Black Hole Sun

So I had to geek out for a moment. A friend of mine is one of these scientists just outside of Geneva ramming particles together to see what comes up. I honestly don’t understand the objectives being sought at the Large Hadron Collider but I get the will to try. I used to dam the creeek in my backyard, if for anything, just to see what the results might be.

news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20101020/sc_nm/us_science_cern

Perhaps something interesting will come of it. Ramming particles together, I mean. Who can say?


About Mr. Universe

Mr. Universe is a musician/songwriter and an ex-patriot of the south. He currently lives and teaches at a University in the Pacific Northwest. He is a long distance hiker who has hiked the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail. He is also an author and woodworker. An outspoken political voice, he takes a decidedly liberal stance in politics.
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25 Responses to Black Hole Sun

  1. Monotreme says:

    This is really cool stuff. If you (all y’all) are interested in this stuff, I highly recommend Dr. Brian Cox’ Why Does E=mc2?It explains the new physics without using (much) math. And Dr. Cox is super-nerdy-cool.

  2. filistro says:

    The Hadron Collider really scares me quite a lot.Who knows what could happen when these particles collide? I’m frightened by a massive experiment in which the researchers really have no idea what the result might be.Because.. There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

  3. mclever says:

    Oooh! [mclever squeals like a pre-teen at a Jonas Brothers’ concert.] Supercollider news always brings my geek out! My HS had a special internship program with Fermilab in Batavia, and I remember listening to Dr. Lederman lecture about quarks and mesons when I was just a wee little sophomore. You mean there’s stuff smaller than electrons? Supercool! The physics involved in trying to figure out things like the Higgs Boson (the particle believed to explain mass) makes my head spin, in a good way. And Fermilab’s bigger sibling at CERN is even supercooler! ;-)P.S. My friends and I all called Dr. Lederman “Uncle Leon” because he was so engaged in making science real for us. He provided our first exposure to science that wasn’t just regurgitating the textbook.OK, flashback to HS off now. Seriously, the particle physics studied at places like CERN has already changed our understanding of how the universe works, by confirming some theories and utterly destroying others. (literally!) With each collision, a thousand tiny particles flash into existence, flicker and vanish before the human eye could possibly even register their presence. Determining the nature and behavior of these particles are the sorts of things that earn Nobel Prizes. It’s really amazing stuff!

  4. mclever says:

    Oh, and did I mention that I’m jealous of Mr. Universe for actually knowing someone at CERN?

  5. shortchain says:

    filistro,It’s not true that the scientists involved have “no idea” what will happen when they collide their hadrons at nearly the speed of light.They have a better than 99 percent certainty of what will happen. However, they do not have a 100 percent certainty of all that will happen (if they did, what would be the point?).On the other hand, the universe has already performed these experiments, and far more energetic ones, an untold number of times, and it’s still here. Heck, cosmic rays with these energies happen on a pretty regular basis, even in our neighborhood, and we don’t seem to have black holes running around.The only difference between this experiment and those produced by the universe is that this one will be instrumented and observed with incredible accuracy, because we’ll know, to within a fraction of a millimeter-microsecond, where and when it will happen.What’s keeping me awake at night is the tiny, but nearly infinitely larger, probability that Bart will be correct and we’ll all have to live with his crowing about it.Actually, I’m sleeping like a log.

  6. filistro says:

    @shortchain Actually, I’m sleeping like a log.LOL… me too. Because when it comes to Bart and his teeny-bopper-hysterical prognostications..”OMG… a HUMUNGOUS, GINORMOUS WAVE!!! OMG… it’s, like, super-HISTORICAL!!!” … it is ALSO true that:There are more things in heaven and earth, HoratioThan are dreamt of in your philosophy 🙂

  7. robert verdi says:

    Keep hitting until they find the smallest particles, including ones that theoretically exist, I think that was the purpose. Either that or for the plot to the Twilight Zone episode where everything (except Burgess Meredith) blowsup.

  8. shortchain says:

    filistro,Whenever I hear that quote, I always have to say — we must consider the source. Hamlet saw — and spoke to — ghosts, killed an innocent old man, drove his fiance mad, and in general wreaked havoc among his friends and family. That he experienced things that he thought outside the scope of the philosophy of his time is not really an indication that there were, in fact, such things.Besides, I’m not Horatio. His philosophy was pretty limited, after all, from what little we know.Nowadays, for example, we have string theory, under which pretty much anything is possible.

  9. Mr. Universe says:

    What’s keeping me awake at night is the tiny, but nearly infinitely larger, probability that Bart will be correct and we’ll all have to live with his crowing about it.Actually, I’m sleeping like a log.My colleagues are glaring at me because I am laughing uncontrollably after reading that sentence.Also, I’m jealous of mclever because she understands the whole collider thing. If I lived in her town, I’d ask her on a date.

  10. filistro says:

    shortchain… I was referring to BART’s philosophy, which is also pretty limited, after all, from what little we know. 😉

  11. shiloh says:

    Ramming particles togetherhmm, we may have an explanation for cheney/bush …Could have said Republicans, but didn’t want to generalize 😉

  12. DC Petterson says:

    Pure research such as this is the most important part of science. The Large Hadron Collider has the potential to teach us something basic about the nature of reality — where the Universe came from, what it’s made of, why it is here, and, therefore, what we are.Maybe there are practical applications. Maybe not. It doesn’t matter. In its most basic form, physics is intensely spiritual, because it addresses the most central questions of existence. We are touching the moment of Creation.That Europe build the Large Hadron Collider — and not the United States — is an indication of the decline of science and technology here. We are being eclipsed by the rest of the world, because we no longer invest in basic research. American exceptionalism is at stake. We are losing our edge. We are losing our place in the world.Throughout history, governments have funded exploration — Queen Isabella of Spain funded Christopher Columbus. Were it not for government socialist investment, America would not exist.It is time we stop being afraid of government-funded projects. We need it, economically, socially, even spiritually. America’s soul needs science. We need to explore. We need to dream. As a nation, as a people, for our future, for our past, for our very being.Celebrate the discoveries to come. Dare to dream.——-(and I will resist the temptation to plug my novel 🙂 ).

