Daily Archives: October 14th, 2009

The Large Hadron Collider and Time Travel Revisited

Remember the Large Hadron Collider? A particle accelerator built many miles underground near Geneva, Switzerland that was supposed to divine the nature of the Higgs Boson, otherwise known as ‘The God Particle?’

Well, after destroying a section of itself last year after it became operational, it’s slated to restart in December of this year and folks, it’s not really certain that it’ll run at all.

You see, something from the future might be coming to this time and stopping it from running:

More than a year after an explosion of sparks, soot and frigid helium shut it down, the world’s biggest and most expensive physics experiment, known as the Large Hadron Collider, is poised to start up again. In December, if all goes well, protons will start smashing together in an underground racetrack outside Geneva in a search for forces and particles that reigned during the first trillionth of a second of the Big Bang.

Then it will be time to test one of the most bizarre and revolutionary theories in science. I’m not talking about extra dimensions of space-time, dark matter or even black holes that eat the Earth. No, I’m talking about the notion that the troubled collider is being sabotaged by its own future. A pair of otherwise distinguished physicists have suggested that the hypothesized Higgs boson, which physicists hope to produce with the collider, might be so abhorrent to nature that its creation would ripple backward through time and stop the collider before it could make one, like a time traveler who goes back in time to kill his grandfather.

Holger Bech Nielsen, of the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen, and Masao Ninomiya of the Yukawa Institute for Theoretical Physics in Kyoto, Japan, put this idea forward in a series of papers with titles like “Test of Effect From Future in Large Hadron Collider: a Proposal” and “Search for Future Influence From LHC,” posted on the physics Web site arXiv.org in the last year and a half.

According to the so-called Standard Model that rules almost all physics, the Higgs is responsible for imbuing other elementary particles with mass.

Isn’t that something? Even mainstream physicists think that there might be something more than just run-of-the-mill bad luck is jinxing the LHC!

Well, I wouldn’t necessarily classify quantum physicists as mainstream, their work is considered more esoteric and considers ‘spooky’ action at a distance as ordinary in their world.

And if one thinks about it, technically there is no ‘past’, ‘present’ or ‘future’, just a big “now!”

Yeah, there’s that entropy thing, but even that isn’t a sure thing in the quantum Universe.

So is the LHC permanently snake-bit?

Take a gander at Nielsen and Ninomiya’s paper and judge for yourself.

The Collider, the Particle and a Theory About Fate

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