Tuesday, December 1, 2009

527)Large Hadron Collider Roars To Life, Opening Up A Window To The Marvels Of The Ultra-Miniscule Creation; Quotes Of Aga Khan IV And Others.

"In Islamic belief, knowledge is two-fold. There is that revealed through the Holy Prophet (s.a.s.) and that which man discovers by virtue of his own intellect. Nor do these two involve any contradiction, provided man remembers that his own mind is itself the creation of God. Without this humility, no balance is possible. With it, there are no barriers. Indeed, one strength of Islam has always lain in its belief that creation is not static but continuous, that through scientific and other endeavours, God has opened and continues to open new windows for us to see the marvels of His creation"(Aga Khan IV, Aga Khan University, 16 March 1983, Karachi, Pakistan)

"......The Quran tells us that signs of Allah’s Sovereignty are found in the contemplation of His Creation - in the heavens and the earth, the night and the day, the clouds and the seas, the winds and the waters...."(Aga Khan IV, Kampala, Uganda, August 22 2007)

"Of the Abrahamic faiths, Islam is probably the one that places the greatest emphasis on knowledge. The purpose is to understand God's creation, and therefore it is a faith which is eminently logical. Islam is a faith of reason"(Aga Khan IV, Spiegel Magazine interview, Germany, Oct 9th 2006)

"Science is a wonderful, powerful tool and research budgets are essential. But Science is only the beginning in the new age we are entering. Islam does not perceive the world as two seperate domains of mind and spirit, science and belief. Science and the search for knowledge are an expression of man's designated role in the universe, but they do not define that role totally....."(Aga Khan IV, McMaster University Convocation, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, May 15th 1987)

“Muslims believe in an all-encompassing unit of man and nature. To them there is no fundamental division between the spiritual and the material while the whole world, whether it be the earth, sea or air, or the living creatures that inhabit them, is an expression of God’s creation.”(Aga Khan IV, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA, 13 April 1984)

"The truth, as the famous Islamic scholars repeatedly told their students, is that the spirit of disciplined, objective enquiry is the property of no single culture, but of all humanity. To quote the great physician and philosopher, Ibn Sina: "My profession is to be forever journeying, to travel about the universe so that I may know all its conditions." "(Aga Khan IV, Aga Khan University, 16 March 1983, Karachi, Pakistan)

"Islam does not deal in dichotomies but in all encompassing Unity. Spirit and body are one, man and nature are one. What is more, man is answerable to God for what man has created"(Aga Khan IV, Speech to the Asia Society, New York, USA, September 25 1979)

"Our religious leadership must be acutely aware of secular trends, including those generated by this age of science and technology. Equally, our academic or secular elite must be deeply aware of Muslim history, of the scale and depth of leadership exercised by the Islamic empire of the past in all fields"(Aga Khan IV, 6th February 1970, Hyderabad, Pakistan)

"God has given us the miracle of life with all its attributes: the extraordinary manifestations of sunrise and sunset, of sickness and recovery, of birth and death, but surely if He has given us the means with which to remove ourselves from this world so as to go to other parts of the Universe, we can but accept as further manifestations the creation and destructions of stars, the birth and death of atomic particles, the flighting new sound and light waves. I am afraid that the torch of intellectual discovery, the attraction of the unknown, the desire for intellectual self-perfection have left us"(Aga Khan IV,Speech, 1963, Mindanao, Phillipines)

"The creation according to Islam is not a unique act in a given time but a perpetual and constant event; and God supports and sustains all existence at every moment by His will and His thought. Outside His will, outside His thought, all is nothing, even the things which seem to us absolutely self-evident such as space and time. Allah alone wishes: the Universe exists; and all manifestations are as a witness of the Divine Will"(Memoirs of Aga Khan III, 1954)

"Islamic doctrine goes further than the other great religions, for it proclaims the presence of the soul, perhaps minute but nevertheless existing in an embryonic state, in all existence in matter, in animals, trees, and space itself. Every individual, every molecule, every atom has its own spiritual relationship with the All-Powerful Soul of God"(Memoirs of Aga Khan III, 1954)

