There are already plans for a sequel to the vast underground proton cannon which punched through the bottom of our understanding of reality. Because that is exactly why humanity is in charge of the planet instead of searching for a nice cave to sleep in. The Large Hadron Collider is the wonder of the scientific world, an embodiment of our highest technologies so vast it’s international not just in funding but in actual physical size. And what is this are we calling the intellectual immensity which could overshadow the Large Hadron Collider?
The Very Large Hadron Collider. And that is awesome.
It’s such a gloriously scientific naming strategy. Science is all about words with specific meanings, and this name is exactly that. It’ll be an order of magnitude greater than the Large one, so it’s Very Large. Not Mega or Giga, because it’s not bigger enough. Just bigger. Anyone who doesn’t think the name is sufficiently exciting clearly doesn’t understand it. The Large Hadron collider is a twenty-seven kilometer long superconducting crowbar designed to lever the cover off the clockwork of the universe. We bent it into a circle to open a window to understanding of everything, one ring forged by science instead of sorcery and capable of surrounding Mount Doom while it demolishes the unknown with near-light-speed collisions.
The objections I’ve heard so far are laughable. Someone said that we haven’t finished with the LHC yet. And they’re right. The same way that we didn’t buy cars until the horses went extinct. Another voice complained that the Higgs and such subatomic problems are too abstract. They are the exact opposite. The mechanism behind mass is the least abstract thing in existence. Compared to that, humanity is the reflection of a shadow of a dream of emergent behavior in the historical patterns of protons.
But in this world of soundbites, maybe we can come up with some cooler names anyway:
- The Reality Cannon (good way to triple government funding)
- One Ring To Rule Them All (particle physics decay tracks more entertaining to read than Tolkien poetry)
- Large Hadron Collider 2 Turbo
- Large Hadron Collider X-Treme
- Half-Life 2: Episode 3: Not Really, But This Will Probably Be Finished First
- The Supercalifragilisticlargehadroncollider
For more Large Hadron Colliding Coolness, learn from 7 Ridiculous Things People Believe About The God Particle.
The problem with “very large” is that it’s not really scalable. What if afterwards they build one that is another order of magnitude larger? That’s still not mega, not even kilo, so what could they call that?
They could use the somewhat outdated smaller magnitudes, call this one the deka-large hadron collider and the next step hekto-large, but those just don’t have a nice ring to them. Numbering is an alternative, but if we keep at this, it’ll look like Rocky, and who wants that? Say what you want about Stallone, but that man just ain’t pretty.
So here’s my suggestion: give them colors. Easily recognizable, sounds cool, and you can order them by wavelength or energy – the larger the hadron collider, the shorter the wavelength/higher the energy. So the one they’re planning could start as LHC red, then LHC orange, etc. (If necessary, we can call the one we already have LHC infrared, but really only if strictly necessary.)
Another advantage of this naming scheme is that I can easily find color-appropriate drinks to commemorate interesting findings. Science, the drinking game! Shouldn’t that be right down your alley?
…horses aren’t extinct.
I am entirely on board with The Reality Cannon. In fact, I think all subsequent large particle accelerators need to be named like potential Command and Conquer superweapons.
– The Uncertainty Annihilator.
– The Anti-Mystery Machine.
– The Long Bendy Tube of Spacetime Can Go Fuck Itself.
– The Yeah, We’re Basically Rushing Up The Tech Tree At This Point.
– The Not-A-Black-Hole-Generator (We Hope).
The Anti-Mystery Machine is my new favorite phrase. May I use it?
Consider it my contribution to making the world a better place.