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The Large Hadron Collider Turns on Today
September 10, 2008 - Wednesday
It's a pretty exciting day in the world of physics (and for all humanity, in my humble opinion) because the Large Hadron Collider (or LHC) turns on today. The LHC is the world's largest particle accelerator and is located underneath the Franco-Swiss border. It's main purpose is to collide protons to learn about fundamental particle physics. The Standard Model of particle physics has been one the most successful scientific theories ever for almost 40 years, but there remain many unanswered questions about it. The experiments at the LHC will be the best chance yet to test the Standard Model, including perhaps finding the so-called Higgs Boson, which is thought to be responsible for giving all other particles mass, but has never been observed. If you're interested, there is a live webcast of the LHC turning on as well.
As many of you are aware, there's been some discussion that a mini black hole formed by the LHC could have dangerous consequences for the Earth. But like most fear mongering in the popular media, there is no substance behind it. So feel free to rest easy tonight with the knowledge that the Earth will not be destroyed by a bunch of mad scientists (yet).
Finally what better way to celebrate the LHC than a bunch of white people rapping?!