Do Multiple Universes exist? Does there exist Parallel Worlds? What about Black Holes linking different levels of existence? Where can I get a Tribble?
Mind bending stuff for sure. The stuff of Science Fiction. Even trying to wrap your mind around these concepts can be difficult unless you are a scientist or perhaps a dedicated science fiction fan. If you don't know what E=MC2 means or cannot quote Captain Kirk in the second season of Star Trek, Episode #44
; then perhaps this is all going way over your head. Don't worry though, pretty soon the "Secrets of the Universe" will be taught in middle school and your kids or grandkids can explain it to you. If not, just wait for the condensed version, "Secrets Of The Universe For Dummies", that will soon be in a bookstore near you. I've already got an advance copy. It even comes with a Tribble.
Now, for those that want to boldly go where no man has gone before, the world's leading center for research into the origins of matter on Wednesday took a giant step toward completion of a 15-year project which scientists hope will unlock many secrets of the universe.
A huge magnet core, weighing 1,920 metric tons or the equivalent of five jumbo jets, was lowered into a vast cavern 100 meters below ground at the multinational center, CERN, on the Swiss-French border near Geneva. "We think this project is going to uncover things we cannot dream of at the moment," said Professor Jos Engelen, Chief Scientific Officer of CERN, the 26-nation European Organization for Nuclear Research.
Some of his colleagues say the experiment, smashing particles together at high speed in a Large Hadron Collider (LHC), may bring new knowledge such as the possible existence of multiple dimensions beyond the four of traditional physics (width, length, height and time).
Others speak, if cautiously, of venturing into realms long regarded as those of speculative science fiction; multiple universes, parallel worlds, black holes in space linking different levels of existence.
Apart from magnets and detectors, the focal element of the LHC is a 27-km channel circling through a wide underground tunnel along which particles will be forced in opposite directions at the speed of light to smash together.
The experiments are due to start up by the end of 2007 and be fully operational in mid-2008. Each collision will recreate conditions that existed just nanoseconds after the Big Bang (The Big Bang is a fireball of energetic radiation which scientists say happened some 15 billion years ago and brought the universe into existence).
By studying what happens to the particles, researchers believe they will gain knowledge of how the matter of the known universe, and perhaps unknown ones, was formed.
Now, I don't know about you, but the thought of being on Earth while someone is recreating the Big Bang seems a bit scary. What happens if a black hole opens up and swallows us? What is that old saying? Curiosity killed the cat.
Beam Me Up, Scotty!