E eu falando em FC soviética…


Action takes place in the Leningrad, USSR, apparently in the 1970s.

The protagonist, Dmitry Aleskeevich Malyanov (Дмитрий Алексеевич Малянов) is an astrophysicist who, while officially on leave, continues work on his thesis “Interaction of Stars with Diffused Galactic Matter”. Just as he begins to realize that he is on the verge of a revolutionary discovery, his life becomes plagued by strange events.

Malyanov’s neighbor dies, possibly as a suicide, and he comes under suspicion of the police for murder. Unexpectedly, he is visited by an attractive woman claiming to be his wife’s classmate. An apparent explosion fells a large tree just outside his window. These events seem to conspire to prevent Malyanov from returning to his work.

Approaching the problem with a scientific mindset, Malyanov suspects the potential discovery is in the way of someone (or something) intent on preventing the completion of his work. The same idea occurs to his friends and acquaintances, who find themselves in a similar impasse — some powerful, mysterious, and very selective force impedes their work in fields ranging from biology to mathematical linguistics.

A solution is proposed by Malyanov’s friend and neighbor, the mathematician Vecherovsky (Вечеровский). He posits that the mysterious force is the Universe’s reaction to the Mankind’s scientific pursuit which threatens to discover the very essence of the Universe. This reaction is what prevents development of “super-civilizations”, ones that would be able to counteract the Second law of thermodynamics on a cosmic scale.

Paradoxically, Vecherovsky proposes to treat this Universal resistance to scientific progress as a natural phenomenon which can and should be investigated and even harnessed by Science.”

Er, realidade:

More than a year after an explosion of sparks, soot and frigid helium shut it down, the world’s biggest and most expensive physics experiment, known as the Large Hadron Collider, is poised to start up again. In December, if all goes well, protons will start smashing together in an underground racetrack outside Geneva in a search for forces and particles that reigned during the first trillionth of a second of the Big Bang.

Then it will be time to test one of the most bizarre and revolutionary theories in science. I’m not talking about extra dimensions of space-time, dark matter or even black holes that eat the Earth. No, I’m talking about the notion that the troubled collider is being sabotaged by its own future. A pair of otherwise distinguished physicists have suggested that the hypothesized Higgs boson, which physicists hope to produce with the collider, might be so abhorrent to nature that its creation would ripple backward through time and stop the collider before it could make one, like a time traveler who goes back in time to kill his grandfather.

Holger Bech Nielsen, of the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen, and Masao Ninomiya of the Yukawa Institute for Theoretical Physics in Kyoto, Japan, put this idea forward in a series of papers with titles like “Test of Effect From Future in Large Hadron Collider: a Proposal” and “Search for Future Influence From LHC,” posted on the physics Web site arXiv.org in the last year and a half.

According to the so-called Standard Model that rules almost all physics, the Higgs is responsible for imbuing other elementary particles with mass.

“It must be our prediction that all Higgs producing machines shall have bad luck,” Dr. Nielsen said in an e-mail message. In an unpublished essay, Dr. Nielson said of the theory, “Well, one could even almost say that we have a model for God.” It is their guess, he went on, “that He rather hates Higgs particles, and attempts to avoid them.”

This malign influence from the future, they argue, could explain why the United States Superconducting Supercollider, also designed to find the Higgs, was canceled in 1993 after billions of dollars had already been spent, an event so unlikely that Dr. Nielsen calls it an “anti-miracle.”


Dr. Nielsen admits that he and Dr. Ninomiya’s new theory smacks of time travel, a longtime interest, which has become a respectable research subject in recent years. While it is a paradox to go back in time and kill your grandfather, physicists agree there is no paradox if you go back in time and save him from being hit by a bus. In the case of the Higgs and the collider, it is as if something is going back in time to keep the universe from being hit by a bus. Although just why the Higgs would be a catastrophe is not clear. If we knew, presumably, we wouldn’t be trying to make one. (…)

(hat tip: PMF)