Uncommon Descent Contest Question 13: The Large Hadron Collider is back up and running, but why?
|December 1, 2009||Posted by O'Leary under Cosmology|
This contest was judged here December 17, 2009.
This one is for physics buffs. The Large Hadron Collider (called by some the God Machine) has suffered considerable woe recently – most recently when a passing bird dropped a piece of bread on it, though it appears to be back up and running.
According to two physicists noted by Richard Webb in New Scientist
Could the Large Hadron Collider be sabotaging itself from the future? That’s the suggestion of a couple of reasonably distinguished theoretical physicists, which has received a fresh airing in the New York Times today.
According to The Times’s Dennis Overbye (“The Collider, the Particle, and a Theory About Fate”, October 12, 2009), once it is running again:
Then it will be time to test one of the most bizarre and revolutionary theories in science. I’m not talking about extra dimensions of space-time, dark matter or even black holes that eat the Earth. No, I’m talking about the notion that the troubled collider is being sabotaged by its own future. A pair of otherwise distinguished physicists have suggested that the hypothesized Higgs boson, which physicists hope to produce with the collider, might be so abhorrent to nature that its creation would ripple backward through time and stop the collider before it could make one, like a time traveler who goes back in time to kill his grandfather.
For a free copy of the Privileged Planet DVD, about the unique position of Earth, provide the clearest answer the following question: Nine billion dollars and 15 years later, what is the Large Hadron Collider likely to tell us that is worth the cost and trouble?
Here are the contest rules, not many. Winners receive a certificate verifying their win as well as the prize. Winners must provide me with a valid postal address, though it need not be theirs. Names are never added to a mailing list. Have fun!