Weekday Squib: When those hadrons finally collide

Six pints of bitter. And quickly, please because the world’s about to end.

Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun. Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-two million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea. This planet has—or rather had—a problem, which was this: most of the people on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn’t the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.

And so the problem remained; lots of the people were mean, and most of them were miserable, even the ones with digital watches. Many were increasingly of the opinion that they’d all made a big mistake in coming down from the trees in the first place. And some said that even the trees had been a bad move, and that no one should ever have left the oceans. And then, one Thursday, nearly two thousand years after one man had been nailed to a tree for saying how great it would be to be nice to people for a change, one girl sitting on her own in a small cafe in Rickmansworth suddenly realized what it was that had been going wrong all this time, and she finally knew how the world could be made a good and happy place. This time it was right, it would work, and no one would have to get nailed to anything. Sadly, however, before she could get to a phone to tell anyone about it, a terribly stupid catastrophe occurred, and the idea was lost forever. [Prologue, H2G2]

No Vogon spaceships, but hadrons are about to collide…and it’s not even a Thursday. “It’s at times like this…that I really wish I’d listened to what my mother told me when I was young.”

Update: It’s been turned on. But the hadrons haven’t collided yet. “Over the next few weeks, as the LHC’s operators gain experience and confidence with the new machine, the machine’s acceleration systems will be brought into play, and the beams will be brought into collision to allow the research programme to begin.”

12 thoughts on “Weekday Squib: When those hadrons finally collide”

  1. God, when I read the heading, I read it as “large hardons collide” and it took me a while to read it all over again and get the right meaning. Boy, that was a shocker. 🙂

  2. As this blog is rated for general readers, and not even PG, I shall refrain from answering the questions by SumneNeeve and Udayan. 🙂

    Ranjith—I don’t know. As I said, I wish I had listened to what my mother had told me when I was young. (But seriously, thanks for slap on the wrists. Large collider it must be. Appropriate changes made. Hadrons are large particles, but not quite sure there are large hadrons. Readers with expertise in modern physics are invited to clarify.)

  3. No seriously, if the planet is really destroyed, and nobody blogs it, how will we know it’s all over?

  4. Nitin,
    You will need the pints when you are face to face with God not Gods, and that too an angry, jealous God; the God of Abraham, Moses and Muhammad not Amarnath, Manohar and Murli.
    As for me, I have decided to finally heed the advice of my high school headmaster, Father John Ray who, during our numerous unscheduled one on one meetings in his office would tell me: Repent you little heathen, repent before it’s too late

  5. “It’s at times like this…that I really wish I’d listened to what my mother told me when I was young.”

    That reminds me of “mujhko yahin hai sach kehti thi, jo bhi aami kehti thi / jab mere bachpan ke din the, chan mein pariyan rehti thi”

  6. BOK,

    A pint too many?

    Shouldn’t it be Mujhko yaad hai sach kehti thi, jo bhi ammi kehti thi/jab mere bachpan ke din they, chand mein pariyan rehti thi

  7. No, that was just early morning caffeine deficiency. But it is definitely “yakin”, and not “yaad”. You can see a (poor quality) video here.

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