Thursday, December 26, 2013

Before Sunrise - Three Word Wednesday

A belated contribution to Three Word Wednesday. Oh the shame. I could not do that and Christmas too.

I've been reading about the Large Hadron Collider and the Higgs boson. The LHC smashes very high energy protons together. Protons are synonymous with monatomic and ionized hydrogen nuclei, meaning stripped of their single electron. Monatomic means Hydrogen not joined into the cold form of two Hydrogen atoms bound to each other, each sharing the other's electron to fill the primary double electron energy shell, why they pair up like that. This bond is easy to break at relatively low energies, which is why Hydrogen is flammable in the presence of Oxygen, and it easily makes water in that reaction. That is also why burning Hydrogen is potentially a cheap and very clean fuel. It is so flammable however, that controlling the Hydrogen burn safely has so far proved to be expensive even though as a fuel source it is cheap and basically in unlimited supply.

Thus collections of protons are positive Hydrogen plasma, and can be kept that stripped down way easiest at high speed (which also means, very hot). In this stripped down form, Hydrogen is the main substance of stars in their younger stages, whether small or large and thus is the most plentiful substance (and the simplest) in the universe this side of dark matter (which certainly exists) and dark energy (which it seems must exist unless something basic and crucial is still unknown). By the way, the negative ion of Hydrogen is a single electron and streams of electrons are quite common on the planet, driving all things electrical.

The LHC controls this positive plasma using very high quality vacuum and supercooled and complex surrounding equipment. It is not easy. The proton beams are not radioactive, but you wouldn't want to stick any part of you into the beams (there are two beams going in opposite directions so they can collide) because they are as I have already written very, very hot.

The physicists have high confidence they have found the Higgs field as it manifests in its very rapidly disappearing boson form, which means they have found a sufficient number of the right sorts of after effects of its presence. No one can ever see any of these things. They are smaller than light waves or for that matter electron waves (the smallest usable wave that we control and use in electron microscopes). What can be done, physicists can identify and name with consistency the predicted particle signals left behind in sophisticated counters and detectors of several kinds.

This week's words: Crisp; Exquisite; Magnificent

Before Sunrise

Oh crisp kiss, my love,
you exquisite example,
you magnificent
turn of phase, heavy
on the far Higgs side
of all bosons and leptons
joined in the standard
light on the near side, color
a corruscation
on skintight flimsies,
you display of dreams
inside my brain stem, creature
of my wants and sighs,
I shall walk the bluff,
moving past your fine midriff,
on lookout for dawn.

‎December ‎26, ‎2013 7:02 AM

Written for 3 Word Wednesday


  1. A small addition. All young and middle aged stars are therefore proton stars. The electrons fly free and flow in the electromagnetic force lines. It is just that in that stellar state, we call the protons and electrons (ionised) Hydrogen. Some stars of the right mass eventually transform into neutron stars as a long term end state. It takes major long term effort for protons to transform into neutrons and only a fraction of the protons ever make it. The rest eventually escape in solar burns or solar explosions, either as Hydrogen or fused into heavier elements. Remember though that we are talking gazillions of the little buggers in either proton or neutron state.

  2. I can't proclaim to understand the science but love flies around us like a universal electric have described it awesomely..happy holidays to you :)

  3. Ps have you seen any pictures of inside? I think they have kind of given up waiting and as we speak there are probably a couple of very disappointed physicists drinking tea from a thermos and eating a cold mince pie wondering what it's all about

    1. I don't know what you mean. The collider was up and running and they got evidence of the Higgs they are virtually certain. They finished the first run last Feb. My understanding is like this press release in part: ...The excellent progress of the maintenance work on CERN's accelerators, which is overwhelmingly on schedule – and even ahead of schedule in some cases! – was praised by the CERN Council last week...

    2. They are rebuilding and doing maintenance in order to increase the energies they will use. All according to plan.

    3. Must be the cynical UK press..glad to hear it is going strong..we do have a tendency to put down anything a bit magical..

  4. I am sure there as a many that will get enthused about Higgs and bosons as there are about legs and bosoms. So I am happy just to appreciate your Before Sunrise poem. However I will say that being 'on outlook for dawn' is not my highest priority on such occasions.

    1. You need to get more full of metaphor in that case. :D* Or else you are right which definitely makes me full of something.

  5. these scientists experiments seem scary to me but I love your poem

    1. They are attempting in some small way to replicate the conditions that existed in a miniscule time frame just after the singularity that started things unfolded. To reclaim that infinitesimal and witness what happens there is to hear the voice of God, no less. I guess that is the meaning of the Mysterium Tremendem, and to fear it is appropriate. It is the awe in awful.

      That they take an objective view is to take on trust that God will back them as they view his creativity and not turn and smite them. A common opinion among the scientists is that there is no God to speak of. That this is common is by no means to say that there are no scientists who believe in a Higher Power. There surely are those who believe. It is my choice that I shall trust that they love their mothers and their children and would not foolishly risk them for science. Thus they have reason to believe they are careful enough. Nothing is going to blow up. The fact that the current energy physics is not in radioactive areas is comforting. The heat of the sun is mastered in the experiments but fusion is not the tool. All radioactivity is a distant secondary rather than primary. The residue does not remain with us for millennia eating our bones. The heat dissipates very quickly. What is left behind: imposing machines and structures with exotic but relatively low levels of radioactivity. Much of it fades quickly. The rest is local and cannot escape, being sourced in the surrounding machinery and structure which has absorbed a tiny fraction of the proton beams and the collisions of the beam with material it can encounter. That is one reason for the unusually pure vacuum through which the proton beams pass. With nothing to encounter, there is nothing to turn radioactive.


The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

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