Disaster at CERN

I’ve eagerly been following the construction of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN on the border of France and Switzerland. LHC is the largest particle accelerator endeavor ever undertaken at a cost of over a billion dollars. It will probe more deeply into the subatomic world than humanity ever has before. And it has just suffered a large setback.

The nature of the setback itself isn’t so important to me. Yes, it does illustrate some pretty horrifying mathematical errors, but any other less egregious error of the same magnitude would have had the same effects. Nobody was killed, but let’s be honest; on a research project with over 7,000 attending scientists, and billions of dollars and potential knowledge of the very inner workings of the universe at stake, a few deaths can’t get in the way. A few deaths certainly didn’t stop the United States’ space program, nor should they have.

No, what I am really worried about is the delay. LHC was supposed to come online later this year. Now it’s going to be delayed by probably another half year, at least. This is actually personally upsetting to me. I’ve really been following this project, and I’ve eagerly been awaiting the first preliminary results. I’m not really a physics guy (not by training, at least), but I do understand the enormous potential particle physics has to explain the world around us, and I crave that deep knowledge. Now that satisfaction is put off for a bit because of some stupid, totally preventable, mistakes. It’s annoying as hell.

2 Responses to “Disaster at CERN”

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