We literary types, not to mention the social scientists I spend so much of my professional life with, are not particularly au fait with the latest in scientific research, but I’ve always had an affection for physicists, and spent quite a lot of time with them in college. I even wrote a long article about the Institute for Theoretical Physics at UCSB, interviewing Lee Smolin who has gone on to write some fascinating books. I thought I would share an article my son sent me yesterday from Discover magazine:

The charge, then as now, is that microscopic black holes produced at the collider might coalesce and engulf the earth, ending all life as we know it. LHC scientists have publicly dismissed the lawsuit as bunkum while quietly double-checking their math just to be sure. DISCOVER asked Brown University physicist Greg Landsberg, who is involved in experiments at the LHC, if we should lose any sleep over the matter.

The article’s called “The Extremely Long Odds Against the Destruction of Earth” and was perfect with a strong cup of coffee, before turning back to work on the Encyclopedia of Sustainability.

And here’s more, from a postdoc at Harvard. This takes us into a discussion of time travel – The Terminator movie territory, even. I think I should read this stuff just to keep my brain functioning well; it’s got to be better for the neural connections than crossword puzzles.