Crab Nebula gamma emissions and the Large Hadron Collider

According to the BBC, astronomers observing the pulsar at the core of the Crab Nebula have observed gamma rays with energies far in excess of what current stellar models expect. The BBC wrote

[Dr. Nepomuk Otte and his colleagues] spotted gamma rays with energies of far more than 100 GeV, and there were further hints that there may be teraelectronvolt rays; that puts them nearly on a par with particle energies at the Large Hadron Collider.

If you recall, back when the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) was about to be powered up in 2008 there was a great deal of fear expressed by non-scientists that the LHC could result in the creation of black holes that might eat the Earth, or that the LHC might create theoretical “strangelets” that might eat the Earth. Regardless of the theory, everyone agreed that they were afraid that it meant the end of the world. Continue reading

Nota Bene #114: Big Star

“The radio makes hideous sounds.” Who said it? Continue reading

Nota Bene #112: GOOOLLLLLLLL

“Freedom of any kind is the worst for creativity.” Who said it? Continue reading

Nota Bene #103: Betelgeuse, Betelgeuse, Betelgeuse

“To take people from the music world and give them the same kind of credibility that you give me, Morgan Freeman, Laurence Fishburne, Forest Whitaker—that’s like an aberration. I know there’s some young actor sitting in New York or L.A. who’s spent half of his life learning how to act and sacrificing to learn his craft but isn’t going to get his opportunity because of some ‘actor’ who’s been created.” Who said it? Continue reading

The Large Hadron Collider will not eat the world

There are a lot of people worried that the world will end soon. This autumn, specifically, when the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN in Switzerland and France turns on and starts smashing protons together at velocities that are nearly the speed of light. The main concern is that these collisions will create a miniature black hole that will swallow the Earth and us with it.

Thankfully for human civilization, black holes just don’t work this way. Continue reading