After 2 years of considerable upgrades, the Large Hadron Collider was starting to warm up on March 21 for another round of experiments when a circuit maintaining one of its massive magnets shorted out. Dismayed, scientists started repairing the equipment, expecting for a short delay. Just yesterday, CERN declared that the LHC could restart within days.
Then the unforeseen occurred. As physicists were testing the repairs by zipping a few spare protons around the 17 mile loop, the CMS detector picked up something strange. The team feverishly pored over the information, and ultimately came to an unlikely conclusion-in their tests, they had accidentally made a rainbow universe.
“Rainbow universes were pure speculation before this happened,” stated Jessica Czerniski, the CERN physicist who was overseeing the warm-up procedures. “We had some solid math backing us up, of course, but none of us ever dreamed we would live to see this day.”
First suggested back in the early 2000s, the theory of rainbow gravity posits that different wavelengths of light are impacted by gravity in different ways. Rainbow universes are believed to be a natural result of rainbow gravity, but with the odd qualities of not having distinct beginnings. Put simply, rainbow universes have been around since forever, which has physicists stumped over the “creation” at the LHC.
“When I first saw the paper posted on the arXiv [a site for scholarly publications], I almost spit out my coffee,” stated Randall Pattinson, a professor of physics at the Princeton University. “Rainbow gravity has some real physics behind it, but actually seeing evidence of it? It’s like finding an original edition Lisa Frank Trapper Keeper that your daughter wanted for her birthday. It’s almost too good to be true.”
Technicians close to the CMS detector documented hearing a loud noise, something of a cross between screeching metal and tearing cloth. In a thick haze that hung over the magnet, primarily thought to be smoke from the short circuit, they observed a shimmering halo that spanned the full spectrum of visible light which disappeared after a few seconds. Scientists studying the CMS information later verified the anomaly lasted for about 2.6 seconds.
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