When CERN's Large Hadron Collider is fired up again at the end of April, physicists won't just be testing for unknown particles. They'll also be testing a new FAQ page, and it's an unusual one that distances CERN from demons and Satan. Since the LHC began smashing particles together, conspiracy theorists have suggested physicists were about to open a door to another dimension, allowing apocalyptic forces to reach our planet, reports the Wall Street Journal. An editorial in Michigan's Daily Reporter in September noted CERN "could easily and suddenly, without warning, destroy our universe." A few pointed out that CERN's logo included the 666 sign of the Antichrist. Then there was the group who planned to protest the smashing of particles at CERN. "I guess they more or less see particles as planets with very small 'people' on them," a rep says.
"It got to the point where there really needed to be some intervention," says CERN's social media rep. The FAQ page, born in September, not only describes CERN's logo as depicting particle accelerators rather than a sign of Satan, it also clarifies that "CERN will not open a door to another dimension," though physicists can test for particles that may suggest extra dimensions exist. The nice thing is that the page can always be updated, says a rep. For example, it doesn't yet address rumors of "occult symbolism" hidden in a dance opera filmed inside CERN. But it isn't clear if all conspiracy theories can be crushed. CERN seems to inherently draw the "conspiracy subculture," says a political science professor at Syracuse University. "Any time you have forces that are high energy and invisible, they lend themselves to these kinds of interpretations." (Read more CERN stories.)