Monsters and Dust

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3 .

At the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory about 50 miles east of Lobot, there is complex the size of a football field housing a giant super-laser. It is comprised of 192 beams converging onto a single point, concentrating their energy onto a ball of frozen hydrogen the size of a match head. The laser was finished in March of this year after 12 years of construction and $3.5 billion. In 2010 the lasers will heat the hydrogen BB up to the point of nuclear fission, essentially creating a tiny star on earth for a brief moment.

The Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, 6000 miles away, is also set to resume operation after its operations were halted last year. There are theories that this particle accelerator could create a tiny black hole, which would gravitate to the center of the earth and swallow it in less than a minute.xvii

About 50 yards west of Lobot lay the ruins of an old train station. It was once the western terminus of the Transcontinental Railroad.xviii