A joint Fermilab/SLAC publication

The Daily Show on CERN, particle physics and black holes


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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