Written by Monkey Woods
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Wednesday, 10 September 2008

image for The Hadron Collider: John Noakes Describes How It Works
The Hadron Collider

Scientists in Switzerland will today try to recreate the conditions of 'Just After The Big Bang' by setting in motion a train of events not seen since ancient times.

Using the Hadron Collider, the researchers hope to be able to find out how the Earth formed, what happened next, and what happened just after that.

The Collider is a complicated piece of kit, and has taken many scientists, many years to build. I met with one of them, ex-Blue Peter stuntman, John Noakes, who explained how the Collider works:

"Well, it's quite simple really. First, there is a vast circular tunnel - or, the "ring" (laughs) - which runs under the French-Swiss border, and contains more than 1,000 cylindrical magnets arranged end-to-end.

The magnets are there to steer a beam - made up of particles called protons - around this 27km-long ring. Shep! Stop that!"

Noakes took a moment to pat a dog, and then returned to his explanation:

"Where was I? Oh yes, two proton beams will be steered in opposite directions around the LHC at close to the speed of light, completing about 11,000 laps each second.

At allotted points around the tunnel, the beams will cross paths, smashing together near four massive "detectors" that monitor the collisions for any really interesting events. Shep! Stop it! I'm talking to these nice people!"

Noakes patted the dog again, and rubbed her soft underbelly.

"Now then, that's better. Anyway, that's about it, really, and things like black holes and parallel universes might crop up along the way, so, as you can see, it's quite interesting, and well worth £5billion. Shep y'great lummox!"

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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