A Dummy’s Guide to ‘Whats-Happening-In-Geneva’

It’s funny that the Large Hadron Collider garnered so much hysteria in the past few months. The European Center for Nuclear Research or CERN has been preparing for this very moment since the past decade, and it’s only now that India TV finds out about it and wastes no time in creating a ruckus about how the world will end right this second. Or this second. Or this second.

The truth is that however dangerous the Compact Muon Solenoid may appear, the experiment is only more important. The probability of the formation of a black hole is minimum, and even the primordial ones that could be formed, would annihilate in a matter of nanoseconds due to something called the Hawking Radiation. So we are not dying or being gobbled up that soon. Actually, the experiment is of utmost importance- the LHC is operating towards something physicists have been searching for long in vain- the GUT.( No jumping to conclusions, the GUT= General Unified Theory) Now, this principle/equation/theory/explanation is one little true statement that everybody expects to answer to all the mysteries of the universe. .

It’s also something Albert Einstein died searching for. So the normal question is, if everybody is looking for a theory, why does one organization have to spend billions of dollars, hundreds of scientists, 20 miles of space under France and Switzerland and a lot of print space for it? This is where the Higgs boson makes an entry. .

Peter Higgs, a physicist, named a boson (which could be like a carbon nucleus or a photon) after himself, and called it the fundamental particle of nature. Hyper science writers named it the ‘God Particle’. It may seem audacious, but what we are actually searching for is a miniscule spot of energy in a display of fireworks, in the hope to gain a step towards unifying all science. It is, therefore, one of the biggest experiments in the history of science, and all of mankind. In two different directions of propagation, clockwise and anticlockwise, the proton beam will be studied, and answers will be given to elusive questions like the nature of dark matter and energy, and super symmetry, and what actually happened at the time of the Big Bang. I know it’s easy to get freakish, especially with what’s-it News Channel bothering you with the latest Bad News, but happily for them, the machine is down at the moment and promises to make an evil return by the end of the year. But don’t worry; these guys invented the WWW, which is how you’re reading this stuff. They’ll manage, and mankind will have a future..

Ahana Dutta

[Image source:http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/03/29/us/29collider.span.jpg]