Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Eschatology Spells LHC?

(The 21st century tree of knowledge of good and evil?)

After decades of planning and construction, which costs over SGD10 billions or RM24 billions, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is set to operate as scheduled today at about 3pm (Singapore/Malaysia time), that is about 3 hours from now.

The "worst case scenario" predicted by scientists, though extremely improbable, is the creation of a blackhole that would sucks the whole earth into it. Imagine a super powerful vacuum cleaner that once being switched on, everything in your house being suck into it in just a few seconds.

This research-experiment aims to find answers for these questions:

  • Is the popular Higgs mechanism for generating elementary particle masses in the Standard Model realised in nature? If so, how many Higgs bosons are there, and what are their masses?
  • Will the more precise measurements of the masses of the quarks continue to be mutually consistent within the Standard Model?
  • Do particles have supersymmetric ("SUSY") partners?
  • Why are there apparent violations of the symmetry between matter and antimatter?
  • Are there extra dimensions indicated by theoretical gravitons, as predicted by various models inspired by string theory, and can we "see" them?
  • What is the nature of dark matter and dark energy?
  • Why is gravity so many orders of magnitude weaker than the other three fundamental forces?
  • Is time travel (utilising either General theory of relativity or wormholes or black holes) possible?

Let's say if the worst scenario happened (typing with one hand; the other one is touching my wooden desk), then would this be a replay of Genesis 2.16-3.6:

And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.

Is this "desirable for gaining wisdom" a parallel with the passion of the scientists who are working on the LHC? Even if yes, I hope LHC is not the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Addition, God didn't command us not to build LHC like he'd warned Adam and Eve against the fateful tree. Oh, unless you interpret God's forbidding the consumption from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil allegorically.

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