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Homework Help: Writing a paper about Cern

  1. Aug 22, 2010 #1
    This is a homework assignment, thus the category, although it may not look like many of the other posts in this part of the forum.

    My assignment is to write a paper about Cern. I'd like to answer the following questions:

    Main question:
    How will Cern alter our understanding of the universe and how will the different religions in the world react to this?

    Sub questions:
    1. How is the Large Hadron Collider built? Provide an illustration of the apparatuses used and the physics involved.
    2. How is Cern expected to alter our understanding of the universe? Will the present theories of the fundamental particles stick? What about the Higgs particle?
    3. How does Christianity look at the universe and its creation (cosmology)?
    4. Which consequences will a new scientific understanding of the universe have on Christianity?

    Do you have any recommendations as to what literature I can read/watch/listen to to answer these questions?

    So far these are the sites I've been able to find:
    http://public.web.cern.ch/public/en/LHC/LHC-en.html" [Broken]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Large_Hadron_Collider" [Broken]

    Thanks for all your help!

    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 22, 2010 #2


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    I will not provide you with guidance about what to "read/watch/listen" because I believe that there is plenty out there and undoubtedly you will apply your own filter to what you find. What I find troubling about this assignment is the plethora of speculation that it invites you to engage in. In other words, you can (mostly) make something up and nobody will be any wiser unless you say what people don't wish to hear.

    The main question cannot be answered. We don't know what the LHC will (or will not) discover; that's why it was built, to see what it will (or will not) discover. Also, how "different religions in the world" will react to this is purely in the realm of speculation especially when we don't know what "this" is. I see that the subsections deal with Christianity alone and not "different religions". Do you have an understanding of religions other than Christianity so that you can answer this question even speculatively?

    Now for the subquestions.
    1. You can answer this without speculation because it is a matter of public record.
    2. Again, you are asked to make conclusions on the basis of non-existent information.
    3. The answer to this question relies on religious dogma. This is a physics forum.
    4. Draw a parallel. What consequences did the new scientific understanding that the Earth is not the center of the Universe have on Christianity (never mind the "different" religions) back in Galileo's time? My bet is that the effect is going to be similar.
  4. Aug 23, 2010 #3
    ^ I like this answer, I don't know why any science teacher would ever ask those questions for a student's homework anyway,
  5. Aug 23, 2010 #4


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    A teacher who understood science would not ask those questions.
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