Thus Islam's basic principle can only be defined as mono-realism and not as monotheism. Consider, for example, the opening declaration of every Islamic prayer: "Allah-o-Akbar". What does that mean? There can be no doubt that the second word of the declaration likens the character of Allah to a matrix which contains all and gives existence to the infinite, to space, to time, to the Universe, to all active and passive forces imaginable, to life and to the soul. Imam Hassan has explained the Islamic doctrine of God and the Universe by analogy with the sun and its reflection in the pool of a fountain; there is certainly a reflection or image of the sun, but with what poverty and with what little reality; how small and pale is the likeness between this impalpable image and the immense, blazing, white-hot glory of the celestial sphere itself. Allah is the sun; and the Universe, as we know it in all its magnitude, and time, with its power, are nothing more than the reflection of the Absolute in the mirror of the fountain"(Memoirs of Aga Khan III, 1954)

"Islam is fundamentally in its very nature a natural religion. Throughout the Quran God's signs (Ayats) are referred to as the natural phenomenon, the law and order of the universe, the exactitudes and consequences of the relations between natural phenomenon in cause and effect. Over and over, the stars, sun, moon, earthquakes, fruits of the earth and trees are mentioned as the signs of divine power, divine law and divine order. Even in the Ayeh of Noor, divine is referred to as the natural phenomenon of light and even references are made to the fruit of the earth. During the great period of Islam, Muslims did not forget these principles of their religion."(Aga Khan III, April 4th 1952, Karachi, Pakistan)

"The God of the Quran is the One whose Ayats(Signs) are the Universe in which we live, move and have our being"(Aga Khan III, April 4th 1952, Karachi, Pakistan)

"In fact this world is a book in which you see inscribed the writings of God the Almighty"(Nasir Khusraw, 11th century Fatimid Ismaili cosmologist-philosopher-poet)

"O brother! You asked: What is the [meaning of] `alam [world] and what is that entity to which this name applies? How should we describe the world in its entirety? And how many worlds are there? Explain so that we may recognize. Know, O brother, that the name `alam is derived from [the word] `ilm(knowledge), because the traces of knowledge are evident in [all] parts of the physical world. Thus, we say that the very constitution (nihad) of the world is based on a profound wisdom"(Nasir Khusraw, 11th century Fatimid Ismaili cosmologist-philosopher-poet, from his book "Knowledge and Liberation")

“The physician considers [the bones] so that he may know a way of healing by setting them, but those with insight consider them so that through them they may draw conclusions about the majesty of Him who created and shaped [the bones]. What a difference between the two who consider!”(Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali, Muslim Theologian-Philosopher-Mystic, d1111CE)

"Tarkib' is composition as in the compounding of elements in the process of making more complex things, that is, of adding together two things to form a synthesis, a compound. Soul composes in the sense of 'tarkib'; it is the animating force that combines the physical elements of the natural universe into beings that move and act. Incorporating is an especially apt word in this instance. It means to turn something into a body, as in 'composing'. But it is actually the conversion of an intellectual object, a thought, into a physical thing. Soul acts by incorporating reason into physical objects, the natural matter of the universe and all the things composed of it"(Abu Yakub Al-Sijistani,10th century Fatimid Ismaili cosmologist, d971CE, from the book, 'Abu Yakub Al-Sijistani: Intellectual Missionary', by Paul Walker)

"Every particle of the Creation has a share of the Command of God, because every creature shares a part of the Command of God through which it has come to be there and by virtue of which it remains in being and the light of the Command ofGod shines in it. Understand this!"(Abu Yakub Al Sijistani, 10th century Fatimid Ismaili cosmologist, d971, Kashf al-Mahjub("Unveiling of the Hidden"))

"Seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave"(Prophet Muhammad, circa 632CE)"

"Seek knowledge, even in China"(Prophet Muhammad, circa 632CE)

"One hour of contemplation on the works of the Creator is better than a thousand hours of prayer"(Prophet Muhammad, circa 632CE)

"All human beings, by their nature, desire to know."(Aristotle, The Metaphysics, circa 322BC)

The above are 23 quotes and excerpts taken from Blogpost Four Hundred, a collection of around 100 quotes on the subjects of Knowledge, Intellect, Creation, Science and Religion:

Large Hadron Collider roars to life

The world's largest particle accelerator is spurred to record-breaking speed, suggesting that it will deliver on its scientific promise. And it's not even at full power yet.

