Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Last day?

Wife has gone to the UK today, leaving Dog and I to our own rather laid back devices. I was sad to see her go, but she is performing some necessary familial duties to do with younger and older generations, which must be taken care of and cannot be done remotely. Bit of a sniffy goodbye before I waved her Seaplane flight off from the dock, and Wife has promised that she will be back in two weeks, though hell and UK immigration should bar the way. She has her permission to remain in Canada, which we hope one day to translate into citizenship. We both have close family who are full citizens, and want to contribute to a country with a real future.

Notwithstanding, according to some sources the end of the world occurs tomorrow when the Large Hadron Collider is put through it's paces for the first time. I say not, and with good reasons, which are based on the principle that a Nuclear power station cannot explode like an Nuclear warhead. Incidentally, before anyone yells "Chernobyl" or "Three Mile Island", check your facts. Neither were anywhere near a nuclear detonation like Hiroshima.

My point is this; a nuclear bomb may use Uranium and Plutonium, but it is a very different animal from a Nuclear Power station. Just because they both utilise Nuclear fission does not make them the same.

Think if you will of Rutherfords first atom splitting device. Did that cause the end of the world just before World War 1? Obviously not, as we are all still here. The LHC, for all it's size and sophistication is about at that stage. We are at the point where it's all about testing theories and looking for exotic particles which might prove or disprove the relevant postulations. Even if the odd superconducting magnet explodes because someone got their sums wrong. As Dr Stephen Hawking has rightly pointed out, there is a long way to go before we have any chance of creating 'Black holes' on Earth.

I am no nuclear physicist, but I do understand the difference between an experiment to identify exotic matter and a weapon system. The LHC might suffer an 'incident' and stop working, but the world will not end as a result. That is just sensationalist garbage, and those who believe the 'end of days' predictions are bigger fools than I could ever be.

On the other hand, if I'm wrong and the world does get enveloped by a black hole created by the LHC, you can say "I told you so". I can take the criticism.

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