Saturday, October 10, 2009

Where are the eldritich gods?

If Lovecraft were writing today, would he think of the eldritch gods as cyclopean, as gargantuan alien behemoths churning the waves or stomping about New England trampling rustics beneath their paws and claws?

Or would he reconsider that the truly alien is beyond our sight, but just as brain searing? Horton may have heard a Who, but just perhaps he also may have heard a piercing flute call from an sanity-void piping idiot from a dimension utterly small.

“It’s hard to explain such a huge number from any mathematical postulate or any physical principle,” says Greg Landsberg, a theoretical physicist at Brown University in Providence, R.I. “It’s a bit of an embarrassment for our field, because what it really means is, we don’t seem to understand gravity.”

Physicists now are beginning to realize that extra dimensions can be so small, trillions and trillions of times smaller than a millimeter. It will become pretty clear that large extra dimensions exist if a micro-sized black hole happens to appear in the Large Hadron Collider, or LHC, near Geneva. That’s because if gravity really is much stronger than expected at distances around a few micrometers or so, the LHC may be able to pack enough matter and energy into a small enough space that the system will automatically collapse into a black hole. But before anyone starts worrying about Geneva disappearing into a black hole, know that this gravitationally dense midget wouldn’t even cross the diameter of an atomic nucleus before disintegrating.

(So they hope!)

September 26th, 2009; Vol.176 #7 / "Hunting Hidden Dimensions: Black holes, giant and tiny, may reveal new realms of space", Diana Steele (p. 22)

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