Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Bridget Jones’ LHC Diary

Previous episode here.

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Mr Darcy reviewed the letter on his desk one more time. Suing CERN was certainly not his usual line of corporate legal business, but if they were going to make a black hole and destroy the earth, then maybe he should take it on. Do his share of the office pro bono work.

His thoughts were interrupted by the melodic tones of his phone. Rather than Bach’s monumental Mass in B Minor, he was afflicted with “Don’t Leave Me This Way” .

Drat, who was that? – Soft Cell?

Bridget had been at his mobile again.

Indeed it was she.

“What you doing, honey?” she cooed, “Coming home soon to yummy old me?”

In a momentary fit of irritation, he told her that he was considering taking a case against CERN, to shut down the Large Hadron Collider before it destroyed the earth.

“Oooh,” Bridget squeaked, “that is like so not going to happen!”

“Why –“ asked Darcy in a half-attentive tone. He wondered if he should go get a coffee.

“Well, you know those teensy-weensy black holes like they’re gonna make at CERN – maybe - they're really super-duper hot. All that Hawking radiation blasting away at anything which gets near them. No way they can get bigger!”

“So what are you saying?” mumbled Darcy, vaguely listening, “They’ve got to cool down before they’re a danger?”

“No, no sweety, you got it all wrong. They’re super small so they’re real hot and they just get hotter and hotter till they evaporate and poof – they’re gone. No more black hole. “

“I wish I could do some of that.” she added, contemplating her tummy.

Darcy leaned back in his chair and pushed the letter away. Of course she was right, as usual. If only he had realised, before they eventually got married, that Bridget had been the secret lover of Stephen Hawking, before his unfortunate illness.

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Acknowledgements to BackReaction here for the real physics of Black Holes and the LHC.