...and by then it would be too late.

***

It's a fascinating controversy, and nearly as surreal as your summer.