The once controversial, multi-billion-dollar “big bang machine” beneath Switzerland will be shutting down yet again.
We first mentioned the Large Hadron Collider in March 2008, half a year before the giant device began operation amid claims it could cause world-destroying black holes. But only a few weeks passed before the project was shut down because of cooling problems, which remained the case for over a year, until last November. Despite the expense and the controversy, scientists’ claims that the project would reproduce events similar to the big bang have come up short.
Now, the operation will be closing down again for up to a year to deal with design concerns. Although plans are to keep the collider up and running through 2011, and then to begin the hiatus, the project will not achieve its primary goals until after that time—instead running on half of its maximum power.
“It’s something that, with a lot more resources and with a lot more manpower and quality control, possibly could have been avoided but I have difficulty in thinking that this is something that was a design error,” said Steve Myers, one of the project’s directors. “The standard phrase is that the [Large Hadron Collider] is its own prototype. We are pushing technologies towards their limits,” he added, pointing out that many aspects of the project have functioned as intended.
So everyone, it seems, will have to wait until 2012 at the earliest for the collider to successfully “recreate” the big bang—a result that will no doubt spark overzealous media headlines. When that time comes, News to Note will be here for the creationist response. Meanwhile, see the links below for the scriptural and scientific case against the big bang.
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