I have decided to be extra clear about what I mean with Dexter - he is a bit thick at times. He kicks at his football and knocks over a pot plant.
'Well if you're not going to play then I'll have to ask Tyler because this is pretty much the last chance before we all get sucked into a black hole. Would've thought you'd heard about it, he says. 'My dad says they should close the school but I bet Mrs Trundle keeps it open and we'll all be doing a spelling test as we die.' He pulls an imaginary cord round his neck and lolls his tongue out.
'Yeah I know that,' I say, even though I did not because nobody can even hear the radio or TV withmy baby brother, George bellowing all the time; so I am spending more and more time with my earmuffs on talking to the sticks in my room. Even now, George is cranking himself up for a big yell upstairs. 'Yeah, should be good.'
'I wish we did science like that,' says Dexter, pushing the pieces of broken pot onto the gravel. 'A giant colliding thing would be ace.'
Dad pops his head up from the cellar stairs. He is polishing Lord Baden Powell's molar which he got for a present from Grandpa Jack.
'Large Hadron Collider,' he says to me, 'Thought you'd know about that.'
'I did,' I lie suavely or at least I soon will ...
So here it is:
THE LARGE HADRON COLLIDER
is not small even though it is dealing with the most tiny piece of the universe - a part of an atom called a hadron. The LHC is 26 miles of underground between France and Switzerland and has taken 10 years to build by 20 different countries.
It looks like a world domination experiment done by someone called, Dr Mad. When one of Dr Mad's evil assistants presses the big red button all the hadrons will hurl themselves from both ends of the tunnel, colliding. This will make the teeniest explosion ever in the tiniest amount of time. Dr Mad thinks he will have unleashed human eating monsters from a parallel universe which only he can stop - for a price.
BUT in actual fact when he has stopped laughing he will find out what happened a trillionth of a second after the universe was created 13.7 billion years ago OR
We will all be sucked into a black hole. It could go either way.
The main things to know will be:
a. about new and interesting particles in the universe
b. dark matter - what it is and why it matters
c. this is not the right experiment for world dominationI better go and play football, to be on the safe side.