Thursday, January 21, 2016

The End of Physics As We Know It...?

Perhaps, things are looking up!

"The stakes now could not be higher. This summer, the LHC began its second phase of operation with an energy almost double what we achieved in the first run. What particle physicists are all desperately hoping for are signs of new particles, micro black holes, or maybe something totally unexpected emerging from the violent collisions at the Large Hadron Collider. If so, then we can continue this long journey that began 100 years ago with Albert Einstein towards an ever deeper understanding of the laws of nature.

But if, in two or three years' time, when the LHC switches off again for a second long shutdown, we've found nothing but the Higgs boson, then we may be entering a new era in physics: an era where there are weird features of the universe that we cannot explain; an era where we have hints that we live in a multiverse that lies frustratingly forever beyond our reach; an era where we will never be able to answer the question, "Why is there something rather than nothing?"

- Harry Cliff, from the TED Talk interactive transcript.


Okay, call me optimistic (or stupidly hopeful), but for a transdimensionalist, this is actually good news.

I came upon the above article earlier in the week, but, for obvious reasons (see previous 2 posts), wasn't up to posting any notice about it. Meanwhile, Paul Kimball beat me to it, and posted the TED video here.

While there isn't anything new about a physicist's inability to answer The Big Question, what is new is the admission that there might be a vastly unknowable X-Factor involved.

Might there be a ghost in the machine, after all?

We do so love a good ghost story! ;-)

The mandala of the Hadron Collider


  1. Thanks for the links to the CERN restart. I am writing a story now about what they DO find when they find it.

    1. Yes, I imagine there's a tremendous sci-fi potential there... as in, what strange, dangerous particles might be unleashed upon the world?

      Personally, I prefer the alternative scenario... in which tremendously new ideas are unleashed upon the world.

    2. ... which is not to say a stellar mash-up between the two scenarios isn't possible!;-)