Large Hadron Collider: Rumours and Fact

Its 9.30 am in the morning. I am forcing myself to read the last bit of material of energy conservation opportunities in boiler design when suddenly the phone rings. Maa picks it up. She talks for a while and then asks me “Did you know they are going to make a big bang today in a few hours?”

I am like “What?!”

“And that there is possibility that the world is going to end?”

I am still stuck on “What?!”

“Ya its on the TV and someone called and told me.”

I turn on the TV.

It turns out that the scientists at CERN are going to enter the first proton beam into the Large Hadron Collider. Wiki article here.

Fortunately, for once the ‘News Channels’ are quashing the rumours and not adding more fule to the fire.

Coz poeple believe rumours like – “There is going to be a tsunami”

I mean even if the 1:5 zillion (thats what I figured are the chances of going wrong are) probability came true, believe me, it would not lead to a tsunami.

Another rumour – “A big hole will be created (on earth) and the whole universe and the whole universe is going to collapse in it”. I was like “COME ON, not that bad!” Does the speaker have any idea about how blackholes are formed. And that millions may exist in the Known universe. And just how infintely large and mind-bogglingly expansive it is?

Then there are words screamed like “mahaprakop” (Great wrath of God) and “mahapralay” (Great Flood which will sink the entire earth) which are totally out of the reference.

From what I could gather with my limited knowledge of nuclear physics is that CERN had just introduced a proton beam into the collider, for testing. And it was successful. The high energy collisions are due to start after 21st October Thus, even if the fears are granted (very very hypothetically), still why today??!!?!

The LHC is the largest laboratory and the most expensive experiment till date. The accelerator has a course of about 27km containing 900o magnets! And protons are accelerated to 99.9999991% of speed of light.

Inside the LHC -(All you need to know awesome video!)

It is to search for a sub-proton particle –  the Higgs boson which is considered to be the Holy Grail of the physicists. (sorry for the pick-up from Wiki, its so beautifully framed). It will help in proving the Grand Unified theory which brings  three of the four fundamental forces – the EM force and the weak and strong Nu force, together at extremely high energies. To achieve this, the LHC will simulate conditions present in the early stages(~t<10^-60s) of the Big Bang when separation of the forces was yet to occur. It searches to explain why gravity is such a weak force and why is it so separate from the other forces. Also its the first step to the “Theory of Everything”! (A nice kaliedoscope anyway!)

Take a look


Fundamentals of Superstring Theory


I have totally lost faith in the fact that “science/education has liberated us from superstition”. People are so insecure that they easily fall prey to such rumors. I met atleast a dozen faces scoffing at the rumors with a bit of hesitance. And perhaps a sort of guilt conscious looms over such God fearing people, so that they are in the constant fear that a misfortune awaits them.

Just a fortnight back on the eve of the lunar eclipse, there was a huge commotion in the settlements near my house. All night there was shouting and commotion. The next day I read in the newspaper that someone had spread the rumor that if you sleep on the eve of the eclipse, you would die in your sleep. And innocent people believed that. The most saddening were that of the small children who were beaten and kept awake.

Again, I am completely appalled at such people. And if educated graduates and post graduates believe such things what about the illiterate ones?

If you want to know what is wrong or what can lead to a global catastrophe, you just have to look into a Mirror.

Neway, my morning was the most entertaining, laughing at one rumor after the next!

Another thing that added to my entertainment was a program called “Tin Deviyan” (Three Goddess’). But that is a post for tomo.

And a necessary disclaimer: “Nothing is wrong with the LHC or CERN or any eclipse. Its science”



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2 Comments »

  1. […] The reason for writing this post is because certain incidents in the recent past have started to exhibit this much feared trend of increased stupidity. With the announcement of initialization of Hadron Collider Big Bang experiment, the reactions of people were as stupid as of the future people in Idiocracy. Some theories are listed by Avnish here […]

  2. mohit115 said

    Yes, I did watch the 1 hr news feature on India Tv for this, it was hilarious the way they were portraying it to end the world. I think news channels like these should be banned.

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