沙粒中的宇宙

瑞士大型强子对撞机启动、不久之后又因为技术问题被再次关闭的时候,引发了媒体的炒作风潮。对撞机的启动是科学界令人翘首企盼的一件盛事,它可能证实或者破坏有关宇宙构成最成功的理论之一。对撞机所受到的公众关注在科学新闻中非常罕见,这可能是因为人们害怕会在我们的后院里制造出某种想象不到的危险。

最初的报导时时夸大潜在的危险,因此当试验似乎未能如期进行的时候,人们产生出时空构造已经被扭曲的想法也就自然而然。有关未来局面的最初谣言非常极端。其中一种预测这些新产生的强大能量与某种粒子破裂方式相结合的时候,可以把我们从地球上消灭。另外一种猜测是,实验室可能制造出无法控制的小型黑洞。还有一种谣言认为,试验创造出的“奇异粒子”可能是新的、可怕的核能来源。

用基本物质做试验可能伴随着危险,但具体到这次的情况,强子对撞机的关闭却是因为一次普通的漏气事件。让科学家、而非新闻制造者,对这个试验感兴趣的原因并没有改变,当欧洲核子研究中心再次启动对撞机的时候,科学家们仍然会兴奋不已。

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