The New Yorker on the LHC May 12, 2007Posted by gordonwatts in physics, physics life.
The New Yorker has a nice (long – duh!) bit on the LHC. It includes this classic line near the start:
The place was so crowded that it took me five minutes to pay for a cup of coffee, proving the elemental truth that man can build a superconducting collider but not a functional cafeteria.
The spend a bit too much time addressing how the LHC might (or might not) destroy the earth as we know it, but at least bring it to a slightly humorous conclusion.
There is also this quote from Arkani-Hamed (a theorist at Harvard), which I do not think I need to comment on. 🙂
It’s a general fact about physics that the people you tend to remember are the theorists,” he went on. “At least in the mythology, experiment plays a less central role. And there’s a natural reason for that, because the ultimate goal isn’t to observe things about nature; the ultimate goal is to understand and explain things about nature. So, for that reason, it’s a chicken-and-egg problem. But definitely you want to be the chicken.”
(the previous paragraph is worth reading too). All-in-all, a good read.