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A Wrinkle in Time: Theory of the Large Hadron Collider


I know we at Popten have a rep for hating on science. But this little theory, perched firmly on the the border between sci and sci-fi, is too awesome to pass up.

If you are a meganerd like me, and the term Large Hadron Collider means something to you, head straight to this article on Fate and the Higgs Boson Particle from the Escapist, or its sister in the New York Times.

For the rest of you, I’ll summarize.

Scientists around the globe been trying, for the past fifteen years, to create a machine that makes a long-sought particle called the Higgs Boson. For crazy reasons, no one has yet been able to flip the “go” switch. Now, a pair of “otherwise distinguished physicists” (<- straight from the NYT article!) are gaining traction on a strange little hypothesis: they believe the universe is literally avoiding possible situations which could create a Higgs-Boson particle. They believe “random” elements of chance disaster will conspire to keep the LHC from ever completing a run. To quote Dr. Holger Neilsen:

“One could even almost say that we have a model for God… that He rather hates Higgs particles, and attempts to avoid them.”

Is this just sour grapes? Are physicists just Monday-morning-quarterbacking this LHC situation? I’m fully skeptical as well. It’s not so much that its illogical… its just that, at this juncture, its damn hard to verify. But I think this is a perfect example of how, in the late 20th and the early 21st, science has ventured into realms that we rational products of public education wouldn’t think of as very scientific. And for me, that’s why the theory is so exciting… if true, it would be the first large-scale demonstration of the time-bending, reality-splitting activity that quantum physicists believe is a very real part of our universe.

Of course, the best way to DISPROVE this theory would be to get the damn thing working. If there’s another freak incident this December, when the machine is turned on again, then I imagine we’ll be hearing a little more from Dr. Neilsen.

PS – Either its Quantum Day, or Wroblewski and I tapped a similar wavelength… DJ Hero, one post down, is an eerily perfect demonstration of this theory!

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