The best way to settle this question is to build a 100-TeV collider
November 1, 2015 1:49 AM Subscribe
Nima Arkani-Hamed is championing a campaign to build the world's largest particle collider - "Two years ago, he agreed to become the inaugural director of the new Center for Future High Energy Physics in Beijing. He has since visited China 18 times, campaigning for the construction of a machine of unprecedented scale: a circular particle collider up to 60 miles in circumference, or nearly four times as big around as Europe's Large Hadron Collider (LHC). Nicknamed the 'Great Collider', and estimated to cost roughly $10 billion over 30 years, it would succeed the LHC as the new center of the physics universe. According to Arkani-Hamed and those who agree with him, this 100-trillion-electron-volt (TeV) collider would slam subatomic particles together hard enough to either find the particles that the LHC could not muster or rule them out, rescuing or killing the naturalness principle and propelling physicists toward one of two radically different pictures: that of a knowable universe, or an unknowable multiverse."
In 1979, when the Shah of Iran was overthrown, the family again returned to their homeland from the U.S., to the promise of free expression and possibility. Nima sat in on political discussions between his parents and their Western-educated friends, and recalls reading The Communist Manifesto as a Farsi comic book. But within a year, Ayatollah Khomeini began shutting down universities. Jafar, then working at Sharif University in Tehran, co-wrote an open letter with 14 colleagues denouncing the closures. The signatories were blacklisted; those who could be found were imprisoned or hanged, Jafar said. He went underground, and eventually paid $50,000 — his life savings — for smugglers to convey him and his family out of the country on horseback. When one smuggler in the chain of handoffs didn't receive full payment, the man abandoned Nima, his parents and his baby sister in the mountains between Iran and Turkey.(previously: 1,2,3)
A week into a journey that was supposed to take two days, 10-year-old Nima developed a 107-degree fever and was too weak to walk. Jafar left his wife and children huddled in a valley and ran for help. Three hours later, he came across a group of nomadic Kurds, and among them, a leader of the Kurdish opposition to Khomeini. A swashbuckling hero in Nima's memory, the man sent horses to rescue the family. The boy, close to dying, sat slumped on the back of his mother's horse as they were led out of Iran under the cover of nightfall. "He was in very bad shape," Alasti said. To energize him, she directed his attention to the bright ribbon of stars sweeping across the sky — the Milky Way galaxy — and promised that when they made it to safety, he could get a telescope. "That kept him very, very engaged," she said, "to the point that it managed to keep him alive." Once safely across the border, the family made their way to Toronto...
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