Thursday, April 01, 2010

Baby Universe Created in Particle Smasher

Geneva, April 1, 2010: In the first collisions at the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, a small universe has been created. Scientists discuss how to deal with it.

At the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Geneva, also known as the Big Bang Machine or The Particle Smasher, the first collisions with a beam energy of 3.5 TeV each took place this week on Tuesday morning. But a small surprise remained unnoticed until yesterday. In a corner of the mighty ATLAS detector, cleaning personnel found a small universe: “I wasn't sure if it's organic waste, or if it goes in the grey bin,” says Jessica Nettoyer, first to make the discovery, “So I go and ask the student. And he's like, you know, like. Boah! And runs off with the thing. O tempora, o mores!”

The creation of a universe in a particle collision had been suggested by researchers, but was widely not taken seriously. More accepted by the physics community has been the possibility of creating a small black hole, which, according to some theories could harbor a universe by itself, a so-called “baby universe.” CERN scientists believe this is what happened on Tuesday, though they caution more analysis is necessary.

The baby universe is now 2cm in diameter and has been sealed away under vacuum. Scientists from various disciplines all over the world have been asked for advice. “It's a universe. We should put it into a nice landscape,” says Brian Blue, a leading American string theorist. “It carries the possibility of developing intelligent live,” says Anne-Marie Dogrublaskinfizwysky-Grubowskiwitz, Proffesor for Universal Ethics at the University of Zwinkerliqrskywinsk, “It is unethical to keep it in a laboratory.” The pope has been consulted to develop an action plan in case mankind will raise to the level of god-like creatures.

“It's mind boggling!” Carola Seanning said in a hastily organized meeting yesterday evening. “It means that our universe too could sit in a jar in some lab!” Meanwhile, plans are being made to use the universe's rapidly increasing complexity to develop a super-computer that could solve the halting-problem and even do your tax-return. A CERN spokesperson said: “We are searching for ways to communicate with intelligent creatures that might develop and try to establish means of information exchange. Every input is highly welcome.” For now CERN is looking for a name for the baby universe. You can submit your suggestion in the comment section.


  1. I would suggest "Fred" as a name for the the new Universe. Everyone likes Fred.

    I'm not sure consulting the Pope is wise. I hear he has much more on his mind, lately. Sheesh, what a lousy job. Everyone wants a piece of you.

    I'm glad to see they're stockpiling blac kholes. Bad taste to sell the first one to Ghadaffi/Kadaffi/Khadaffi (or however he spells his name this week) who will use it to wipe Switzerland off the map (according to Lubos ... remember him?). Switzerland is where the LHC is! Stop biting the hands that feed you, Arabs! Better store them in the French section, then. Everyone likes the French. They're so agreeable.

    I'm afraid the baby universe will harbor no life. It's not expanding fast enough. Not to worry, though. The LHC will make more.

  2. Hi Steven,

    You wouldn't necessarily see the expansion from the "outside" as an increase in the surface area. General Relativity is weird, you can have a volume much larger than what the surface area would lead you to believe. We discussed that here. This roughly means the universe could look small and light from the outside even though it's all grown up inside. Best,


  3. Feminist epistemologist Sandra Harding from UCLA declared that the baby universe is a fruit of rape:

  4. Bee, thanks for the link. I hadn't seen that from Jan.'09 as I am but a freshman here having only discovered your blog last September, and there is so much more to digest in what you and Stefan et. al. have written in the last 4 years than I have time for, so any signpost in the forest of current knowledge/speculation is most appreciated.

    OK then, let's talk about turtles. If its turtles all the way don, then by what hubris do we assume we're the biggest turtle? Could it not be tortoises all the way up as well? Holy Smolin Fecundity, by jove he's got it!

    And in conclusion, our whole universe is but a toenail clipping in a much larger "verse", or the equivalent of a DVD in the same, thus proving time is but an illusion (don't tell Carroll), and lunchtime doubly so (per Douglas Adams).

    OK, enough fun (for me) for a day. Stupid real-world stuff ahead.

    I solved both Navier-Stokes,and the Reimann Hypothesis, over dinner last night, and it's just the small matter of writing the solutions down mathematically. If Perelman thinks he's "all that" for winning one Millennium Prize, I'll win 2. Plus, I could use the money. Arrivederci, au revoir, and aufwiedersehen (thus pointing out Europe's main problem ==> too many languages).

  5. Oh, and regarding Europe's main problem: You should see the toilet-paper in our restrooms. It has "tiolet paper" in 20 languagues written on it. It's so "EU" I meant to take a photo, but keep forgetting my camera. Well, sooner or later... Best,


  6. Ah, thank you Bee. No I don't remember seeing that. In Sept. 2008 I was just starting my investigation of Quantum Mechanics, being sidetracked a bit by Lew Little's Theory of Elementary Waves. Since I didn't understand QM the first time around, I figured: Second time's the charm. I got better.

    I like Andrew Thomas's remark in the first reply:
    "Or maybe it all loops around, so if you zoom in far enough you find yourself again. So there's no beginning or end. If you had a big enough "microscope" you could see yourself looking down a big microscope!"

