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Big particle collider one step closer to the big test

KW: I am definitely not a scientist. And, I am rather the fearful Ludite. But, I would like to hear how other progressive people feel about all this. The headline gave me a sense of relief: “Oh, good, they tried it and the world did not explode.” But, actually, I think they just made a particle go one way. And, they are going to try to make two particles crash in the future…

Largest particle collider conducts successful test

By ALEXANDER G. HIGGINS, Associated Press Writer

GENEVA – The world’s largest particle collider successfully completed its first major test by firing a beam of protons all the way around a 17-mile (27-kilometer) tunnel Wednesday in what scientists hope is the next great step to understanding the makeup of the universe…

Now that the beam has been successfully tested in clockwise direction, CERN plans to send it counterclockwise. Eventually two beams will be fired in opposite directions with the aim of recreating conditions a split second after the big bang, which scientists theorize was the massive explosion that created the universe.

The start of the collider — described as the biggest physics experiment in history — comes over the objections of some skeptics who fear the collision of protons could eventually imperil the earth.

The skeptics theorized that a byproduct of the collisions could be micro black holes, subatomic versions of collapsed stars whose gravity is so strong they can suck in planets and other stars.

“It’s nonsense,” said James Gillies, chief spokesman for CERN, before Wednesday’s start.

CERN is backed by leading scientists like Britain’s Stephen Hawking in dismissing the fears and declaring the experiments to be absolutely safe.

Gillies told the AP that the most dangerous thing that could happen would be if a beam at full power were to go out of control, and that would only damage the accelerator itself and burrow into the rock around the tunnel.

Nothing of the sort occurred Wednesday, though accelerator is still probably a year away from full power…

One Response

  1. why not spend all that money on health care, hunger, cancer or things that will benefit all.

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