Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Assignment: Earth

The Large Hadron Collider is now smashing atoms (or more properly: colliding subatomic particles). All of this is happening in the Swiss-French countryside. Just imagine it—something out of an impressionist painting with a monster lurking just beneath the surface. And when I say lurking—I mean smoldering.

Protons are stimulated to more than 99 percent of the speed of light, with energy levels of 3.5 trillion electron volts apiece around a 17-mile magnetic corridor. So what does this mean? Well, they crash together to form little (and I mean little) microscopic fireballs which might reveal the forces and particles that might have appeared during the first trillionth of a second of the Big Bang.

But up till now, there has been a hitch: it has kept breaking down. The reason for this is why I’m so fascinated with this subject, being such a sci-fi nut. And here it goes—some scientists believe that the forces that the collider will create will be so abhorrent to nature, that it is being sabotaged by its own future. They call it—Higgs boson hypothesis, which states that the collision or Big Bang would ripple backward through time and stop the collider before it could make it happen.

Wow! And this coming from scientists (most notably Masao Ninomiya of the Yukawa Institute for Theoretical Physics in Kyoto, Japan)--not just any run of the mill Star Trek geek like me. Oh Yeah—and for all you Nielson fans, also Holger Bech Nielson, of the Neils Bohr Institute in Copenhagen.

This influence from the future, they say, was also responsible for the cancellation of the completion of a super collider in the United States in 1993.

Scientists are so funny—some have said that the theory is crazy. Yet maybe, crazy enough that it might have a chance at being correct. This means that the fundamental laws of physics must be reversible. And I do believe that most scientists believe that they are. Now if you’ve seen Star Trek (Original Series) repeats as much as I have, you have no doubt concluded that it is in fact a Starfleet ship that has returned to sabotage the collider.

But the Large Hadron Collider just successfully made their first little explosions and nothing happened. They are in search of dark matter, which you are fully aware, is some tricky stuff. In fact it is too tricky for Neanderthals such as us. So I think that there is some Spock-like dude (from the future) who has infiltrated the site, and is keeping us from blowing up the universe.

Hey—this theory is just as valid as the one from the smarty-pants with big degrees.

And don’t forget what Albert Einstein once wrote to a friend: “For those who believe in physics, this separation between past, present and future is only an illusion.”