2 September 2008

The End Might be Nigh – 8 Days to Go

Those of you with a nervous disposition should not read this blog. It’s about the possible end of the world.

Quite a few years ago I was asked to do a sales call on a Dr Schwarzer in Geneva. Although I was based in London my job entailed working across Europe so I was used to cavorting round Europe’s capitals with my briefcase talking to potential clients with strange accents, but this was odd – a single sales call in Geneva ! My boss must've thought it important. It was all rather last minute too so I couldn’t do any research into the organisation, not that it mattered that much as the work we did then transcended all types of industries and organisations however, it might have been useful to understand what CERN did.

Dr Schwarzer was charm personified. He asked me if I knew what CERN was involved in and I apologised for not knowing. He then asked me what I knew about particle physics and this may surprise you, but I knew diddly squat other than it was to do with atoms and that sort of stuff. My view was that if I had known about particle physics I wouldn’t be strolling round Europe asking them if they wanted ‘any BT today’ ? Would I ?

He gave me a brochure which I put in my briefcase, said the project was still a bit hush-hush but it involved transferring huge amounts of data around Europe and across the world. We talked a bit, but it was clear that BT could not help him, so we said our goodbyes and off I went. I read the brochure (it was a guide to CERN) on my way back to London and have had a passing interest in CERN to this day.

Basically, the Centre for Research Nuclear, CERN, have built one of the world’s longest underground tunnels. It’s 17 miles long and forms a perfect circle 300 feet underneath the surface. In this tunnel is a particle accelerator which will fire atomic particles in different directions around its 17 mile circumference, 11,245 times every second before smashing them headlong into each other. Basically, it’s just a lot of magnets in a ring making other magnets (in this case atomic particles or very small bits of matter) move because of their polarity differences. It’s a similar concept to one of those driverless trains you get at Gatwick or Stansted only they're quite a bit slower. Once the particles crash, the result will, for a split second, replicate the conditions that existed in the moments immediately after the birth of the universe, known as the Big Bang. In a space a billion times smaller than a speck of dust, the collisions will create temperatures 100,000 times hotter than the centre of the sun.

Now all this might have already sent you to sleep but I would urge you to wake up because some scientists, not hippys or New Age cookies, but some eminent scientists are trying to slap lawsuits on CERN to stop the experiment, which after some 25 years of building and tens of billions of pounds, is about to take place on the 10th September. The reason for their disquiet is that these scientists think that the collision of the sub-atomic particles (bits of dust) will create a black hole and that the world will be sucked into itself.

Now if you cant get your head round this concept think of the saying, ‘disappear up his own backside’. That is exactly what these guys are saying. The world will simply disappear into itself. Never to be seen again. Everything we know and see will just disappear, basically in a cloud of dust. Not that we'll see it - we'll all be in the black hole !

So, on the 9th September I urge you all to have one big party. Do something you’ve always wanted to do and forget the consequences cause if some people are correct, it wont matter, if you’ll forgive the pun.

Here is the website for CERN. Have a look at it whilst it still exists ! The picture at the top is a …….Black Hole !

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