It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel...

(82 Posts)
S1ur Mon 01-Sep-08 21:50:03

only a wee bit nervous.

So the Large Hadron Collider gets switched on in 9 days....

Science aim to recreate the conditions of the big bang.

Now come on, nothing can go wrong with that plan right? grin

Anyone worried? hmm

Disclaimer: don't be scared, dp says its all been risk assessed and there is No Need to Panic. And he is a scientist so he is mad knows.

S1ur Mon 01-Sep-08 21:53:15

xthreads going on a bit..

footballsgalore Mon 01-Sep-08 21:53:27

Hope they're not doing it in my back garden

Bowddee Mon 01-Sep-08 21:54:11

There's another thread on this. I'd prefer them to pull the trigger on the 9th as I don't want to go back to work (I'm due back on the 10th).

grin at x thread

Like the x files here tonight

<<lights fag, swigs cooking sherry, gobbles choc>>

littlelapin Mon 01-Sep-08 21:55:39

It sounds fascinating, have you read about it?

"When activated, it is theorized that the collider will produce the elusive Higgs boson, the observation of which could confirm the predictions and "missing links" in the Standard Model of physics and could explain how other elementary particles acquire properties such as mass. The verification of the existence of the Higgs boson would be a significant step in the search for a Grand Unified Theory, which seeks to unify three of the four known fundamental forces: electromagnetism, the strong nuclear force and the weak nuclear force, leaving out only gravity. The Higgs boson may also help to explain why gravitation is so weak compared to the other three forces. In addition to the Higgs boson, other theorized novel particles that might be produced, and for which searches[7] are planned, include strangelets, micro black holes, magnetic monopoles and supersymmetric particles."

Cooooool! AND it's like, inside a mountain! Like a Bond villian's lair!

Anifrangapani Mon 01-Sep-08 21:56:52

I have been to CERN to see the colliders and they are so cool grin

littlelapin Mon 01-Sep-08 21:56:56

Actually, not in a mountain, in a mahoooosive great circular tunnel under both France AND Switzerland <nerd alert> grin

littlelapin Mon 01-Sep-08 21:57:15

Anifrangapani envy noooo, really?!

S1ur Mon 01-Sep-08 21:57:46

It is fascinating and only ever so slightly like a premise for a disaster movie.

(and Torchwood are doing a special episode around it)

Ani I am going to cultivate you like mad


S1ur Mon 01-Sep-08 21:59:35

oooh envy too, it could be a remarkable advance in scientific knowledge, or it could be like a year 9 science lesson and just fizz a bit.

PortBlacksandResident Mon 01-Sep-08 22:01:26

Well there has been an actual star been going in the basement of Imperial College, London for years now. [Urban Myth Emoticon].

Anifrangapani Mon 01-Sep-08 22:05:28

It was so fun...I got to press the button ( well the return key on a computer) that sent a neutrino into an electron..... then all the monitors went a bit weird ( think very large magnet on your TV weird), every one got excited except me and then it was upstairs to the bar.

Shame I had to be going out with a total jerk to get the gig [hmn]

Anifrangapani Mon 01-Sep-08 22:07:20

That should be hmm

And I AM cultivated. In the way a mould is cultivated grin

S1ur Mon 01-Sep-08 22:09:45

Oooh I have new respect for Ani, you got to press the button. That is pretty cool.

Were you tempted to take a balloon and pop it just as button was pressed? Just to keep everyone on their toes?

<contemplates whether big bang may have sounded like a balloon popping..>

<<Considers whether big bang would make any sound>>>

<<<head spins slightly and fizzes a bit>>>

Ani, will you be my New Best Friend??

(See am cultivating you)


KerryMum Mon 01-Sep-08 22:12:52

you know these people are maniacs don't you?

what's the exact date so I can bend over and kiss my ass goodbye

morningpaper Mon 01-Sep-08 22:13:43

didn't you just want to press the button and then pretend your finger was stuck and convulse screaming hysterically

NomDePlume Mon 01-Sep-08 22:14:05

ROFFLE Kerrymum

KerryMum Mon 01-Sep-08 22:14:43

am thinking a mountain is not going to contain a BIG BANG.

Feckin idiots and their experiments.

What could go wrong? Hum, the earth could explode?

morningpaper Mon 01-Sep-08 22:15:14

I will be gutted if this happens becuase I have a trip to Ikea planned in a few weeks

S1ur Mon 01-Sep-08 22:15:56

Setember 10th.

you don't have long Kerry.

Hurumph angry
<narrows eyes @ Boys>

Anifrangapani Mon 01-Sep-08 22:15:58

I wish I had thought of that slur. My evil streak only came out in later life. Something to do with pregnancy hormones I think.

BALD So long as you don't feel the need to shag my dh like one of my friends wink

S1ur Mon 01-Sep-08 22:17:11

Yes MP that would be my fear too, lack of Ikeas in black holes.

