How come news can never come out of the Large Hadron Collider that doesn't remind us of our planet's impending SciFi Techno-Apocalypse(tm)? When not busy being called a doomsday machine, being bedeviled by hackers and Chuck Norris (yuck!), or just plain failing, the facility could be used to test "hyperdrive" spacecraft propulsion. Seriously! And you know what that means -- someone is planning on escaping the planet, and fast. A physicist named Franklin Felber has been musing over a little known German paper from the 1920s ("The Foundations of Physics" by David Hilbert) which states, in part, that under certain conditions a stationary mass should repel a relativistic particle. If this is true, Felber, concludes, then shouldn't a relativistic particle repel a stationary mass? According to MIT's Technology Review, the LHC would be the perfect place to test this idea: Felber could "set up a test mass next to the beam line and measure the forces on it as the particles whiz past." The experiment could be run in tandem with the collider's other work -- and who knows? Mankind may soon be on its way to the stars at near-light speeds. Let's just hope we figure this out before the robots take over.

[Via Technology Review]

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Physicist wants to test Hyperdrive Propulsion in Large Hadron Collider