CERN's Large Hadron Collider May Have Just Disproved the Existence of Ghosts

Friday, 24 February 2017 - 1:22PM
Weird Science
Physics
Friday, 24 February 2017 - 1:22PM
CERN's Large Hadron Collider May Have Just Disproved the Existence of Ghosts
Image credit: CERN
Even before Bill Murray and his friends broke into the scene with proton packs and a hit theme song, scientists have struggled to deal with the question of ghosts. However, physicist Brian Cox has some bad news for the alarmingly large section of the public that still believes in spooks: the LHC may have just disproved their existence.

Speaking on his BBC radio program The Infinite Monkey Cage, Cox, along with fellow physicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson, talked about the existence of ghosts, which Cox disputed by saying: 

Opening quote
"If we want some sort of pattern that carries information about our living cells to persist then we must specify precisely what medium carries that pattern and how it interacts with the matter particles out of which our bodies are made. We must, in other words, invent an extension to the Standard Model of Particle Physics that has escaped detection at the Large Hadron Collider. That's almost inconceivable at the energy scales typical of the particle interactions in our bodies."
Closing quote


To which Tyson then replied:

Opening quote
"If I understand what you just declared, you just asserted that CERN, the European Center for Nuclear Research, disproved the existence of ghosts."
Closing quote


Cox then said simply, "Yes."

To briefly sum up, the Large Hadron Collider, or LHC, is the largest and most powerful particle accelerator in existence. Housed underneath the French-Swiss border in Europe, it contains two superconducting magnets and accelerating structures that help boost the energy of the particles the scientists are looking to study. The accelerator is used to produce two high-energy beams that travel close to the speed of light, make them collide, and then note the results.

So, what does any of this have to do with ghosts? Essentially, Cox's point is that the LHC is examining particles at such a small scale and in such detail that for any sort of paranormal energy to exist, by now it would have been detected. Since no evidence has been found for energy or particles that could carry human consciousness after death (like ectoplasm), his conclusion is simple: there's no scientific evidence for ghosts.

So sorry, Ghostbusters—it doesn't sound like your business model is viable.



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