What lots of people think will occur when the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) at the Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island attempts to create quark-gluon plasma, a type of matter unseen since around the time of the Big Bang.

The RHIC will, according to Discovery Online, "hurl particles into one another almost at the speed of light, generating temperatures of a trillion degrees and creating a substance that has not existed for 13 billion years". The creation of the quark-gluon plasma could force the universe into a less energetic state, swallowing up all of the universe at the speed of light in, well, a Universe-Destroying Chain Reaction.

Physicists have dismissed concerns, and the RHIC started smashing atoms about five days ago. While they admit that it's remotely possible that humanity could, in fact, destroy their own universe, they point to the cosmos and say that if it was going to happen, it would have happened somewhere else already. But Einstein told us that there are only two things that are infinite: the Universe and human stupidity. And he wasn't sure about the former.

You can view photos of the upcoming apocalypse at http://www.bnl.gov.

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