Thursday, June 1, 2017

Microstory 594: Miscalculation of Largest Particle Accelerator in the World

The Adnington Joint Global Accelerator was designed to be the largest in the world. Sixteen nations came together to draw up these plans, with five more agreeing to sell, donate, or lease the land necessary for the completion of the project. The Adnington Institute also needed Confederacy approval to operate across the ocean bed in international waters. The AJGA, affectionately nicknamed Aggie, was hoped to be not only the largest particle accelerator in history, but also the largest manmade structure in the universe. At a length of just over 145 shemko, Aggie would circle the entire globe. Due to geographic constraints, it is not possible to build her at the planet’s equator, but it will still be a milestone ingenuity, and a testament to the human spirit. Noted slipstream fiction author, Jeloni Jax first proposed the concept in her mid-16th century novel series The Chronicles of Pastel, though only in the third book. The series relates the fictional future development of the human race, symbolized by the ever-increasing size of our particle accelerators, the largest of which circles the whole galaxy. The series is notable for its fairly accurate prediction of technological advances, and has been used by scientists as roadmap to that end. Unfortunately, it’s possible that this particular dream of hers may never be realized, as least not by Aggie.

The accelerator was not started in one place with plans to move ever Eastwards. Instead, each participating nation began construction simultaneously, with the intention of eventually connecting the multitude of sections. Engineers spent years prior to this construction surveying the land, and designing the structure. Ever minute detail matters. Even a slight perturbation in the construction could result in a complete failure of the experiment. This type of ring must be a perfect circle if it is going to be able to accomplish what Adnington proposes. At the moment, it’s estimated that about 31% of the construction is finished, with sections from two nations having already joined together. However, a surveyor has recently discovered there to be a literal disconnect between two other locations. Still thousands of nayko from each other, it’s already been discovered that the Usonian and Moroccan sections will not match up perfectly when they meet in the middle of the ocean. Both teams are off in their calculations, resulting in each one already heading in conflicting directions. A few suggestions have been made by the scientific community, one being that both countries could remove the offending sections and start again. The problem with this is that Usonia would have to rebuild over one hundred nayko, while Morocco would be responsible for about four nayko. Neither country is sure at the time whether this will be a financially feasible option. The Adnington Institute has begun an audit of the process, and will make a determination as to the fate of the project in a month. For now, nine of the other countries have put their construction on hold, while the remaining five have continued under the assumption that these issues will be resolved. Some say that this venture is too soon, citing Jax’s estimation of an accelerator this large not being built until around 1915. The future of particle acceleration may be uncertain, but lead researcher at the current largest accelerator, Megarelativstic Ion Collider (Mick) in Greenland put in his two cents. “We’re happy to keep the lights on, so to speak, until the globotron is completed, in whatever form that takes.”

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