news.com.au (October 19, 2009)
- " 'Time-travel from future to kill atom-smasher'
- "Hadron Collider to test for 'God particle'
- "Scientists suggest God could be jinxing it
"In a bizarre sci-fi theory, Danish physicist Dr Holger Bech Nielsen and Dr Masao Ninomiya from Japan claim the LHC startup has been delayed due to nature trying to prevent it from finding the elusive Higgs boson, or 'God particle'.
"They say their maths proves that nature will 'ripple backward through time' to stop the LHC before it can create the God particle, like a time traveller who goes back in time to kill his grandfather.
" 'One could even almost say that we have a model for God,' Dr Nielsen says in an unpublished essay.
" 'He rather hates Higgs particles, and attempts to avoid them.'..."
I can see why Dr. Nielsen didn't want that essay published. My guess is that even on American college campuses that sort of idea would seem over-the-top. But, I could be wrong about that.
Still, this is interesting - and a trifle more plausible than the idea that Elvis or shape-shifting space-alien lizard people are behind the LHC's glitches.
Or, maybe the largest particle accelerator of its kind in the world, which had to be built underground - crossing the border between France and Switzerland - isn't the sort of off-the-shelf research gadget that's been quality-tested at the factory, and will work the first time it's plugged in.
He Told a Reporter?!I might have assumed that some investigative reporter had rummaged through Dr. Nielsen's trash, pulling out the unpublished paper: along with assorted coffee grounds and fruit rinds. Turns out, Dr. Nielsen actually wanted people to know about his, ah, remarkable ideas.
"...'It must be our prediction that all Higgs producing machines shall have bad luck,' Dr Nielsen told the New York Times...."
Credit where credit is due: Dr. Nielsen's proposing a testable hypothesis. Given the sort of learning curve the LHC's technicians and scientists are on now, I'd say that Dr. Nielsen has at least several months before the Large Hadron Collider is done with its 'shakedown cruise' and operations there become comparatively routine.
Or, the fiendish device creates a black hole which eats up Earth; or forces Elvis out of hiding; or something.
Me? I'm guessing that the people running CERN intend to collect their retirement benefits - and that the Large Hadron Collider is no more dangerous than the proton accelerator that caused Anatoli Bugorski so much trouble.
Also, that it will start working. Dr. Nielsen's statements remind me of some of those books I read in high school: the ones telling about preachers around Ben Franklin's time, who didn't like lightning rods.
They weren't as crazy - from their point of view - as it might seem. They assumed that lightning was God's way of punishing evildoers: and that lightning rods were a vainglorious effort by sinful man to thwart the will of God. At least that's what the books said.
I don't see the world that way - and am nowhere near being on the same page with that lot's contemporary analogs.
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