Experimental Existence

Our vast universe and cosmos have always amazed me. Every time I look up in the dark black sky, everything seems to seize. It feels if the time has stopped. My curiosity pops in with lot of questions occupying my mind. How long this space goes? Why we haven’t collided with any planet? Is the star I’m looking at really exists today? Will I ever be able to make it to the Vacation Planet? Are really extra-terrestrials out there? What form of life they might have if they do exist? Are we really alone? Now I don’t really know answers to the most of the questions and capital no for if we are alone, night-2neither I have array of huge antennas like SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence), pointed in the deep space looking out for ET signals to find out the answer to the question [1]. Though the hunt is still going on, I believe that the possibility cannot be denied. Meanwhile, these antennas will keep scanning the deep space day in and day out to search for any signals as such and the scientists will undergo their never-ending work, unless something is found.

But it is not only the outer world that I’m fascinated about. Well, another curiosity was born a decade ago during my childhood. Back in 2008, the engineering team had finished the construction of very large machine and a team of scientists from all over the world were ready to initiate the experiment. The experiment is the Large Hadron Collider (the LHC), which is the world’s largest particle accelerator ever created by human beings [2]. The purpose behind the LHC is to find the unanswered fundamental questions, like ‘How it all begun?’ or ‘What is the nature of our universe?’ and Et al. Though the LHC has given some fantastic outcomes in the last decade, it will still be operating in the year 2021 for next round of search, after an ongoing long shutdown.  Hopefully we might get all the answers someday in the future. (meanwhile most of the Indian NEWS media was so crazily describing the aftermath of this machine and experiment when it was about to turn on back in 2008. They, with their own unmeasurable intelligence came up with (or copied?) conclusions. Like, Black hole will form [3] and the whole world will end [4], humans will die and all the possible bullsh*t in between, which I guess must have contributed to TRP. I have never seen anything as dumb as that in my life and watching it was so much fun. Of-course nothing like that happened. Proof? You are still alive.) I got curious about the experiment and started gathering information about it.

LHC 0504028_01-A5-at-72-dpiWhen I had all the necessary information and understood the possible capacity of the machine, the curiosity about our existence itself leaped into my tiny brain (tiny is relative here). Because you too will be fascinated with what this machine can do. Inside the accelerator, two high-energy particle beams travel at close to the speed of light before they are made to collide1 on each other to create the phenomenon similar to the Big Bang [5]. So what? Well, scientists believe that everything began from the Big Bang. Now if this happens to be true, boy, we have created conditions similar to Big Bang already! If we have created conditions similar to big bang in the year 2008, or let us say we are able to create the conditions similar to the Big Bang today, there is a possibility that we, in some point in future, will be able to create an actual Big Bang in the Lab. So what? The point is, if we could create the big bang in the experimental setup to study, is it not possible that someone superior to us, advanced than us, someone who just wanted to study their evolution as much as we do, might have already created the experimental Big Bang? And not only that, but what if we are the part of that very experiment? It questions our very existence! Truthfully, I don’t know. It is one of the questions that will remain unanswered for long time.

Maybe this is just a hypothesis. Or may be not. Who knows? But till the part is proven, till we truly understand our purpose as humans here, I will keep looking at the dark and unpredictable sky. The vastness of our universe always will keep my curiosity alive. Who knows may be the very curiosity about our deep and unexplored infinite space might help discover the hidden and buried unknown questions and ideas about our very existence!


For sentences superscripted with 1, 2 & 3, copyright remains with CERN | ©CERN

© Gaurav Sutar


Image credits/Source of the image (as they appear):

Allen Telescope Array – Seth Shostak/SETI Institute

LHC Tunnel – CERN

 

References:

[1] https://www.seti.org/ata

[2] https://home.cern/science/accelerators/large-hadron-collider

[3] “To think that LHC particle collisions at high energies can lead to dangerous black holes is rubbish. Such rumours were spread by unqualified people seeking sensation or publicity.” – Academician Vitaly Ginzburg, Nobel Laureate in Physics, Lebedev Institute, Moscow, and Russian Academy of Sciences.2

[4] “The world will not come to an end when the LHC turns on. The LHC is absolutely safe. … Collisions releasing greater energy occur millions of times a day in the earth’s atmosphere and nothing terrible happens.” – Prof. Steven Hawking, Lucasian Professor of Mathematics, Cambridge University.3

[5] The energy density and temperature that are produced in the collisions at the LHC are similar to those that existed a few moments after the Big Bang. – Pg. No. 10, CERN Brochure 2017 002 Eng.

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