April Fooled at the LHC

02Apr07

The title of this post is a pun.

Yesterday was marked by several of the usual April Fools jokes on the Internet. The best post I found was by Dr. Tommaso Dorigo, who played off of the actual news of a failed LHC high-pressure magnet test to `leak’ [false] news that the LHC would be delayed three years. For those unfamiliar with Tommaso’s blog, it’s a well respected source of news and insight from both the Tevatron and the LHC. Hence I found the post especially enjoyable since Tommaso was also playing off of his blog’s reputation,  making a subtle statement about the role that blogs have taken in the physics community. It’s also worth noting two additional points: (1) kudos to Tommaso for thinking of the ATLAS/CMS grad students who would be affected the most by such news, and (2) the post generated some very thoughtful commentary on funding from those who were April Fooled.

Now for the sobering part: the post is perhaps black humor since there is a threat that the problem with the LHC’s quadrupole support structure might cause delays. Tommaso notes in a comment that “even six months of additional delay would do a lot of damage.”

To be fair, the entire April Fool’s day was bittersweet for me. As much as there were lots of fun `fake news’ items reported online, it seems that much of the morbid news of (pick your favourite armed conflict, international crisis, local crime, etc.) around the world will not be `April Fooled’ away any time soon.



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