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The News-Journal

TO INFINITY AND BEYOND ?

Gerald Ngum, Staff Writer

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World-wide discussion of the large hadron collider , aka “the big Bang machine” has been sparked once-again. Although to some the world seems to be in decline, science seems to be soaring. But will its wings carry us into salvation while simultaneously bearing the weight of our ever-increasing needs and wants ?

For those who don’t know, the large hadron collider is “the world’s largest and most powerful particle collider, the largest, most complex experimental facility ever built, and the largest single machine in the world. It was built by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) between 1998 and 2008 in collaboration with over 10,000 scientists and engineers from over 100 countries, as well as hundreds of universities and laboratories”.

In other words, it’s the largest engineering project since man went to the moon, and if it works as scientists intend, it could possibly answer questions of the universe which have baffled philosophers and scientists for centuries. It was believed by some scientists that this mind-bogglingly expensive machine would find the “God particle”, which is a strongly disliked nickname for the “Higgs boson”, which was identified and partly theorized by Peter Higgs who also happens to not be a fan of the nickname. In layman’s terms, the God particle is a subatomic particle embedded within the architecture of creation. Everything that has mass is nonexistent without it, which thus makes it a key component in creation itself, because Without it, there is close to nothing, but with it comes the secrets of the universe.

Fast forward to 2015 (present day) the God particle is as real as you and me. In fact, it has been since July 2012, courtesy of the highly sophisticated $13 billion consuming  hotwheels-esque particle smashing machine, also known as the hadron collider. Though profoundly costlier, the finding of the God particle is said to be the greatest scientific finding since Albert Einstein theorized E = mc 2.

Despite its technicality, the philosophical nature of the motivation behind the project has enticed the eyes and ears of the masses. By the end of the week of the God particles discovery one billion people had seen video footage from the webcast which displayed the defining moment in which Mr. Higgs was compelled to tears. A moment over 40 years after he was written off as simply just another eccentric for submitting such a theory, fundamentally the very theory which has broken new ground in the world of physics today. But back to the point, such a magnitude of people tuning-in out of free will  truly speaks to the curiosity embedded within the human spirit and how interconnected we have become.

Since the confirming of the God particles existence an array of questions, suggestions and speculations have been aroused. To an extent to were a myriad of new theories have come out of the woodwork, or better yet, out of the galaxy. Theories insinuating that the God particle is just one piece of a cosmic-puzzle made up of other yet to be discovered particles. If found, Physics as we know it today could potentially essentially become the little brother of the physics of tomorrow, taking us yet another leap into infinity.

In a preface for his book “Starmus”  world renowned theoretical physicist Professor Stephen Hawking has theorized that if the God particle became unstable the “universe could undergo catastrophic vacuum decay,” in other words, we would all cease to exist. But save your panic for another day, Hawking’s himself explains that this is highly theoretical. Joseph Lykken who is also a theoretical physicist assures by saying “Most likely it will take 10 to the 100 years [a 1 followed by 100 zeroes] for this to happen, so you probably shouldn’t sell your house and you should continue to pay your taxes,” but on a darker note “it may have already happened, and the bubble might be on its way here now. And you won’t know because it’s going at the speed of light so there’s not going to be any warning.”

But the possibilities the collider can bring are not limited to the realm of doom, they in fact drift into the realm of what we know as science fiction, or perhaps, soon to be science-fact.  Throughout the numerous articles and video documentaries, people who have dedicated their lives to understanding how and why the world works (aka scientist) have spoken of time travel , teleportation , signs of extra-dimensions, time-alteration and so on and so forth. As many scientists might agree, even if extremely unlikely, everything is possible until proven otherwise.

 

“just think about it: One hundred years ago we knew nothing. And 100 years ago is not that long ago. Can you imagine what we’ll know 10 years, even the next 100 years?”

       –  Bob Stanek

 

 

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The news site of Trinity Valley Community College.
TO INFINITY AND BEYOND ?