Redneck Hadron Collider

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With beers in their hands, Brodie and Mike strolled through the kitchen to the garage. Painfully bright lights switched on automatically. Coach Brodie had majored in quantum physics before he dropped out of grad school. His day job was now applied physics and geometry in the guise of six periods of gym. Mike was a science teacher at the same middle school.
Coils of spiral metal tubing littered the floor.
“What’re you making now, moonshine?”
Brodie said, “It’s the Redneck Hadron Collider!
The tubing was wrapped with fine copper wire along its entire length, like a metal guitar string. Two galvanized metal ducts hung from the ceiling in large diameter curves gently sloping down to the floor.
“See, the coils go in the ducts filled with liquid nitrogen. The wire generates a superconducting magnetic field. All I need is a particle generator on one end and detectors on the other.”
Mike recognized the general design. “Fermilab’s Mu2e experiment used a smaller bore and tighter curves like that back in 2016.”
“Right, the Transport Solenoid, a tight s-curve wrapped in magnets to concentrate the beam. But even with that small diameter, it’s like spittin’ in the Grand Canyon.”
“You’re lucky you have a day job. You couldn’t get near CERN with this jury rig.”
“Prissy French piece of junk. Who needs it?”
After another beer, Mike said, “Archie’s modeling the Higgs field for the science fair.”
Brodie said, “I like that kid. He’s a riot.”

The next day, Mike surveyed the science fair projects, including his son’s. Brodie was standing there in uncustomary silence, contemplating something . . . different, Archie’s project.
A net bag hung from the ceiling. A water balloon made from a large surgical glove rested inside. It was almost transparent but the bag supported it gently. There was a glass pipette tube sticking out of the glove opening, rubber bands sealed the opening tight around the tube. On the other end of the tube, in the water, a smaller balloon was similarly attached and sealed.
Archie fixed bendable straws to the protruding end of the tube, bent them down and then parallel to the equator of the inflated glove. He blew into the straw and the small balloon inside began to inflate. He let go and the air escaped through the straw with a hiss. The little universe began to spin.
“See, outside the universe is ‘nothing’ connected now to the ‘nothing’ inside the universe. I cleared the Higgs field from the center. It’s like a Klein bottle where the inside and the outside are one continuous surface. It’s a star drive!”
Brodie said under his breath, “Yeah it is, buddy.”

The next night in Brodie’s garage, Brodie explained his breakthrough to Mike.
“Look, take Archie’s project at face value. What if there was a bubble of whatever is outside the universe inflating inside the universe, like the small balloon in the center of the big water balloon?
“We think a Higgs boson triggered the Big Bang, so a Higgs boson must interact with what existed before the Big Bang, what still exists between universes, the multiverse field.
“So, the point is to make a space inside our universe that also contains the multiverse field. That’s Archie’s balloon in the balloon.
“All we have to do is figure out how to stimulate the Higgs field from all directions at once concentrating at a single point. The particle-free void attracts particles through the bubble’s semi-permeable surface. When particles start seeping through, the bubble and what contains it begins to move through space.
“It’s like a jet-ski nozzle; the same continuum is sucked in and races out the back. So, the bubble moves at the speed the particles leave. If you also can control the direction, you can ‘steer’ the bubble. It is a star drive.”

A month later, a steampunkish bathysphere of metal with glass ports hung from the ceiling of Brodie’s garage. About three feet in diameter, it was connected to the floor, corners and walls with quarter-inch cables tightened with turnbuckles.
“That ain’t going nowhere.”
“Sez you Mike.”
Nozzles pointing to the center protruded into the sphere at regular intervals. Outside, attached to each nozzle, spiral tubes were enclosed in sealed metal pipes filled with liquid nitrogen flowing from a pressurized tank. The free ends were gathered in bundles attached to surplus particle accelerators.
Mike and Brodie sat near the kitchen doorway. Brodie pulled on his goggles and said, “Watch this.” He flipped switches on an RC controller that lit the particle generators and turned on the electromagnetic coils. The pipes hummed and stirred as the particle beams spiraled through. A glowing beam emerged from each nozzle and met at the center of the sphere’s interior. Vibrating in pulses, the sphere whined as liquid nitrogen valves began to vent, releasing pressure.
“It’s going to explode!” Mike yelled.
“Probably not! Just watch!”
Mike drew closer to the glass port. A clear bubble was forming in the center of the sphere. The beams started to play over it like lightening. Inside, a smaller spherical object moved between the nozzles responding to the controller.
The bubble bulged, following the object’s movement. The cables began to squeak as the ball strained against them. The whole garage began to creak rhythmically. A truss split. A turnbuckle snapped. An eyebolt explosively dislodged. Cables sliced through the air and cut through liquid nitrogen pipes.
Brodie ducked and lunged toward Mike, pulling him into the kitchen as the door slammed shut. The now untethered sphere hovered, spun and blurred as the nitrogen tank vented a screaming whistle and exploded.

Brodie pushed up his goggles. Mike muttered, “Your insurance won’t pay for that.”
Later, as neighbors viewed still flaming remains of the garage, Brodie and Mike examined a piece of the roof that had landed on the lawn intact. Brodie stooped down and felt a smooth round hole in the roof, about the size of the sphere.
He said, “Huh, son of a bitch worked.”

About the Author: 
Steven Schneider is an attorney and author based in Spokane, Washington USA. He is soon to be publishing his first science fiction novel, Sweet Charlotte in the Higgs Field.