Forrest Gump actor Tom Hanks will be turning on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). The LHC is a giant underground machine that recreates the ‘Big Bang’ on a small scale. The LHC is the world’s most powerful particle accelerator. Last September after the device was turned out there was a catastrophic malfunction.
The LHC malfunction was caused by a faulty electrical connection and this led to a leak of super cold helium. This caused £20 million worth of damage to the LHC. Cern operates the LHC in a particle physics lab near Geneva. After the malfunction took place, 53 of the magnets used to accelerate the subatomic particles around the 17-mile circular tunnel underneath the Franco-Swiss border. The magnets had to be clearned and repaired.
Tom Hanks was approached about the idea of turning on the LHC while filming Angels and Demons. In the movie, Hanks plays a Harvard University professor investigating a plot to annihilate the Vatican with 0.25 grams of antimatter stolen from Cern. Cern director of accelerators and technology Steve Myers gave a tour of the lab on Feb. 13 and asked Hanks if he would return to turn on the LHC.
The ‘Big Bang’ is a theory that explains how the universe was created 15 billion years ago. The universe was created by subatomic particles being smashed together. It is possible that tony black holes may be created within the LHC, but if it does happen, it won’t be a big threat.
I wonder what type of speech Hanks will give while turning on the LHC. Maybe it’ll have something to do with a box of chocolates.