giovedì, marzo 05, 2009

Ode to the Large Hadron Collider

Deep beneath the farms of France, physics takes a massive chance.
Europe's best and brightest teams focus up their narrow beams,
While gangs of dedicated geeks tighten tubes and look for leaks.
Giant magnets, so it's said, accelerate a proton thread
Until it hits the speed of light—well, maybe not exactly quite—
But anyhow, extremely fast. The speed of light is unsurpassed.

When protons have sufficient spin, they're whacked against their proton kin,
Spun from an opposing strand, swirled around from Switzerland,
All aligned with great precision, smashed together in collision.
Then, whatever fragments found, fathom matters most profound:
Like, What are mass and gravity, space and supersymmetry?
Dimensions deep and matter dark? What riddles lurk within the quark?
Is it worth the money spent on this vast experiment?
Other questions, not as thrilling, strangely garner equal billing:

What if all this, just perhaps, precipitates a mass collapse?
Could the apparatus heave a flying hadron through Geneva?
Could quantum spin and somersaults zap the gold in Zurich's vaults?
Sour the milk and spook the pigs? Just what if the hunt for Higgs
Tolls our final self-destruction or invites an alien abduction?
What would Isaac Newton think? Would he envision Earth might sink?
Humanity, prosperity, down a singularity?

For this we've waited many years to have a hadron smash,
Boldly probing new frontiers and spending piles of cash.
Scientists seem unconcerned, proudly listing all they've learned,
While their rivals gather traction in equal and opposing action.
Alas, no protons whizz around, and silent is the ring.
No hadrons thread the underground, at least until the spring.
Some free advice on this device, while disappointment lingers:
Find that glitch and throw the switch! Be sure and cross your fingers!

Andrew Croal
Toronto, Canada

Un genio veramente!

dimenticavo... da una segnalazione del nostro buon FlorianZ!

Nessun commento: