A couple of weeks ago something very significant happened in the scientific community. The Large Hadron Collider went online allowing scientist to study things that have only been theorized before. There has been a lot of fear about the LHC though. So much so, that some girl in India killed herself rather than be destroyed by it. What's so scary? Well, I'll tell you.
The purpose of the LHC (according to CERN - the people who built it) is this:
To smash protons moving at 99.999999% of the speed of light into each other and so recreate conditions a fraction of a second after the big bang.
Sounds academic enough, until you realize what the conditions after the Big Bang were like. If you know any physics at all, you probably know the Law of the Conservation of Matter. That is that matter can neither be created nor destroyed. Well, it's not entirely true when we're talking about the big bang. To understand what happened think about this: The number 0 means nothing right? That's what there was before the big bang: 0. But this also equals 0: 1 + -1, or 1zillion + -1zillion. When the big bang happened, that 0 was torn into 2 halves. Suddenly there was all the matter in the universe (1) as well as an equal amount of antimatter (-1). So we instantly get everything from nothing. This splitting of nothing into something released an unimaginable amount of energy. In fact, just 10 to the -43 (thats "point" followed by 43 zeros and a 1) seconds after the big bang, the temperature was 10 to the 34 (1 with 34 zeros after it)degrees Kelvin (imagine Celsius if it's easier, there's only about a 273 degree difference).
So with temperatures that hot, will the earth just incinerate?
The other big fear is that scientists think they will be able to create a black hole. Yeah, that's right. The thing that is so dense that even light can't escape it's gravity. The thing that sucks everything into it never to escape. At least if they do make make a black hole, France will be the first to be sucked in.
One more fear. Did you ever read "Angels and Demons" by Dan Brown? Remember how it all started when someone stole the antimatter from CERN (yes the same people who are behind the LHC), and it was going to cause an annihilation? Well, the LHC is expected to make antimatter too (remember: 0 = 1 + -1). That antimatter will surely meet matter and you have the big bang in reverse - with a huge amount of energy being released.
The only reason I bothered to explain all this, is to share a website with you. You can go to this site to see if the LHC has destroyed the world yet. It's real scientific. They actually have a program on the web site to see if the world has been destroyed, and they have a warranty - just in case the world ends and they failed to update the site.
In related news, I was eating pot stickers the other night. We eat them often and love them. As I was thinking about how much I loved them, I suddenly found myself wondering why we love them. There are so many reasons why I shouldn't.
They smell horrible. For hours after cooking them, the house smells like a poopy diaper. It's even worse when that smell comes out of your mouth when you burp!
They look and fee like slugs! I can't help thinking of Ron Weasley puking up slugs in "The Chaber of Secrets" when his broken wand backfires on him!
The insides look like an owl pellet. You know, owls swallow their prey whole, then puke up the fur and bones that they couldn't digest in the form of a pellet.
Despite all that I still love pot stickers.