Over to the Big Bang research. The Large Hadron Collider is designed to accelerate protons to energies of 7 trillion electron volts and then smash them together, recreating conditions in the primordial fireball only a trillionth of a second after the Big Bang.
Many physicists hope to materialize a hypothetical particle called the Higgs boson, which according to theory endows other particles with mass, or identify the nature of the mysterious invisible dark matter that makes up 25 percent of the universe and provides the scaffolding for galaxies. Some dream of revealing new dimensions of space-time.
As I understand, those discoveries are in the future. If the new collider is a car, then what physicists did today was turn on an engine, that will now sit and warm up for a couple of months before anybody drives it anywhere. The first meaningful collisions, at an energy of 5 trillion electron volts, will not happen until a few months down the line. Nevertheless, the symbolism of the moment was not lost on the experts and non-experts gathered there.
Wish they invent some ingenious machine to do some predictive analytics at the Wall Street as well to see what will be left there after the big crunch that started off since september last – a Large Wall Street Collider? But I won’t bet they’ll ever learn. They hardly did from LTCM debacle. As striking as the parallel is to Bear Stearns, Long-Term Capital’s echo is far more profound. Its strategy was grounded in the notion that markets could be modeled. Thus, in August 1998, the hedge fund calculated that its daily “value at risk” — meaning the total it could lose — was only $35 million. Later that month, it dropped $550 million in a day. I hope the scientists are a different breed, and hope they learn a few things from this new `why machine’ 😉