KerryMum Mon 01-Sep-08 22:17:20

wonders if I should keep boys home from school.

oops Mon 01-Sep-08 22:17:34

Message withdrawn

KerryMum Mon 01-Sep-08 22:18:35

who knows maybe THIS is how the universe started in the first place.

But it isn't the FIRST universe, it's the 500th because we just keep blowing it up again and again.

Kewcumber Mon 01-Sep-08 22:18:51

"I have a trip to Ikea planned in a few weeks" - the end of the world seems a fairly reasonble price to pay in exchange for getting out of a trip to IKEA.

KerryMum Mon 01-Sep-08 22:19:53

what was that show that had all the possible end-of-the-world scenarios on it. It was on in the last couple of years. docu-drama kind of thing. they did one on these idiots. Probably will be jerking off while the world EXPLODES

Jux Mon 01-Sep-08 22:20:56

Oh that's so cool. I'm going to have to divorce dh and find a scientist bf. I want to press the button. Am so envy

Anifrangapani Mon 01-Sep-08 22:22:30

I thought Ikea was a black hole

KerryMum Mon 01-Sep-08 22:24:00

good point

Oh well at least if the universe ceases to exist we won't really now about it hmm

know god I'm shite.

S1ur Mon 01-Sep-08 22:27:21

Well, I think even if the world and universe implodes into nothingness and non existance, there will still be pedants and Ikea. Erternally battling with their strange code words


Anifrangapani Mon 01-Sep-08 22:29:47

Blerkhoel Sofa anyone?

S1ur Mon 01-Sep-08 22:32:08

perhaps a nice split infinitive shelving unit? One either side of the subjunctive settle?

littlelapin Mon 01-Sep-08 22:39:27

<tries to visualize flatpack event horizon>

<falls off chair>

KerryMum Mon 01-Sep-08 22:44:48


lol at you lot

Acksherly could you all pop over here to help me chose a watch please??

Shallow?? Moi??

S1ur Mon 01-Sep-08 23:05:37

I have replied Boys, but I have to question the wisdom of buying a watch in the endtime. grin

littlelapin Mon 01-Sep-08 23:19:12

Hours will only contain 59.7563333333 minutes after the "event" anyway, so we will ALL need new watches

GrimmaTheNome Mon 01-Sep-08 23:22:58

I started reading the New Scientist article but got distracted by the fact that the female detector designer they'd interviewed was called Bilge. Am only doing my periodic Mumsnet lurk in the hope of a baby names thread...

KerryMum Mon 01-Sep-08 23:25:48

where are all our scientists?

littlelapin Mon 01-Sep-08 23:26:57

On a colony ship, KM, somewhere past Jupiter - they left YONKS ago wink

KerryMum Mon 01-Sep-08 23:27:18


oops Mon 01-Sep-08 23:29:01

Message withdrawn

S1ur Mon 01-Sep-08 23:32:19

Oi I am masquarading as sciencey!

Lapin, those missing nanoseconds will throw all computers into meltdown, very liek how the millenium bug did. (or didn't)

littlelapin Mon 01-Sep-08 23:34:54

oh god, PLEASE do not remind me, I was on the Y2K committee for the bank I worked for, endless TEEEEEEEEEEEEEEDIOUS meetings and all for nowt hmm

KerryMum Mon 01-Sep-08 23:36:05

I thought we had one or two mn physicists?

oops Mon 01-Sep-08 23:37:16

Message withdrawn

S1ur Mon 01-Sep-08 23:42:04

missed that oops, that is fantastic.

Aint science great? grin

<unless it destroys us allllll mwah mwahahaha>

S1ur Tue 02-Sep-08 13:39:21

This thread title started as tongue in cheek, but in truth this is pretty amazing.

new scientist article

new scientist blog - short

S1ur Tue 02-Sep-08 13:41:22

bump for charlotte

I may be really stupid but I wasn't worrying about this at all. Haven't they already had a similar but smaller one somewhere. It really didn't occur to me that it might be dangerous but am going to read the NS article.

S1ur Tue 02-Sep-08 14:17:12

Not stupid at all, I just think it sounds fabulous and am eagerly awaiting the Hollywood version, possibly staring Keanu Reeves. hmm

And I love particle physics language.

'Strangelets containing strange quarks'

As opposed to the normal up down variety.

Love it.

These kind of collisions happen in nature too.

BoredyHouse Tue 02-Sep-08 14:24:08

KerryMum: "who knows maybe THIS is how the universe started in the first place.

But it isn't the FIRST universe, it's the 500th because we just keep blowing it up again and again."


GrimmaTheNome Tue 02-Sep-08 15:05:13

They're doing a special exhibition on the Large Hadron Collider at the Liverpool museum... anyone been and know if its good? We were thinking of going but its a bit of a trek

ps. I nearly mistyped Large Hadron blush do you think the physicist who came up with that term was very naive or a bit wicked?