  13. Number Seven says:

    And then Burgess lost his glasses after gathering up a lifetime of books to read. Yes, that was harsh.Not too worked up about the posibilities of a blackhole. More worked up about the outcome of another Twilight Zone episode with Burgess in it. ‘The Obsolete Man’ really seems like a possible future in my opinion.

  14. shortchain says:

    #7,Well, speaking as someone that apparently (according to the human serviced departments of the companies I’ve applied to for jobs) is obsolete already, my advice is: relax. Obsolescence is just another way you can be relieved of your responsibilities. And if you lose your responsibility for things, you find you sleep a lot better.I’d worry about a Terminator scenario, but frankly the idiocy of the human race seems a lot more likely to kill us off, as an existential threat. After all, the human race has already managed to make many species extinct, and bids fair to eliminate a whole lot more.Machines, as yet, haven’t managed to eliminate a single species, and, other than cars, are pretty benign. Although there was that story about the moth reputedly killed by an old vacuum-tube computer in Dhalgren, Virginia.

  15. Number Seven says:

    Was that a reference to The Andromeda Strain or Failsafe 🙂

  16. shiloh says:

    General “Buck” Turgidson Mr. President, I’m not saying we wouldn’t get our hair mussed. But I do say no more than ten to twenty million killed, tops. Uh, depending on the breaks.bodily fluids notwithstanding …>Eleven Steps to Surviving a Nuclear Attack# Step 1: Know the effects of nuclear explosions.# Step 2: Know the facts about radioactive fallout.# Step 3: Know the warning signal and have a battery-powered radio.# Step 4: Know how to take shelter.# Step 5: Have fourteen days emergency supplies.# Step 6: Know how to prevent and fight fires.# Step 7: Know first aid and home nursing.# Step 8: Know emergency cleanliness.# Step 9: Know how to get rid of radioactive dust.# Step 10: Know your municipal plans.# Step 11: Have a plan for your family and yourself.>>># Step 12: Put your head between your legs and kiss your ass goodbye!Duck and cover …

  17. shiloh says:

    General “Buck” Turgidson: Mr. President, I’m not saying we wouldn’t get our hair mussed. But I do say no more than ten to twenty million killed, tops. Uh, depending on the breaks.bodily fluids notwithstanding …

  18. shortchain says:

    #7,Neither. It refers to the purported origin of the term “bug” in reference to computer problems.I give Andromeda Strain a pass (referring to the original issue, human experiments or actions that might go bad) on two grounds:1) It’s biologically as well as technologically absurd, contrived for the simple purpose of creating a page-turner and2) The bug in that case was extra-terrestrial. If the universe decides to kill us off, hey, at least it won’t be our fault. That will be a great consolation, I’m sure.

  19. shiloh says:

    Interesting right after the Cuban Missile Crisis (3) excellent end of the world scenario movies: Fail Safe, Dr. Strangelove, The Bedford Incident were made.Nowadays, w/everything going to hell in a handbasket! we have a lot of teenybopper movies.It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine!Hey, during WWII, MGM made musicals! :)>Eleven Steps to Surviving a Nuclear Attack# Step 1: Know the effects of nuclear explosions.# Step 2: Know the facts about radioactive fallout.# Step 3: Know the warning signal and have a battery-powered radio.# Step 4: Know how to take shelter.# Step 5: Have fourteen days emergency supplies.# Step 6: Know how to prevent and fight fires.# Step 7: Know first aid and home nursing.# Step 8: Know emergency cleanliness.# Step 9: Know how to get rid of radioactive dust.# Step 10: Know your municipal plans.# Step 11: Have a plan for your family and yourself.>>># Step 12: Put your head between your legs and kiss your ass goodbye!Duck and cover …

  20. shiloh says:

    Interesting right after the Cuban Missile Crisis (3) excellent end of the world scenario movies: Fail Safe, Dr. Strangelove, The Bedford Incident were made.Nowadays, w/everything going to hell in a handbasket! we have a lot of teenybopper movies.It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine!Hey, during WWII, MGM made musicals! 🙂

  21. robert verdi says:

    That was a frightening episode, but I love it when Meredith turn the tables on em.

  22. shiloh says:

    hmm, one never knows when the moderation backlog will be unleashed or what causes a post to be diverted to purgatory. ;)Interesting both of my posts that were put in the limbo locker, deleted the Eleven Steps to Surviving a Nuclear Attack and they slipped by big brother. :)Unlike Bartles and Jeffrey, not a big deal, as if they get posted or not, c’est la vie!>Although much like Jeffrey all of my posts are brilliant pieces of magnificence or a reasonable facsimile thereof …

  23. shiloh says:

    Question:Who played the better president?Reagan from 1981 to 1989 or Henry Fonda in Fail Safe.

  24. shrinkers says:

    Who played the better president?Fonda. Hands down. Reagan forgot where he was half the time.

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