A 1-in-1,000 Chance of Götterdämmerung -- Reason Online
Will the world come to an end on September 10? That fear is motivating two lawsuits—one American, another European—that aim to stop the physicists at the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN) from switching on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) on that day. The LHC is a $10 billion 17-mile long particle accelerator lying in a circular tunnel beneath the border of France and Switzerland. Its massive superconducting magnets cooled with liquid helium accelerate two beams of protons and lead nuclei to nearly the speed of light. These particle beams will eventually be crashed into each other to produce temperatures and particles not seen since microseconds after the Big Bang 13.7 billion years ago.
One of the chief goals of the LHC experiments is to find the elusive Higgs boson, the only fundamental particle predicted by the Standard Model of particle physics that has not been directly observed. The Higgs boson plays a key role in explaining the origins of mass in other elementary particles. Exciting, if esoteric research, to be sure, but why oppose it?
Read more ....