Ripeberry Tue 02-Sep-08 20:31:49

Check out "LHC rap" on you-tube! Great nerd tune and we can all pretend to know what they are doing!

Habbibu Tue 02-Sep-08 20:39:53

Anifrangipani!!! That is one of The Coolest Things Ever. Wow. <joins fawning science-nerd-wannabe groupies at the frangipani feet>

S1ur Tue 02-Sep-08 20:52:28

Rofl absolutey farking fantastic!

..the things that they discover will rock you in the head grin

<<no surprise the back up danceers prefer anonymity>> wink

PinkTulips Tue 02-Sep-08 20:54:32

if it destroys the universe it's not like we'll be around to whinge.

worreis me less than selafield does tbh.

just think of the possibilities, the science it could prove and disprove and the discoveries that could result.

KerryMum Tue 02-Sep-08 21:48:32

I think it is just a bunch of boys seeing who can make the biggest bang.

It is all one-up-manship on the brink.

It is crap.

Exactly WHAT are they going to prove?

S1ur Wed 03-Sep-08 00:08:23

Did you not listen to the rap? grin

<Cracks knuckles>

Okay, my understanding of quantum physics is a line over there in the distance, but I am trying.

The key is that the universe is odd. Matter and energy are related, they are interchangeable, like one can become the other and back again.

The Higgs boson is what governs matter being matter. Matter is like energy condensed and Higgs as something to do with that.

Right got that? Cos I don't think I do really. But let's keep going.

In understanding the universe and why it behaves in the way it does, why particles do what they do and so on. You can imagine it like a jigsaw being worked on. And lots of pieces are understood and fall into place, matter has antimatter and things are tested and it all fits. But there is a gap in the jigsaw. Its like you know its shape and can guess what it looks like how it'll fit, but you can't see it. The higg's boson particles are that.

They are inferred and the LHC might be able to detect them, actually 'see' them. If it can then it vindicates the standard model of understanding. Which in turn explains how matter exists as matter and not energy.

I think.


But FFS particle physics is soo hard and I haven't even attempted to think about the different particle families because my head hurts.

Lookit Understanding the way things work is good and useful. We understood electrons and electricty and wayhey we were off! I don't know how the experiment will help in the long term but I think it will.

S1ur Wed 03-Sep-08 00:10:07

And by the way those 'bunch of boys' brought you the internet so doff your cap wink

KerryMum Wed 03-Sep-08 00:11:58

physicists created the internet?

[come on slur you can do better than that]

Only problem with this whole thing is if I'm right I won't be able to say "I told You So"

S1ur Wed 03-Sep-08 00:14:34

<<specifically the world wide web, nods to sciboffpedants>>

S1ur Wed 03-Sep-08 00:15:32

Tim Berners-Lee in 1989 at CERN

policywonk Wed 03-Sep-08 00:16:02

Very impressed by Ani and slur. In the way that only a history grad can be. I do find the CERN stuff exciting, but just in the way that I find all massive great big things exciting (ships, tall buildings, etc etc).

arfishy Wed 03-Sep-08 01:39:39

Ooooh. A really good geek thread.

<barges in wielding geek credentials>

The first ever website created and CERN is now working on the Internet's successor 'GRID'.

And the LHC is in a huge 27km long circular tunnel underneath CERN with cavernous underground experiment chambers.

I love mysterious underground stuff, like hidden wartime cabinet rooms and the secret railway station underneath New York.

KerryMum Wed 03-Sep-08 09:35:41


Ripeberry Wed 03-Sep-08 10:34:33

Actually, the collisions won't happen until 21st October 2008, so we can all breathe easy in September.
Might even manage to squeeze in an indian summer! Lol.

bobsyouruncle Wed 03-Sep-08 10:40:26

So can I clarify, it's not happening on September 10th? Its just that's ds's birthday and I'm planning a party fgs.

Ripeberry Wed 03-Sep-08 10:50:08

The only thing they are doing on September 10th is switching it on and sending one beam ALL the way round the circuit.
They seem to have been taking months just to get the whole thing to cool down until it's COLDER than space Brrrr!

KerryMum Wed 03-Sep-08 11:43:39

so what are they doing on october 21st then?

feckin hell

Ripeberry Wed 03-Sep-08 11:51:42

Doing the Large Hadron rap! [gin]

KerryMum Wed 03-Sep-08 11:55:31

this does not fill me with comfort

what is the difference [ignorant]

bobsyouruncle Wed 03-Sep-08 11:55:46

oh good, just one beam, I can go back to stressing about bouncy castles and party food etc, phew...

KerryMum Wed 03-Sep-08 11:55:58

do you think we will see black hole before we are sucked into it?

MerlinsBeard Wed 03-Sep-08 12:29:09

CERN is real??

there is a LHC?????

I thought Dan Brown had made it up blush<cringe>

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