What hath man wrought?

“Billions of volts,” he says, eyes widening, the ghost of Carl Sagan surely lingering somewhere nearby. “Billions.”

Everyone knows that the Large Hadron Collider produces extremely high energies. Doomsday machine, it’s been called by less than authoritative sources. But when you’re here, standing within the radius of the world’s most expensive circle, it all becomes that much more real. Billions of volts. Billions. A billion stars, a billion volts…I can’t stop asking myself: Do you realize how much a billion is, really?

Inside the AD hall, it’s impossible to tell what time of day it is. Flourscent lights always have the same white yellow illuminescence, and the small reflection of sunlight supposedly visible from the control room is, as far as I can tell, a myth. Nonetheless, the clock on the corner of the computer screen has no qualms about revealing that it’s actually 4 AM, the witching hour. Oddly appropriate because well, as it would happen, we are all sitting here trying to do something sort of like magic.

When night shift ends I find myself emerging into a crystalline, sun drenched dawn– the heretofore elusive Mont Blanc revealing itself, at last, beaming white on the horizon. Or else, the morning, as it was today, is more like Sweden in March: rainy, erratic, and 10 or below. But it’s alright, because while we were away from the world that actually matches the resolution of our eyes, the calendar turned into June. June, and there’s snow resting quietly on the rounded peaks of the Jura mountains to the west outside of my window.


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