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Higgs Boson May be Killing its Own Grandfather

The troubled Large Hadron Collider is scheduled to start up again in December, nearly a year after a series of malfunctions shut it down. The LHC restart may again be plagued with malfunctions according to (as this NY Times article puts it) “a pair of otherwise distinguished physicists.” They hypothesize that the Higgs boson, which researchers are hoping 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.

I’m potentially okay with that notion so far, but then they start imbuing the particles with some sort of intelligence.

This malign influence from the future, they argue, could explain why the United States Superconducting Supercollider, also designed to find the Higgs, was canceled in 1993 after billions of dollars had already been spent, an event so unlikely that Dr. Nielsen calls it an “anti-miracle.”

I can maybe see some sort of physical ripple from the future to the past. I’m not so much down with Higgs bosons popping into existence and then retroactively influencing budget appropriations.

I do sort of like using it as an excuse for failure, though. “The massively-expensive LHC doesn’t work as expected because it’s being sabotaged from the future,” sounds kind of awesome. I may start blaming Higgs bosons for anything that goes wrong (right now I blame the elves).

Posted in Science October 16th, 2009 by Chip
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