Wednesday, 10 September 2008

And nearer to home

Well today the world stands with its collective fingers in its ears – waiting for the big bang! Out in CERN the scientists are going to throw the switch to turn on the super-cooled coils, looking for the pesky God Particle, you know the one that Higgs was convinced we needed to find to explain how the universe works.

So much hype and breast beating: “Today the World might end!” is dramatic fodder for the hungry news machines, a sound bite which fills the media void, fleetingly. And yet, today will be a whimper as the switch is flicked to on. Logically, any risk to the Universal fabric will come later, in the wee anonymous hours of some future date, when those massive coils have leached out enough heat to approach absolute zero, and the target particles have increased in velocity to get close enough to Einstein’s C.

Maybe there is a God Particle lurking amongst the charms and the quarks; but maybe we should allow for its opposite too. And if so, perhaps the devils within the atom should be allowed to remain at peace, undisturbed by inquisitive arrogance and the childish insistence of wanting to know.

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