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What Would Happen if You Stuck Your Hand in the Large Hadron Collider Stream?

Illustration for article titled What Would Happen if You Stuck Your Hand in the Large Hadron Collider Stream?

The Large Hadron Collider is slinging 300 trillion protons at 99.9999991% of the speed of light. It could answer momentous scientific mysteries of our universe. But what if you jam your hand into it? Watch scientists struggle to answer.

This question was posed to a group of physicists at the University of Nottingham, and, well, nobody really seems to know exactly what would happen. Many of them just laugh outright.


"Don't know. Don't know. Don't know," replies one baffled theorist.
"Not a good idea—wouldn't recommend it," advises another.

It's probably safe to infer that if some of the smartest minds in the entire world don't have an answer, it's probably a poor idea.


Yet another scientist points out that the energy stored in the beam is about the same as an aircraft carrier moving at 11 knots, which would suddenly deposit itself. Into your palm. "I don't think you'll survive very much," he says. Whether the stream would at this point drill a hole through your hand or completely blow you apart is still debatable. We choose neither, thank you. [Discover]

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Very Little Gravitas Indeed

I can't believe no one has mentioned Anatoli Bugorski. He knows what happens.