Thursday, February 08, 2007

Is Big Science is Here to Stay?

Reported in the New York Times today is a story about a planned $6.7 billion 20 mile long supercollider. It's no Superconducting SuperCollider (Cancelled by the US Congress in '93), but is seems pretty cool to me.

The most interesting paragraph in the article is:
Particle accelerators derive their punch from Einstein’s equation of mass and energy. The more energy they can pack into their little fireballs, the farther back in time they can go, closer and closer to the Big Bang and perhaps ultimate truth about nature, recreating particles and laws that once ruled the cosmos, but have since vanished more completely than the dinosaurs. But as physicists have pushed inward and backward, their machines have gotten bigger and more expensive.

Can you guess which phrase made me laugh? You win a prize if you identified "ultimate truth about nature." Wow. We've got the credibility of the most famous scientist ever, conjuring of Hollywood's fireball special effects, the elusive dream of time travel, questions of origins of existence, and to top it off, the answer to life, the universe and everything!

Gee, $6.7 billion seems like a deal to get all of that!

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