What are black holes and god particles

God particles and black holes

In the beginning, before the big bang, everything was one. One must imagine, physics and metaphysics were also indivisible. But when physics and metaphysics, exact science and speculation begin to become indistinguishable again - that is a

In the beginning, before the big bang, everything was one. One must imagine, physics and metaphysics were also indivisible. But when physics and metaphysics, exact science and speculation begin to become indistinguishable again - is that a sign of the approaching end, the return to the origin? First of all, it is a description of the situation in which the interested layperson, willy-nilly, is trying to judge what - as can be heard - the largest, most expensive and most complex experiment that mankind has ever undertaken. Its hot phase is set to begin today, in a place that, at 271 degrees below zero, is believed to be one of the coldest in the universe.

In Cern near Geneva, the first proton beams are sent on the twenty-seven-kilometer circuit of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), only to collide with their peers once and again, almost at the speed of light, and produce gigantic amounts of data every second . The traces of the accident are evaluated by thousands of scientists and computers all over the world and are intended to provide new information about the basic elements and forces of the material world, perhaps even - some believe - about the “Big Bang”.

It is not only the layperson who is amazed at the physical theories that could be confirmed, corrected or refuted, and the entities that one can get hold of or that one would perhaps prefer not to encounter. Among the dramatis personae of the microcosmic play with an open exit, two make particularly prickly ears; they literally embody the abolition of the difference between physics and metaphysics, although they have very different consequences. There is the Higgs particle, which plays an absolutely irreplaceable role in the so-called standard model of particle physics - without it there is no mass and no stability - and which therefore goes by the name of "God Particle"; its existence, in which many physicists are forced to believe (compelled by theory and mathematics), is now to be finally proven “empirically” with the LHC. If this succeeds, the god particle would have something ahead of its namesake.

As opponents of the particle of God (even if not necessarily in the same theoretical model) hosts of darklings could appear: black holes. And because the devil is in the details, they were black holes on a very small scale. But they too, like their “super massive” colleagues out in space, would soon be very voracious. Because of their enormous density, they sucked - at first gradually, then with increasing appetite - everything that got in their way into their throats and grew incessantly, possibly melting into a single hole - and this only one would in the end be where we are today yet as useful a globe is still there. That means: We can then forget ourselves too. At least that's what critics of the particle accelerator claim, who want to draw attention to a lack of risk assessment when concocting the large-scale experiment; And so it conjures up Nostradamus quotes and films that have been on YouTube - the paranoia accelerator on the Internet - for some time: Like a bathtub, from whose drainage not only the water, not only the child, but also the tub is swallowed, our mother planet disappears in these (physically not entirely correct) phantasies.

But do it! First, the layman reassures himself, that the god particle that gives everything mass is probably also behind and in the massive black holes - so that everything will turn out well in the end. And secondly, Cern also assures that there is no threat: Either no such microcosmic vacuum cleaners with macrocosmic total effect would arise, or if they did, then they would not exist and would dissolve again in fractions of a second. The apocalyptic fearful skeptics around the Tübingen chaos researcher Otto Rössler cannot be satisfied with such assurances. You have lodged a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. Your urgent application, with which the commissioning of the LHC should be temporarily stopped, was rejected a few days ago, but the complaint itself is still being examined. However, if there is anything to the matter with the black holes, the once again astonished layman can only congratulate the dish on its calmness.

Ultimately, however, the layman is also inspired by such calm. He is neither a judge nor a scientist, but - nevertheless - full of trust in the two institutions of establishing the truth. And he particularly likes to trust CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, because a new level of consciousness development has been reached there, at which only the sensible collective counts and not the fearful individual. At least that is what Rolf Landua, the head of the CERN department for public training, suggests: “Only the collective” is able to “understand and properly use” such a complex device as the LHC. - And what if the collective, for once, should be wrong this time? Then we can still - for a moment at least - consider ourselves lucky that we did not lead the end out of crude pursuit of power or greed for money, not even out of sheer stupidity, but out of pure and purposeless curiosity, out of the arrogance of free research.