September 10th, 2008 19:00 EST
Waiting For The End Of The World? Large Hadron Collider
An event took place today that may have earth-shattering ramifications. While in America we obsess over Paris Hilton, Britney Spears and Sarah Palin`s eyeglasses, in Switzerland a machine that has the potential to destroy the earth has been turned on.
"During the wee hours Eastern U.S. time today, an international team of scientists in Switzerland flipped a switch to bring online a gargantuan machine that could change forever what we know about the universe. While the control center erupted with applause and hundreds of thousands watched a live Internet broadcast of the event, skeptics ducked for cover over worry the world would go out with a Big Bang the same way it came in.
`It`s a fantastic moment,` said Lyn Evans, director of the Large Hadron Collider, as the instrument is known. "We can now look forward to a new era of understanding about the origins and evolution of the universe."
The approximately $9 billion LHC is the world`s largest particle accelerator and likely the most daunting machine humans have ever built. Although often referred to as an atom-smasher, the collider won`t actually smash atoms but rather protons-relatively large bits that make up the nucleus of an atom."
US News & World Report
The world did not end with a bang when the devil`s machine was turned on. I`m still here enduring my mundane life, playing with my dogs, writing essays and searching online for Britney Spears pics. But no scientist predicted that the world would end when the LHC went online, the danger lies when two beams of sub atomic particles collide at close to the speed of light. When the physicists at CERN conduct their first particle-smashing experiment, that`s when Satan`s voracious earth-gobbling dark holes might be unleashed.
Sometime later this month the scientists at CERN will smash beams of protons into each other, and there`s no Noah`s Ark Mothership in the heavens to save us.
How absurd that it won`t be crazy terrorists setting off nuclear devices that will usher Armageddon, but mad scientists playing God.
The world may soon end in a Big Bang, and I haven`t accomplished any really Big thing. My Great American Novel is but a dream, and I haven`t even sky-dived or traveled to the countries where my parents were born.
Dear readers at least let me experience the joy of receiving a few positive emails before the world goes dark. If we survive this month, then you can revert to sending me nasty letters.