Very (very) Fast Collisions: Recreating the Big Bang

The mad scientists at Geneva’s CERN will be running an experiment tomorrow in the Large Hadron Collider which begins an effort ever to shed some light on the fundamentals of the universe.  The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) will fire particles around its 17-mile tunnel. It will then smash protons — one of the building blocks of matter — into each other at energies up to seven times greater than any achieved before.   As I undertand it, scientists are hoping to reveal why most sub-atomic particles have mass (probably signalled by the appearance of something called the Higgs particle),  reveal why nature prefers matter over anti-matter, and maybe even overturn the Standard Model, a collection of theories that embodies all of our current understanding of fundamental particles and forces.  Cool.  I wonder if this will have any philosophical consequences, I’m especially thinking of the correlationist/anti-correlationist distinction Meillassoux draws in After Finitude (see here).  Hopefully, the LHC won’t create a black hole that will suck up the world as we know it.  Anyway, if it works as planned there will be some rather exciting things to talk about.  The Telegraph has a nice article about the experiment (see here).  Here’s some science smarties commenting (also from the Telegraph): Continue reading