Rant: Large Hadron Collider

“I’m scared if we’re going to destroy the world, because if it does, I’ll blame the scientists.” – Child interviewed on BBC Global News

Today, the LHC went online under the French/Swiss border earlier today. In a nutshell, the LHC is a large scientific lab that is designed to try and re-create the conditions that might have existed at the beginning of the Universe, during the Big Bang. What the device does is direct beams of matter against each other at 99.999999% the speed of light, which will bombard particles against another, and from there, they will be able to view the wreckage, which will hopefully tell us something about some of the fundamental building blocks of matter.

From what I’ve been able to read and comprehend, some of the big questions that they’re looking to discover why matter exist. Wired has an article here that talks about some of the other hopes that they’re looking for.

Why the rant? See the quote on top – there have been a lot of complaints, legal suits and fears that the LHC could spell the end of the world. Some theorize that the device could create micro black holes that last for nano-seconds, and which could lead to bigger ones, and thus the end of the world. Personally, I think that this is nonsense, because of the life-spans of said black holes, but also, as Wired states:

Q: Is the Large Hadron Collider a threat to human civilization and the existence of the Earth?
A: No. Einstein’s relativity says it’s impossible. And, just in case, studies of highly-energetic cosmic rays hitting earth rule it out, too.

A more reasonable complaint might be the 10 billion dollars spent on the project, which some argue could go to more practical scientific issues and pressing problems. I say that while it’s a lot of money, this is possibly one of the most exciting projects to come to fruition at the moment – learning how the universe was created is just mind blowing.

What annoys me is the absolute lack of vision and possibility that lays before us with this device that some people seem to have, but also that some people are chosing to ignore some of the more obvious facts and studies regarding the possibility of cataclysmic failure. Cosmic rays from space have much more power than this, and we’ve never had a problem with them.

Of course, if the world does end, well, that’s that.