I love writing about CERN, the European physics centre. Every time I do it feels like writing about something world-changing, something pushing the very limits of our technological capabilities, something that is increasing humankind's understanding of life, the universe and everything.
The announcement on Tuesday that it is increasing the beam energy of the Large Hadron Collider to four teraelectron volts (TeV) may sound hard to comprehend but it could provide the final push scientists need to help uncover the elusive Higgs Boson. This would be the last piece in a jigsaw that would help explain much of the way the universe is formed.
However, mentioning my admiration for CERN and its experiments in the office was met with a few cries of, "how will it have any benefit?" and, even worse, a dismissive, "so what?" - not, I should hasten to add, from any V3 staff.
While briefly stunned by these views I thought a bit more about why it does matter that humans undertake these kind of endeavours, that we do plough millions of pounds into research that may result in us concluding a particle we thought exists turns out not to.
Such experiments, the desire for knowledge, the need to understand the why and the how of life, are what have lead us to our glorious, technological-rich world in which we now live.
The work of CERN is no different to scientists trying to understand what electricity was in the 1800s, how it could be harnessed, how it could be applied to real-life; work that led to the artificially-lit world we now take for granted.
It doesn't seem too much of a stretch to imagine though, that when such debates and experiments were taking place, there were those that scoffed and believed it all a waste of time; that gas lighting, perhaps, was adequate for reading or lighting the streets.
At that time, the experiments were also hardly likely to yield clear, immediate benefits that could win the doubters round, but who now would argue the time and money spent was wasted?
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