The much-delayed, problem-plagued European Large Hadron Collider, the world's largest particle accelerator, is finally beginning to show off the technological muscle that is expected to produce some of the greatest scientific discoveries of the 21st century.

After months of repairs, operators at the $8-billion collider located on the Franco-Swiss border successfully accelerated the machine's twin beams of protons to 1.18 trillion electron volts Monday. That surpasses the previous collider record of 0.98 trillion electron volts, set in 2001 by America's Tevatron collider, located at Fermilab outside Chicago.

Such power suggests the collider may yet do what its creators had hoped -- recreate conditions that existed shortly after the Big Bang.

The collider isn't even at full power yet. In coming weeks, the international team of physicists and engineers who built the machine in a 17-mile circular tunnel 300 feet underground is planning to gradually increase the energies in each of the two proton beams.

Eventually, scientists hope to produce 14 trillion electron volts by colliding the beams together at just a whisker below the speed of light.

That would not only help researchers understand the conditions that led to the development of today's universe, it also could unmask the long-sought Higgs boson particle, one of the most elusive and mysterious objects since the Yeti.

"That's the Holy Grail," said Caltech physicist Mark Wise.

Physicists believe the Higgs particle is what gives mass to the rest of the particle zoo, from quarks to neutrons and protons. But no machine has been powerful enough to create a Higgs.

"We are still coming to terms with just how smoothly the LHC commissioning is going," Rolf Heuer, director general of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, said in a statement. "It is fantastic. However, we are continuing to take it step by step, and there is still a lot to do before we start physics in 2010. I'm keeping my champagne on ice until then.

"The history of collider physics dates to the early 20th century, when scientists realized that atomic nuclei were made of objects smaller than protons and neutrons.

The theory behind a collider is simple: Send a beam of protons crashing into something, either a stationary target or a beam of particles traveling in the opposite direction, then wait and see what comes out.

As bigger and more powerful colliders were built, physicists began to uncover a plethora of tiny objects, such as quarks, which were held together by other tiny objects called gluons.

To understand the infinitesimal nature of these new objects, consider that if a quark measured an inch, an atom would stretch a thousand miles.

These discoveries allowed scientists to devise a picture of the universe at the subatomic level. Called the Standard Model, it is considered the most successful scientific theory in history, explaining how the melange of particles fits together and gives rise to the familiar forces that surround us.

One thing the standard model has not been able to do, Wise said, is show why particles have mass and how that mass is distributed.

Scientists believe that's because the particle responsible for mass, the Higgs boson -- named for Scottish physicist Peter Higgs -- can't be produced in today's accelerators. Because it is thought to bind weakly with other particles, "you need a lot of collisions" to produce one, Wise said.

That led scientists to envision a new generation of giant colliders.

Construction of the giant European collider was approved in 1995, but encountered numerous problems, beginning with funding overruns that bloated the already huge budget.

The next step in revving up the machine will be initiating low-energy collisions for calibration purposes.

The first meaningful results from collisions are expected in the first quarter of next year, scientists said.

Copyright © 2009, The Los Angeles Times

Related Posts:

Easy Nash

The Qur'an itself repeatedly recommends Muslims to become better educated in order better to understand God's creation: Aga Khan IV(2007)
The Quran tells us that signs of Allah's Sovereignty are found in the contemplation of His Creation: Aga Khan IV(2007)
This notion of the capacity of the human intellect to understand and to admire the creation of Allah will bring you happiness in your everyday lives: Aga Khan IV(2007)
Islam, eminently logical, placing the greatest emphasis on knowledge, purports to understand God's creation: Aga Khan IV(2006)
The Holy Qu'ran's encouragement to study nature and the physical world around us gave the original impetus to scientific enquiry among Muslims: Aga Khan IV(1985)
The first and only thing created by God was the Intellect(Aql): Prophet Muhammad(circa 632CE)