I, for one, welcome our new extra-dimensional overlords!

So the Large Hadron Collider came online today, and has passed its first few tests without blowing up.  As a scientifically-minded individual, I’m amazed by the numbers of folks who are really, truly afraid that this device is going to somehow end the world.  I’m not even going to acknowledge any of these kooks with a link, but here’s a breakdown of their fears:

  • The LHC will spawn off a [microscopic] black hole that will consume the Earth.
  • It will create “strangelets” that will convert the Earth into a lump of dead, Strange matter.
  • It will somehow create a wormhole that could open extra-dimensional doors.  (sounds a bit like Half-Life!)
I must state for accuracy’s sake that each of these are – theoretically! – possible.  I might also state that it is theoretically possible that martians land on the National Mall in Washington DC tomorrow, or that our Sun will explode overnight… but the probability that any of these events will happen is so infinitessimally small that we would be foolish to let our irrational fears override our sensible explorations.

What WILL happen through operation of the LHC is an expansion of our understanding of elementary particles, quantum physics, space-time, special relativity, and the conditions in which our Universe was created.  We will further our species’ knowledge and capabilities.  The LHC will take us places that Einstein and Hawking could only dream about.  

However, just in case, I’m making a welcome banner for the brain-sucking, extra-dimensional beasties that might come through.  You can’t be too careful, you know?