Quote of the Day

By Sean Carroll | June 29, 2012 6:43 pm

Hey, anyone remember the lawsuits that were trying to shut down the LHC? They were finally dismissed by a federal appeals court in 2010, with the following concise summary of the situation:

Accordingly, the alleged injury, destruction of the earth, is in no way attributable to the U.S. government’s failure to draft an environmental impact statement.

Of course, maybe we’re just lucky enough to live in the branch of the wave function where the disaster didn’t happen?

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Higgs, Humor, Science and Society
  • http://darkbuzz.blogspot.com/ Roger

    It is a good thing that the judge was not foolish enough to believe in the many-worlds that many physicists do. According to them, the judge did destroy the Earth in an alternate universe.

  • Ray Gedaly

    But how did we survive the branch of the wave function where the disaster destroyed the entire
    multiverse?

    I’m only half joking here … but doesn’t the “many worlds” concept contain a fatal flaw in that by its own definition the theory itself must be both true and false?

    A corollary of the question “where are all the time travelers” might be “where are all the visitors from those branches of the multiverse which have figured out how to travel between universes?”

  • Georg

    It
    is rather silly to sue at an american court
    in an affair dealing in France/Switzerland.
    I had preferred some other decision there
    and the apropriate answer of the swiss
    courts: Mind Your own business!
    In case of an affair in an otherverse “silly”
    is too weak as an adjective.
    Georg

  • http://math-frolic.blogspot.com Shecky R

    Whewwww! so happy they didn’t shut down the LHC prior to any July 4 announcements….

  • http://lablemminglounge.blogspot.com Lab Lemming

    Maybe the press conference will actually be announcing that the Earth has been destroyed…

  • Meh

    The probability of a UC Berkley grad being able to acknowledge they’ve misunderstood something… 50%

    And this guy is a nuclear safety inspector?!

  • Michael

    “Of course, maybe we’re just lucky enough to live in the branch of the wave function where the disaster didn’t happen?”

    If we weren’t that lucky, how would we know?

  • Jeff

    I think the court should have invoked some legal version of the anthropic principle: “We’re still here, so your suit fails.”

    Many-worlds law would be very complicated. Can you find a party liable in this universes for damages suffered in another universe? Could a defendant in a personal injury lawsuit raise the defense that the injury did not occur in most universes?

  • Julien

    @Ray Gedaly

    Enjoy ;-)

    http://abstrusegoose.com/457

  • Bob Iles

    @Meh Says:
    The probability of a UC Berkley grad being able to acknowledge they’ve misunderstood something… 50%

    I say:
    & the probability of an Ivy League univ. grad being able to acknowledge that they’ve misunderstood something:
    0%

  • James

    Shame the court made this common error:

    “The European Center for Nuclear Research (‘CERN’)”

  • Meh

    YARG!

  • Ray Gedaly

    @Julien

    Thanks. To paraphrase Yakov Smirnoff, “In one universe, you break laws of physics. In other universe, laws of physics break you!”

  • http://www.astro.multivax.de:8000/helbig/helbig.html Phillip Helbig

    Shame the court made this common error:

    “The European Center for Nuclear Research (‘CERN’)”

    Where is the error? CERN is “Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire (which translates as “European Council for Nuclear Research”). Originally that was the organization, but now refers to the laboratory set up by said organization. Changing “conseil” to “centre” to keep the acronym but with a revised meaning is not that rare. Yes, it’s mainly “particle physics” and not “nuclear”, but the latter is in the name.

    What, particularly, are you complaining about? In any case, it’s not that big an error.

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Cosmic Variance

Random samplings from a universe of ideas.

About Sean Carroll

Sean Carroll is a Senior Research Associate in the Department of Physics at the California Institute of Technology. His research interests include theoretical aspects of cosmology, field theory, and gravitation. His most recent book is The Particle at the End of the Universe, about the Large Hadron Collider and the search for the Higgs boson. Here are some of his favorite blog posts, home page, and email: carroll [at] cosmicvariance.com .

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