Friday, September 12, 2008

The Large Hadron Collider has killed a young girl.

Actually the LHC didn't kill anyone. The irresponsible media did.

According to a variety of news reports, a 16 year old girl in India named Chaya killed herself prior to the activation of the Large Hadron Collider because she did not want to witness the destruction of the world. Over the last year or so, there has been a steady stream of crackpots and cranks who have tried to claim that the new particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider, could destroy the world or do other nasty things. There are many problems with this notion, including the fact that the energy levels of the particles being collided are of the same or smaller than the energy levels in normal cosmic rays which hit the Earth's atmosphere every day.

Throughout the world, this nonsense has received far more attention than it warrants. However, there has been particular hysteria in India where this idea has received much attention. Apparently, many people flocked to temples throughout India on Tuesday preparing for the end of the world.

What is the real lesson here? The Large Hadron Collider isn't dangerous. Poor reporting by dumb, lazy reporters is dangerous. Thanks to the general media's inability to report science accurately, a young lady has died. Chaya is dead and her family has lost a child. That's what happens when reporters engage in hysterical reporting. It isn't harmless. People suffer and die. In this case, bad reporting has led to the death of a child.

1 comment:

Golis said...

Personally, I would love to see research into miniature black holes. I think they are going to be the ultimate power source for humanity. They convert matter (any form of matter, fact) into heat energy via Hawkings radiation, and then we can use the heat to power generators the same way we currently do with coal, oil and nuclear reactors. Rather than have our trash take up landfills, we can stick it into mini black holes to provide us with energy 100 times more efficiently than fusion ever could.