by Dennis Overbye
In December, if all goes well, protons will smash 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 - the notion that the troubled collider is being sabotaged by its own future.
A pair of distinguished Danish and Japanese physicists have suggested that the hypothesised Higgs boson, which is supposed to imbue elementary particles with matter and 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 traveller 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, put forward this idea in a series of papers posted on the physics website arXiv.org in the past 18 months in an attempt to explain why everything seems to be going wrong with the Large Hadron Collider, built by the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN).
This malign influence from the future, they argue, could explain why the US Superconducting Super Collider, also designed to find the Higgs, was cancelled in 1993 after billions of dollars had already been spent, an event so unlikely that Nielsen calls it an ''anti-miracle''.
''It must be our prediction that all Higgs-producing machines shall have bad luck,'' Professor Nielsen said.
Professors Nielsen and Ninomiya started laying out their case for doom in the first half of 2008. Later that year, after the CERN collider was turned on, a connection between two magnets vapourised, shutting down the collider for more than a year.
Professor Nielsen agreed that scepticism was in order. After all, most big science projects, including the Hubble Space Telescope, have had a period of seeming jinxed. At CERN, the beat goes on. Last weekend the French police arrested a particle physicist who works on one of the collider experiments, on suspicion of conspiracy with a North African wing of al-Qaeda.
Professors Nielsen and Ninomiya have proposed a kind of test: that CERN engage in a game of chance, a ''card-drawing'' exercise using perhaps a random-number generator, in order to discern bad luck from the future. If the outcome was sufficiently unlikely, say drawing the one spade in a deck with 100 million hearts, the machine would either not run at all, or only at low energies unlikely to find the Higgs.
Yes, it's crazy, and CERN is not about to mortgage its investment on a coin toss.
As Niels Bohr, Professor Nielsen's late countryman and one of the founders of quantum theory, once told a colleague: ''We are all agreed that your theory is crazy. The question that divides us is whether it is crazy enough to have a chance of being correct.''
Copyright The New York Times October 17 2009
New Illuminati comments: Like the pointless noise surrounding the failed technology of fission reactors, devices which seek to exploit the energies of nonexistent processes based on superannuated and erroneous assumptions - like theories about the nonexistent Big Bang - cannot hope to succeed. Matter and energy are continually accreting into this plenum from other dimensions and ideas which are attuned to this concept – not mistaken notions like ‘dark energy’, ‘nuclear suns’ and ‘creation events’ – can lead us into a world of limitless energy and freely available power.
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