Super-colliding? Science Can Be So Violent!
You are, of course, following mankind’s approach ever closer (later this summer–signs and wonders from a former solar system near you!) to the answer to Life, The Universe and Everything? CERN’s Large Hadron Collider is set to rev up (to some very large percentage of the speed of light) and do unspeakable things to perfectly normal, peace loving, matter-making protons. And then what? One non-scientist humorist asks if there are better ways to get answers.
(Or if you really want the full straight scoop on what’s about to happen and why, this LA Times article is about as complete and comprehensible as a non-physics-major can handle or should need. All jocularity aside, this is a Big (Bang) Deal, kiddos–the largest and most expensive Dr. Science Chemistry Set in the history of Life, the Universe, and–well, you know.)
The whole colliding thing just seems like such a violent way of solving universal mysteries. If the proton actually does know some answers, aren’t there better ways to get them to reveal them to us? Such as:
The SuperDistractor: An underground entertainment center designed specifically with the uptight proton in mind. PlayStation, plasma screen, foosball, pool table, trampoline, high speed Internet – when the proton is embroiled in a game of Donkey Kong, it’s bound to blurt out the secret of the universe without even knowing it.
The SuperRelaxer: Like a proton spa – hot tub, sauna, lap pool, hookah. Who’s to say that a couple of protons weren’t just chilling one day and decided, hey, wouldn’t it be kinda cool to get together and form, like, a universe? Groovy. The SuperRelaxer could simulate these circumstances and allow scientists to do whatever it is that scientists do while it happened – take notes and get grants and stuff.
Waterboarding: Maybe a bit of gentle “encouragement” is all that’s needed to get the stubborn, tight-lipped proton to reveal the secret plans of the universe. True, information gathered under such circumstances is not reliable, but it is a bit more humane than colliding.
If you know the answers to any of my questions, please don’t tell me. It’ll ruin the bliss.