Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Mankind's New Toy


I was wondering how our new Swiss Toy was managing a couple of hundred kilometers away from where I live in Geneva, so had a look at a couple of newspaper reports and was quite amused.

It seems that Geneva has not "yet" sunk into an endless hole in the ground and our CERN tunnel is still there. However, they did have a problem. A group of Greek computer hackers managed to infiltrate the CERN computer or as our national daily rag the "Blick" wrote

"Great applause last week: The LHC (large haldron collider) was switched on, a photon ray was sent on its way - the experiment begins. The start was a success, the researchers were satisfied. CERN was in everyone's vocabulary, CERN throughout the world.

However since this moment the evil tidings have accumulated. First of all a 16 year old Indian girl killed herself out of anxiety for the end of the world, after she had read a report about the developments at CERN.

Then there was a hacker attack on the information center - the hackers were even laughing at the scientists. The attack was on Wednesday, the day after the launch of the machine, although the invaders swore that they did not want to disturb the largest experiment in the history of science, they just wanted to expose the risks in the computer system. According to the CERN spokesman James Gillies the Hacker attack was immediately discovered and there was no damage, It seemed that it was just being shown that the system was not risk-free.

The next problem for the big bang investigators: The LHC had to be switched off! The last proton ray passed through at the week-end. It seems that an electricity problem caused a collapse of the cooling system. For further tests the coolant system is indispensable. For an acceleration of the Protons at the speed of light is a temperature of minus 271.3 degrees celsius necessary."

In other words we will have to wait a bit longer until the first black hole appears. Scientists say it is happening all the time in outer space. Black holes appear and disappear again regularly. What a relief to know that we are in good expensive capable hands? I have a programme on my computer called Astronomy Picture of the Day and if you take a look every day you will see that planets, stars and other such objects are colliding, exploding and disappearing all the time. If you happen to believe in life out there, then who knows, perhaps that life also discovered a LHC machine. On the other hand, we should not see it too much on a negative side. After all jobs have been created, we will know where we come from and will probably find out where we are going. And above all we have spent a lot of money for a good cause?

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