Notes on the switching on of the LHC

The LHC is the Large Hadron Collider, a big circular tunnel under Switzerland (and a bit of France) full of expensive electronic equipment which scientists are going to switch on tomorrow – meaning that the universe is going to end and we’re all going to die. Possibly, anyway. If things do go wrong, then Jacob Zuma may never get his day in court. Poor bugger – he’s been waiting ages!

Look, everyone’s going to be blogging about this tonight and tomorrow, so I won’t waste too much of your (increasingly) valuable time. But just to explain:

Two beams of subatomic particles called ‘hadrons’ – either protons or lead ions – will travel in opposite directions inside the circular accelerator, gaining energy with every lap. Physicists will use the LHC to recreate the conditions just after the Big Bang, by colliding the two beams head-on at very high energy.

To me it sounds like a whole lot of fun. Although if the British hadron overtakes the Finnish hadron on the chicane, it will probably be disqualified.
But anyway, I’ve checked and discovered that if they do accidentally create little black holes which suck the entire galaxy into a point of singularity (or whatever), my mortgage is covered. Happy days.

So if this is goodbye, then goodbye. And thanks for reading. I’ll leave you with some very sound advice:

I can just see that this is going to be a very productive day…