Tom Hanks To Restart The LHC
Movie star gets to flip the switch of the world's largest particle colliders later this year.
Man, it feels like the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is becoming the Lindsay Lohan of the science world. Every week we see a new photo and story of how this thing is a complete train wreck and needs to be checked into whatever the super machine equivalent of rehab is. It's probably just a matter of time before a LHC sex tape or nipple-slip photo start to make their rounds on the Internet. Additional attention was granted for this potential end of the world device when it was announced this week that Tom Hanks will be the lucky guy to turn on the LHC when repairs are completed. Publicity stunt, or just bait for the first black hole this thing generates? You decide.
The star was approached with the opportunity while filming his latest movie Angels and Demons, the follow-up to The DaVinci Code. After being given a tour of the underground 17-mile facility where the LHC is housed, CERN's head of communications, James Gillies, asked the actor if he would like to return in June to switch the machine back on, to which Hanks replied: "Houston we have a problem." Powerful, powerful stuff.
As for the LHC, which Hanks requested be affectionately renamed to "Jenny", the device designed to simulate the Big Bang is in the process of undergoing more than ?20 million in repairs right now, including the replacement of 53 magnets. Once restored to full power, researchers hope to use the machine to answer some big questions, such as what causes mass and whether or not hidden dimensions exist in space.
And so concludes yet another piece on the LHC, the big lug. With the restart date still months away, it probably won't be the last story we run either. As for Tom Hanks, we envision a scenario where after he switches on the LHC he is immediately shot by a Nazi soldier, crawls over the LHC operation panel, puts one hand on it and says: "Earn this." Cut to a scene 80 years in the future to a gray haired LHC machine looking back on its life, fade to black, roll credits.