Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Dark Matter: Big BOOM or Big conCERN

I thought, since the kidlets are back in school, that I'd throw an extra blog day in. Welcome to the first edition of

TUESDAY... In the News

Have you heard about the underground, 27 kilometer atom smasher they built on the France-Swiss border? (besides you, TL)
CERN's (that's the European Union of Nuclear Research) 4 billion dollar project, involving scientists from 80 or so countries, began in 2003 and is scheduled to crank up this week.

And yup... as with any scientific explorations, the usual camps are divided into "OMG - this is the coolest thing EVER and will help explain the big bang theory, anti matter, and the behaviour of quarks and gluons!!!" and "OMG - this is the end of the world!! Prepare to be sucked into a giant black hoooooooooole!"

My knowledge of general science is perhaps a wee smidge better than the average bear, but I'm no rocket scientist. I'm not even the assistant to the assistant of the rocket scientist's dog walker. So though I 'get it' -- I understand what protons, neutrons and electrons are... this Large Hadron Collider had me a little mystified too, until I watched this funky little rap by 23 year old AlpineKat (aka Kate McAlpine, US scientist working at CERN). She sums it up beautifully, with subtitles!

Check it out...

For some reason, the comment option has disappeared from this post!! (thanks, Julia, for pointing that out)
All the correct boxes are checked in Blogger's post options, so I can only conclude that the comment option has been sucked into the Hadron Collider's black hole...


Amy Ruttan said...


That's awesome.

Thomma Lyn said...

Oooh, I'm excited about the great big atom smasher! :-DDD But as excited as I am, I'm sure you know it can't compare to how excited Romilly (OR) would be. :-D

Leah Braemel said...

Just showed it to Gizmo Guy, she did a great job - even made it rhyme.

The whole thing reminds me of the arguments they had over testing the first atom bomb - they didn't know if it was going to start a chain reaction and set the whole atmosphere on fire.

Great blog! (Where on earth did you find this video?)

Wylie Kinson said...

TL - Oh yes, Romilly would LOVE that Smasher!!

Leah - thanks :)
The video was mentioned in some news story so I searched it out on youtube. I thought it was fabulous!

Nicholas said...

Very well put, though I could have understood it just as easily if it had been the spoken word rather than chanted doggerel. I've read a few times about people saying this will cause the universe to implode, or something similar, mainly from ignorant people and from scientists pissed off that they aren't involved.

Every scientific advance you can think of has come up against resistance from alarmists, religious people and just plain loonies (eg: it was predicted that two trains passing in a tunnel would cause all the passengers to be sucked out of the carriage windows)