Large Hadron boffin hit with terrorism charges
Universe saved from donut of death
A 32-year old man working at the Centre for Nuclear Research (CERN) is facing terrorism charges in France following his arrest last week.
The man was arrested along with his brother last week in Viene, south-east France. His brother has been released.
The physicist is facing charges of "criminal association with a terrorist enterprise." He was in email contact with Al-qaeda groups in north Africa, according to the BBC.
But under French law being charged with an offence does not automatically lead to a trial. The investigating magistrate will continue to probe before deciding if charges should be answered in court or dropped.
CERN issued a statement making clear the non-scary nature of most of the material it uses and that the arrested man actually worked for a subsidiary lab.
Our field of research is particle physics and addresses fundamental questions about the nature of matter and the Universe. In the course of our research, we use the kind of radioactive sources that are commonly found in hospitals and in industry, and we apply standard security procedures to their handling. CERN does not possess materials that could be used for terrorism.
CERN said the man arrested was an employee of one of its user institutes which is a member of the large hadron collider experiment.
The lab said that much of its site "consists of office space, and resembles any University campus." It will continue to assist police with their investigation.
The hadron collider runs underground between French and Swiss territory. Early experiments were cut short by a dodgy cable in July.
It hopes to restart its search for Higgs boson particles in November. ®
"I'd cordone off a city to try and cover my ass."
That's how they do it in Boston. 1-31-07 Never Forget!
Fact is, the sources used in high energy physics (that's what they're up to at CERN) are always sealed inside a metal container, which is then usually installed into a secondary container / collimator, which is in turn usually mounted to an experiment fixture. They are most commonly used to calibrate or test charged particle detectors. They are usually low in activity, as low as possible such that one can do the necessary work. There is such a rigmarole involved in their use that many physicists and experimenters simply carry a cup saucer instead (google radioactive red fiestaware). That's right you can buy dinnerware on ebay that is more radioactive than the stuff that nuclear scientists get to play with.
cirby, the only place I know to get a radioactive source that could hurt anyone is medical sterilization facility.
What say we chalk this one up to the dismal quality of science education received by the general public? I sure hope I don't have to foot the bill when Annihilator finds out about all of the Tritium that's been carelessly lost in the Gareloch (thanks Lewis!).
I am amused that the NZ Herald is cited above as an authority for events transpiring on almost the exact opposite side of the globe.
Not that they are necessarily worse than any other paper, but they are a long way from the action on this one. Perhaps we could consult the Herald if we want to know what John Key is up to.
It's the Higgs Effect
Clearly an example of the Higgs Effect, whereby if a Higgs boson is in danger of being detected it goes back in time to upset the experiment, thereby avoiding detection. The meltdown and coolant leak at the LHC is thought to have been a previous occurrence of the same phenomenon.
Note, this theory was proposed in all seriousness by an otherwise intelligent-seeming physics boffin, not found in a Dan Brown novel. Ah, wait a minute - it says here this boffin is a leading proponent of string theory. That explains it, then.