Tuesday, December 15, 2009

And we're still here!

For all last year's fuss when the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) was first turned on, its recent restart -- after some rework due to bad solder joints and a supercoolant leak -- has drawn comparatively little public notice. You may recall concerns (foolish concerns, I might add) that the LHC would create black holes that would swallow the Earth.

The LHC's new low profile is both good and bad. 

The good? The hysterics have found other things about which to obsess. The bad? In the wake of Climategate, science could use credit for doing something right.

In the short time since the LHC's restart last month, the new collider has:

  • Surpassed the record for highest energy particle beam.
  • Set the record for the highest energy particle collision.
  • Provided data for its first scientific paper.
And Earth is still here, black hole-free.  

I'm still hoping for a Higgs boson for Christmas. As my friend, science comedian Brian Malow, points out: you can't have mass without the Higgs.

No comments: