Posted by Big Gav
Off topic but entertaining - The Times has an article on a strange series of setbacks suffered by the large hadron collider at CERN - Large Hadron Collider Sabotaging Itself from the Future?.
Explosions, scientists arrested for alleged terrorism, mysterious breakdowns — recently Cern’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has begun to look like the world’s most ill-fated experiment.
Is it really nothing more than bad luck or is there something weirder at work? Such speculation generally belongs to the lunatic fringe, but serious scientists have begun to suggest that the frequency of Cern’s accidents and problems is far more than a coincidence.
The LHC, they suggest, may be sabotaging itself from the future — twisting time to generate a series of scientific setbacks that will prevent the machine fulfilling its destiny.
At first sight, this theory fits comfortably into the crackpot tradition linking the start-up of the LHC with terrible disasters. The best known is that the £3 billion particle accelerator might trigger a black hole capable of swallowing the Earth when it gets going. Scientists enjoy laughing at this one.
This time, however, their ridicule has been rather muted — because the time travel idea has come from two distinguished physicists who have backed it with rigorous mathematics.
What Holger Bech Nielsen, of the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen, and Masao Ninomiya of the Yukawa Institute for Theoretical Physics in Kyoto, are suggesting is that the Higgs boson, the particle that physicists hope to produce with the collider, might be “abhorrent to nature”.
What does that mean? According to Nielsen, it means that the creation of the boson at some point in the future would then ripple backwards through time to put a stop to whatever it was that had created it in the first place.