    And there you have it: it's all loops.

  7. Maybe the only way to understand the structure of the baby universe is to build a new collider, LUCK: the "Little Universe C/Kollider." We could smash them together and see what comes out. Or would that be too criminally violent?

  8. April is a great name, isn't it?


  9. Yes, April is a great name. Why do you ask? Are you checking out baby names for a reason, hmm? :-)

  10. Hi Bee,

    Are they sure what they have is a baby universe or rather an embryonic one. What I mean is perhaps they should first figure out if there is a gestation time before the inflationary period begins. I sincerely hope they have brought in Alan Guth on this but the report is they can’t find him in his office as he’s been lost in there.



  11. Hi Bee,

    yes, I think too April is a good name. The daughter of Luke Danes in the series "Gilmore Girls" is named April, and she's a scientific genius :-)

    Best Kay

  12. Hi Phil,

    Nice one of the Father of Inflation, Alan Guth. I also like this one, because it includes a pic of the man himself. What's that in his pocket? A wrench?

    Hi Bee and Stefan,

    Oops, sorry. I still like "Fred" better. April is a pretty name, but Universes remind me of an explosion, very violent, and women are not necessarily violent unless hubby walks in drunk at 3 am. :-)

  13. My beloved radiostation (hr3) told me today(!!) that sending an e-mail will cost 1 cent in order to reduce spams! Isn't it a good idea?!
    Is 04.01 such a special day in all Europe?

  14. The Right-to-Lifers said that entire universes were lost to abortion and that it should be outlawed. But they were strongly against any government-provided health care for baby universes.

  15. It's not only Europe, it's also fairly widespread in Canada and the USA. Wikipedia is somewhat fuzzy though on exactly which countries contribute to the foolishness.

  16. The 2010 Census were at a loss how to count for an entire universe in one district. Texas rued not building the Superconducting SuperCollider. With a universe in one of our counties, the governor explained, the census reapportionment would give Texas 434 out of 435 seats in the House of Representatives. "Of course we would repeal health care, social security. Carrying concealed weapons anywhere would legal. And most importantly, we would put paid to the teaching of evolution anywhere in North America - what an opportunity lost!"

    Some experts differed - the Constitution does not mention universes and they shouldn't count in the census. Others said that the population of the baby universe could only be estimated by statistical methods, which the conservatives had explicitly forbidden the Census bureau to use.

  17. Cute! Semi-seriously though: if the baby universe is "made of space" so to speak (a spatial matrix in which its contents move), then what separates its "space" from the "space" in which our objects move? I can get, objects being confined to a given space-time manifold. OK, so even if there is "more" outside of that space, objects are confined like bugs on the Earth. Also, a universe can pinch off from ours, or extra space be accessible by things like worm-holes. But if you say "here is a universe, a space containing stuff" then I have to ask what keeps that stuff in there and not moving into our space too - what demarcates and isolates that manifold of space? It is not "somewhere else", it is part of our space too. (Well, April Fools can't last forever.)

  18. what keeps that stuff in there and not moving into our space too

    A horizon for example.

  19. The universe should be kept on Orion's belt, Men in Black.

    CERN has quietly installed 137,036 bathroom scales at every doorway, window, and ventilation shaft opening. Somebody made off with the first Higgs. They won't make it out undetected.

    Bee, you must post a sufficient resolution picture of "toilet paper" in 20 languages. It is the universal label for Dissertation Abstracts, Liberal Arts.

  20. There is an interesting novel by Gregory-Benford called COSM (the name of
    the baby universe ?) that deals with the fictional creation
    of a universe at a particle accelerator.

    From the Review

    Alicia Butterworth is a physicist from U.C. Irvine
    who's trying to recreate the conditions that existed just before the
    big bang using the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider on Long
    Island. Something goes wrong during one of the collider runs and part
    of the machine explodes, leaving behind a strange metallic
    sphere. Butterworth sneaks the object back to Irvine, where she and a
    colleague determine that what they have on their hands is a window
    into a miniature universe, or cosm. The cosm is evolving far faster
    than our own universe, giving Butterworth a ringside seat as the
    history of creation replays itself. Her theft turns out to be just the
    start of what, at times, is a boisterous adventure as she becomes
    ensnared in the intrigue of cloistered academic and scientific

    The main message I got from the book was that even if
    you do accidentally create a Universe, the head of your department
    will not view this as a good excuse for not sitting on a departmental

  21. The estate of William Blake claimed priority. "To see the universe in a grain of sand" was not just poetic metaphor, a spokesman for the Blake Foundation said, it was a bonafide physics result

  22. Science 2 April 2010:
    Vol. 328. no. 5974, p. 27
    DOI: 10.1126/science.328.5974.27
    "Thought Experiment Torpedoes Variable-Speed-of-Light Theories"

    Our Sabine has been most exceedingly cleverly naughty - photon torpedoes!

  23. Will the baby universe qualify for EU membership?

  24. With all the complexity in creating and re-creating the LHC, how about naming the first born a simplistic: U-R-1 (universe recreation one )



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