Well, it seems that next month we will finally find out if a black hole in Switzerland will eat our planet. I sure hope not, I’ve got tickets to Cake that I really don’t want to waste.
In case you haven’t been following this closely (just as I haven’t been) the CERN lab in Geneva, Switzerland is going to run experiments to recreate conditions that were similar to the “big bang.” They are searching for the Higgs Boson… the only elementary particle that remains unobserved… Quarks? Check! Leptons? Check! W and Z Bosons? Check and Check! Higgs Boson… not quite yet…
But why is this important? Well, because without the Higgs Boson (a part of the Higgs Mechanism), the Standard Model of particle physics can’t account for mass… and I’d say that’s pretty important in a world as massive as ours. An article over at Physics World puts it this way…
The Higgs mechanism is an essential part of the Standard Model. Without it the quarks and leptons – and also the W and Z bosons – would all be massless and the world as we know it could not exist.
Now for the controversy.
It seems that a couple of folks here in the U.S. are trying to sue CERN to prevent the experiments from happening. They are worried that the experiment will give birth to a black hole, or more precisely a strangelet, that will destroy the earth. Scientists, however, find that scenario “very unlikely.”
So, you know, I’m not gonna sell my Cake tickets on eBay — I’m just gonna sit back and show my support for the Standard Model of particle physics by diligently reading the news from CERN… every few days or so.