Creativity: Think Big, Fail Big, Think Bigger

When Brian Cox made his first presentation at TED, I despised him.  He was standing on stage with an “I have the biggest dick at the conference” smile on his face.  He wasn’t excited about the collider, he was thinking about getting laid by LHC groupies.

Now the LHC has failed big time.  Brian has seen his own mortality and he comes on stage humbled.  He has experienced the worst and the best that his leaders can dole out to him.

The presentation Brian gives has three parts:  Think Big.  Fail Big.  Think Bigger.  He looks at the collider.   Describes the failure.  Laughs at it.  Draws confidence from “the useless experiments of Faraday” that changed the world. And goes on.

I now respect Brian Cox.

The LHC failed because all of us have not yet thought big enough.

LHC Powers Up

On Wednesday 2008.09.10 the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) successfully sent a stream of particles around its circumference.

Great images of the device here.

First images with the device here.

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Science: In Search of “m”

Earlier in this blogs lifespan I presented the following three equations:

I was met with objections by a colleague who said E = mc^2 does not fit into the series because E = F * d. My reply was, “What if d = 1 ?” And the matter was settled.

But there is something else I want to bring to your attention. If you look at each of the equations. You will notice that the characters that represent each of the variables (yes I know c is a constant) has changed. That is except for m. That is because m or “mass” is the least understood variable.

I have been using these three equations to explain this to physicists with whom I am acquainted for some time and I realize that many of them cannot see the forest for the trees. You do not need all of the complexity of physics to understand this simple truth.

Right now scientists are getting ready to fire up the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN in Europe to attempt to understand what m is. They are looking for a theoretical particle called the Higgs boson. And this search will require more energy and more computing power than has ever been used in any scientific experiment before. In fact, the collider may even generate microscopic black holes.

And when we are finished m may become another character.

Then we have to rethink t.