RT's '10 Mind-Blowing Facts About the Large Hadron Collider' Is Amazing Garbage
Image: Biondi, Silvia/CERN
The completely legitimate and always hard-hitting news organization RT has some concerns about the Large Hadron Collider. Turns out that its conspiracy mindedness and pandering extends all the way down to subatomic scales, where the planet's largest science experiment is variously attempting to pierce the underworld, unleash a reign of dark matter terror, and, via the elusive "God particle," destroy the universe itself in a cataclysm of collapsing space and time.
The best approach to RT, InfoWars (which syndicated the piece in question), and the surrounding culture is to ignore it. But since Google decided to serve this bizarre listicle to me this morning under the guise of "news," and I, against my better intuition, decided to read it, let's sink some of the more egregious bullshit it presents because you probably have some friend in Portland that will post this with some shrewd commentary like "WHAT THEFUCK!? SHUT IT DOWN. FLUOOOORRRIDE!"
There may be another reason for the CERN super collider being buried hundreds of feet underground: The unbelievable hot temperatures it can reach. How hot you ask? Well, about as hot as conditions in the Universe after the Big Bang, or more than 100,000-times the temperature at the center of the Sun. This will be achieved, CERN says, by accelerating and colliding together two beams of heavy ions, an epic scientific event that will take place next month.
The LHC has been colliding heavy ions since its inception. In 2010, when the project first went online, it actually became the second facility in the world to regularly collide heavy ions at relativistic speeds. The first was the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider at Brookhaven labs, which launched in 2000. Heavy ion collisions are the substance of high-energy nuclear physics itself. They also happen to occur continuously in the upper atmosphere via incoming high-energy cosmic rays.
Collisions create very hot temperatures—the LHC set the record for hottest man-made temperature in 2012—but this has nothing to do with the collider being underground. While 4 trillion degrees Celsius is unfathomably hot, these temperatures exist both at infinitesimal subatomic scales and infinitesimal time scales. Figure that a single grain of sand consists of 50 trillion atoms and you can do the math yourself (4,000,000,000,000/50,000,000,000,000 = .08 °C). It's a cold grain of sand.
Are these students being used in dark matter mind control experiments? Just asking questions!
Although it may require some mental gymnastics to wrap one's brain around exactly what the CERN scientists are attempting to achieve in their underground lab, the average layman may instinctively understand that such an experiment may be wrought with unforeseeable pitfalls. Stephen Hawking, the eminent physicist, seems to agree.
"The God particle found by CERN could destroy the universe," Hawking wrote in the preface to a book, Starmus, a collection of lectures by scientists. The Higgs Boson could become unstable at very high energy levels and have the potential to trigger a "catastrophic vacuum decay which would cause space and time to collapse and… we would not have any warning to the dangers," he continued.
Hawking does not actually agree. If the Higgs boson were to destroy the universe, it would have fuck-all to do with nuclear physics experiments on Earth. The Higgs boson is all around us and hardly hidden; it is, in a sense, the foundation of existence. The Higgs field permeates everything, interacting with massless light-speed particles like a sludge, "giving" them mass.
This mass is the basis for a universe of structure and, ultimately, differences, which is a bit like being the basis for meaning itself. The quantification of this field can be seen as the energy-mass of the Higgs boson, which is 126 billion electron volts, or about 126 times the mass-energy of a proton.
This is not the most stable energy "valley" of the Higgs, but it does the job for now. Someday, it will likely be popped out of its current local minima by some cataclysmic fluctuation, a la the cosmic inflationary period in which the Higgs was dumped into its current energy home. After such a fluctuation it will presumably settle at a lower energy and everything we know will just sort of stop. We likely have around 10100 (a 1 with 100 zeros) years before this happens. When it does occur, it will have nothing to do with anything we could create on Earth.
Now on top of all the speculation as to what CERN scientists are really attempting to do with their Large Hadron Collider, many observers could not help but notice that the town in France where CERN is partially situated is called "Saint-Genus-Poilly." The name Pouilly comes from the Latin "Appolliacum" and it is believed that in Roman times a temple existed in honor of Apollo, and the people who lived there believed that it is a gateway to the underworld. It is interesting to note that CERN is built on the same spot.
Fuck ... just shut up.
Check out this rare glimpse into the secretive LHC control center:
Astonishingly, astrophysical observations have demonstrated that all visible physical matter accounts for only four percent of the Universe. Now the race is on at CERN to find those elusive particles or phenomena responsible for dark matter (23 percent) and dark energy (73 percent). Essentially what the CERN experiment hopes to achieve is to separate – by way of the atom smasher – the invisible dark matter, which has been described as the very glue that holds together, from the visible. There's just one problem with this experiment: Nobody has any idea what the consequences will be if that goal is achieved. So once again, this 'dark versus visible' paradigm has generated a battle that transcends the scientific world, becoming a question involving philosophy and spirituality.
Dark matter holds the universe together in large-scale structures through the unfathomably weak force that is gravity. Its claim to fame is that it either does not interact with the very strong electromagnetic force or it interacts with it very, very weakly. It's thought that dark matter particles could be created in collisions at the LHC, and physicists look for them in the form of missing mass and energy. If we put x into the collision and receive x - y at the other end, we might imagine y is dark matter.
If that's the goal eluded to above, then we know exactly what the consequences are: data. The particles themselves will just sail on as if the LHC were empty space. Because they are dark matter and dark matter does not interact with most anything in our world. It's dark.
Although most corporations shun any connection with religion and the spiritual world, CERN has chosen as its mascot a Hindu goddess. But not just any Hindu goddess. Just outside of its headquarters building sits an ancient statue to Shiva, ancient Apollyon, the goddess of destruction. Strange?
CERN is presently ramping up the largest atom collider in the world (it takes months for the magnets to get the particles to reach near light-speed) in preparation for their next atomic collision which is scheduled to take place next month – with barely a mention in the media of the risks involved. Since some critics say this scientific experiment poses greater risks than even the tests prior to the introduction of the atomic bomb, it would stand to reason that there should be much more discussion on this 'dark matter.' Sadly, and not a little ironically, CERN – which essentially governs itself as its own fiefdom – is operating just as invisibly as the particles they are attempting to study.
Just ... fuck you.
First, there is constant discussion of dark matter. It's among the hottest topics in physics and I write about dark matter studies and theories pretty much constantly. Those that think dark matter is a risk are those that haven't the faintest idea what dark matter is (like, as a field of research), a category that safely excludes the scientists studying it. This isn't ignorance, it's pretending (sometimes the same thing, sure).
Nor is CERN some secretive body. Rather, it is the organization that operates and maintains the LHC and other equipment, which are utilized by a wide range of organizations across the world. Its data is public as is its governance and planning. There is "barely a mention in the media" of the risks involved because there are no risks involved, whether it's scare-quotes dark matter or any other aspect of high-energy physics that InfoWars fans will never bother trying to understand.