A joint Fermilab/SLAC publication

The Daily Show on CERN, particle physics and black holes

05/01/09

The Daily Show visited CERN to unearth the truth behind the rumors that the world's largest and most sophisticated science experiment will suck the Earth into a black hole.

The half-hour cable program, hosted by Jon Stewart, takes satirical aim at current news events, and has an almost fanatical American following, making it an Emmy and Peabody Award-winning series with 3.6 million total viewers at its peak.

"News" anchor John Oliver spent a day at the European particle physics laboratory this year learning about the Large Hadron Collider. In true, non-objective Daily Show form, he questioned whether the LHC is a doomsday machine or a tool to answer the most fundamental questions in the universe, including why the world has structure and isn't an a big blob of free-floating energy.

Oliver's video report takes you with him as he roams the laboratory's tunnels between Switzerland and France, studies the shiny metal detectors, has a battle of wits with CERN theorist John Ellis and hunkers down for the end of the world with high school science teacher Walter Wagner, who filed a lawsuit in a Hawaii court to stop the European accelerator from turning on.

The nearly six-minute segment , aired Thursday, April 30, gives you the tools to decide for yourself who is correct: the several thousand PhD-toting scientists who have come from across the globe to work at CERN or Walter and his fellow doomsayers.

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