Cameron Hummels

Columbia University, PhD Candidate

Will the World End in 2012?

Misinformed conspiracy theorists, blockbuster films and general fear-mongering suggest that December 21, 2012 will mark the end of the world. Proponents of this idea cite diverse and often unsubstantiated astronomical reasons for an imminent apocalypse: the end of the Mayan long-count calendar; an alignment between the Solar System and the Milky Way; a devastating solar flare and the consequent neutrino flux; the reversal of the Earth's magnetic field; and a devastating collision with 'Planet X'. I will discuss the real science behind all of these claims and separate the fact from fiction. Spoiler alert: we'll all still be here on December 22nd, 2012.