Life After 50
“LIFE AFTER 50” COLUMN
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Soon will we be able to shake hands with God, up close and personal, while we are still on earth?
As ridiculous as that sounds, physicists today are so excited about the “The God particle” discoveries and what their discoveries may portend, that one can imagine just about any scenario for the immediate future.
Many seniors like me in the winter of our years now find “The God particle” news intriguing. While we personally are on the edge of eternity ourselves, will this discovery finally explain the why of all matter?
Every day grandkids ask grandparents “How did the world begin? “Why do we have so many different people and animals? How did the world happen?” Now, perhaps, there may soon be some answers to help us out. Or not?
Always the pragmatist, I wondered, after reading a recent and fascinating article by Joel Achenbach of the Washington Post, is science on the brink of a world-wide discovery or will it through experimentation suck us all into a huge black hole and end the world?
Achenbach expertly broke down the science behind the “God Particle” and how its finding might impact all of us today. It’s still over my head. perhaps because I took only the required minimum science courses in college. Now Wil Shakespeare and I were great buddies. But Einstein? Never.
Yet these articles tease us with the possibility of finally being able to answer some universal questions that before had no answers, starting with what started matter sub-dividing and turning into, well, us?
Physics is heavy stuff. But Achenbach tried to clarify for us when he wrote:
“If you were to dig a hole 300 feet straight down from the center of the charming French village of Crozet, you’d pop into a setting that calls to mind the subterranean lair of one of those James Bond villains. A garishly lit tunnel ten feet in diameter curves away into the distance, interrupted every few miles by lofty chambers crammed with heavy steel structures, cables, pipes, wires, magnets, tubes, shafts, catwalks, and enigmatic gizmos…."
Going on he wrote, “A particle accelerator-an atomic peashooter more powerful than any ever built. It’s called the Large Hadron Collider, and its purpose is simple but ambitious: to crack the code of the physical world; to figure out what the universe is made of; in other words, to get to the very bottom of things.
“If all goes right, matter will be transformed by the violent collisions into wads of energy, which will in turn condense back into various intriguing types of particles, some of them never seen before. That’s the essence of experimental particle physics: You smash stuff together and see what other stuff comes out.”
Can’t hardly wait. Can you?
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For WMKV 89.3 FM this is Alice Hornbaker.
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