Scared of Big Bang test, people in Orissa turn to the gods

September 10th, 2008 - 12:53 pm ICT by IANS  

Bhubaneswar, Sep 10 (IANS) Fearing that the scientific experiment to study the formation of the universe might have a negative impact on the earth, people in Orissa are flocking to places of religious worship to seek divine help. Scientists conducting the experiment Wednesday in Geneva have ruled out any trouble but the credulous have said the experiment might bring the end of the universe.

“Some television channels have shown that the experiment may affect the earth, and we are afraid and are therefore turning to god,” Sanghamitra Biswal a housewife in Bhubaneswar, told IANS.

Biswal, who lives in the Niladri Vihar area of the city, along with her husband and three children, visited a Shiv temple Wednesday morning. She says she is also keeping a fast.

“It is only god who can prevent trouble and we are praying for our safety and for the safety of the earth,” she said.

Biswal is not alone. According to reports reaching here people visited temples in different part of the state early Wednesday.

Temples in many part of the state witnessed large crowds in the morning, eyewitnesses said.

“Large number of devotees performed puja (prayers) Tuesday evening,” said Sudhanshu Mishra, a priest based here.

“Whereever you go there is only one discussion and it is about the experiment,” Raghunath Mohanty, a college teacher in Bhubaneswar, said.

“We have received large number of queries from people. They are asking us if there is any threat to the earth,” said Subhendu Patnaik, director of the Pathani Samanta Planetarium.

“We are telling them it is like any other scientific experiment and nothing bad is going to happen.”

The well-known Welsh physicist, Lyn Evans, dubbed Evans the Atom, will switch on a giant particle accelerator designed to unlock the secrets of the Big Bang as a part of this expensive experiment that has been in the preparation for the last 30 years.

Evans will fire up the Large Hadron Collider, a 17-mile-long doughnut-shaped tunnel that will smash sub-atomic particles together at nearly the speed of light.

Built by the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN), the collider lies beneath the French-Swiss border, near the institution’s headquarters in Geneva, at depths ranging from 170 to 600 feet.

The aim of the 4.4 billion-pound (over $7.7 billion) experiment is to recreate the conditions that existed a fraction of a second after the Big Bang - the hypothesised birth of the universe - and provide vital clues to the building blocks of life.

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