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Science

Head First into the Danger Potential


The Tevatron - Batavia, IL, USA

The 25-year-old Tevatron at Fermilab’s National Accelerator Laboratory will be shutting down. The U.S. Department of Energy has announced that it could not come up with  $35 million to keep the Tevatron running until 2014.

At one time, many thought Tevatron was still in the race to first find the most elementary particle in physics…what some call the “God Particle”. Most have agreed that CERN, situated in the Northwest suburbs of Geneva on the Franco–Swiss border, quickly took over as leader in this race as soon as it went active. It looks as though the United States knew it could not catch up to the abilities of the new state-of-the-art facility…so what is the use spending the money.

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Large Hadron Collider at CERN

CERN operates two Linear accelerators, one Proton Synchrotron Booster, a Low Energy Ion Ring, 28 GeV Proton Synchrotron, a Super Proton Synchrotron, an On-Line Isotope Mass Separator, the Antiproton Decelerator, and the Compact Linear Collider. CERN’s main function is to provide the particle accelerators and other infrastructure needed for high-energy physics research. As of 2009, there are 20 European and Far East countries contributing to the CERN facility with USA, Israel, Turkey, Japan, India, and Russia listed as “observers”.

Back to the search for the “God Particle” or what is properly known as the Higgs Boson Particle. Many scientists dislike that it is called the “God Particle”  since it overstates the particle’s importance,  since its discovery would still leave unanswered questions about the unification of QCD (quantum chromodynamics), the Electroweak interaction and gravity and the ultimate origin of the universe. Therefore, the discovery of the Higgs Boson Particle will not be the end of the search for the secrets of the universe. In fact, the fun about this search for scientists and all of us, is that we will always be searching for the secrets of the universe.

I do have some real concerns about the process by which we do this however.  When anti-matter comes into contact with regular matter, the two sides automatically destroy each other. The Earth is composed entirely of regular matter. Can you do the math? Scientists at CERN have managed to create 38 Anti-Hydrogen atoms for one tenth of one second. Apparently, the 38 atoms destroyed themselves rather quickly.

Does it trouble anyone knowing that anti-matter in contact with regular matter causes immediate annihilation and that we are currently willingly creating anti-matter? Is there anyone out there that is completely confident that we could contain such a creation as we become more adept at its creation? Can anyone imagine what the world could create with the containment of anti-matter? They seem to leave off any questionable uses for anti matter on their lists. Many lists include advancements in medical imaging, fuel, and antimatter rocketry for space exploration. Could it be true that there are no military applications for this? Yes, I am still laughing at that question as well.

Well, I am troubled that the scientists at CERN are creating particles that they do not fully understand as of yet. How could they be confident in their containment abilities when they cannot even fully define what they are creating as of yet? Would it not be reasonable to assume that we could have built a shoebox to contain a 1,300 pound gorilla? We are messing with the building blocks of creation and I do not like it one bit.

I know that the scientists on are on a noble quest for knowledge. Sometimes, I feel they strive head first into the danger potential without thoroughly looking at all the potential negatives. I know…I know, with many scientific quests you must take some kind of risk, but this not be a well thought out calculated risk? What makes them think that they have protected us enough when they really do not know what they are creating?

I really think the public should be asking a lot more questions about this facility and its intentions such as…Where is all of this collected information going to? Who is currently processing it and for what purpose? Are there classified agencies using this information? What are the separate countries interest in the information of CERN as a contributor or observer?

Look, I really do not think Geneva is going to be sucked into a black hole. I don’t think we have that ability as of yet to screw up that bad. However, I do think we have the great ability to hurt or kill a great many people with what is or will be produced at the CERN facility.

I have a sudden image of a human body fused into the hull of  the USS Eldridge….wait, was that a movie?

—– Erik Sudberg

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About thetumultuoustimes

I am just a citizen of the world expressing opinions about a world that is in dire need of change.

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