Are We Alone: LHC doomed from the future?

The entire universe in blog form
Oct. 26 2009 12:13 PM

Are We Alone: LHC doomed from the future?

The SETI Institute's latest episode of the podcast Are We Alone is now up, and I talk with Seth Shostak about the idea that somehow, forces unknown (God? The Universe Itself? The Doctor? Tony Newman and Doug Phillips?) have tried to sabotage the Large Hadron Collider... from the future!

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Personally, I'm not buying it, but it's an interesting idea. The authors of a published study say that we should perform some sort of experiment before turning the LHC on to see if someone from the future is trying to contact us. But I have a better idea: let's turn the LHC on and see if it works. If it does, then we're done with this idea. And if it doesn't, hand me my sonic screwdriver. There's work to do!

[Edited to add: Well, the folks at CERN have been injecting particles into the LHC stream since Friday. They'll be ramping it up to full speed in the coming weeks, so we'll know soon enough about all this!]

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death from the Skies!