In The Name of Science
As the use of technology and the information from it becomes increasingly more in demand, the question we now face is how far can we let technological experiments go until our own civilization may be in jeopardy?
On Wednesday, Sept.10, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, better known as CERN, launched its first successful test that involved their newest creation, the Large Hadron Collider, which is "the world's largest and highest-energy particle accelerator complex, [that] intended to collide opposing beams of protons [one of several types of hadrons] with very high kinetic energy."
The LHC is the largest particle accelerator in the world as it is contained in a circular tunnel, with a circumference of 27 kilometers (17 mi.), at a depth ranging from 50 to 175 meters underground. The LHC tunnel hides beneath the surface of the Franco-Swiss border in Europe. CERN, which began construction of the tunnel in 1983, successfully circulated its first beam of particles throughout the collider in different stages of three hours at a time on the morning of Sept. 10.
The first beam, that circulated in a clockwise motion and completed at around 10:30 a.m. was a bit different from the second beam, which circulated in a counter-clockwise motion and was successfully completed at around 3:00 p.m. of the same day. Although the first beam ran successfully and smoothly throughout its first run in the tunnel, published reports that indicated that the second beam had various complications and therefore took slightly longer to complete than the first beam.
The purpose of this test is to see if it can produce the obscure Higgs boson, which is "the last unobserved particle among those predicted by the Standard Model." The Standard Model is a theory of particle physics that describes the four known fundamental interactions among the elementary particles that make up all matter.
This search for the existence of the Higgs boson would shed light or answer the questions of the countless number of physicists as to how the mechanism of "electroweak symmetry breaking" works, through which the particles of the Standard Model are thought to acquire their mass.
Several detectors are used in the process to search for the Higgs boson amongst never ending amounts of particles that can be discovered and fully researched to steer forward the scientific world in a new direction.
These detectors lie within six different intersection points of the LHC. Each detector serves a different purpose in the search for additional answers in science. For instance, one of the six detectors, known as ALICE, will "study a liquid form of matter called quark-gluon plasma that existed shortly after the Big Bang," as described by the BBC. While another detector, ATLAS, which is referred to as a general-purpose detector, is designed to "look for signs of new physics, including the origins of mass and extra dimensions."
The criticism that has developed from all this research and studies of this new technology is that at any one point, something may go awry which can cause colossal amounts of damage to the world.
A number of scientists have been lead to believe that had this experiment taken a wrong turn, it would cause a huge gaping black hole that would swallow the Earth and destroy all of human kind. According to published reports, there have been several religious leaders who were quoting the bible and different quadrants written by the French Renaissance prophet, Nostradamus, on the internet. Regardless of whether or not these allegations or myths will come true, when do we draw the line and say enough is enough when experimenting with the lives of all the people in the known world?
Sure the advancement of science and newer technologies are always welcomed, but when do all of these experiments become too much, that they can endanger so many different things? Of course, everyone likes to play with the newest gadgets and gizmos on the market these days, but after a while, our need for the new drives us to search in places we are not accustomed to be in.
To date, this LHC experiment has cost over ?6 billion in Europe, which is the equivalent of about $9.3 billion USD.
As reported by several major news organizations, "David King, the former Chief Scientific Officer for the United Kingdom, has criticized the LHC for taking a higher priority for funds than solving the Earth's major challenges; principally climate change, but also population growth and poverty in Africa."
All this money spent on the developing and experimenting of the product has taken many years away from the same researchers who could be studying the reason or affects of the ozone layer in the Earth's atmosphere. They could be trying to figure out or develop something that can either stop or slow down Global Warming. Instead, what do they do? They spend time and money to discover the new theories of modern science.
All of that being said, instead of doing what you're doing, why not "about-face" your current project and continue researching into matters that mean the most to our society these days?
Reportedly, CERN recently announced that it suspended all further tests or experiments due to equipment failure with the LHC caused by "a faulty connection between two magnets [that] triggered a shutdown which will delay its operation for two months" and will subsequently continue its operations after the spring of 2009.
So all that money and development will be on hold until we get closer to the middle of next year?
Wow, now that's what they mean by a "new development!" Let's just hope that by this time next year, we will see a better outcome than what is currently being shown to the public.