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  • LHC, LLC: Doomsday fears spark lawsuit

    Considering this is one of the prime focuses of my research (the LHC, not the lawsuit: see http://arxiv.org/abs/0712.1786), I found this quite amusing. I guess I'm now an accomplice!

    Question, though: if the unthinkable happens, who is left to collect the payout?

    ===============================================

    Doomsday fears spark lawsuit

    Posted: Thursday, March 27, 2008 11:00 AM by Alan Boyle

    The builders of the world's biggest particle collider are being sued in federal court over fears that the experiment might create globe-gobbling black holes or never-before-seen strains of matter that would destroy the planet.

    Representatives at Fermilab in Illinois and at Europe's CERN laboratory, two of the defendants in the case, say there's no chance that the Large Hadron Collider would cause such cosmic catastrophes. Nevertheless, they're bracing to defend themselves in the courtroom as well as the court of public opinion.

    Complete story: http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/archive/ ... 23924.aspx

  • #2
    Hey, we almost got swallowed up a Stargate-induced black hole already---time to call Samantha Carter and rest of SG-1!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: LHC, LLC: Doomsday fears spark lawsuit

      Originally posted by JRM
      The builders of the world's biggest particle collider are being sued in federal court over fears that the experiment might create globe-gobbling black holes or never-before-seen strains of matter that would destroy the planet.
      Yawn - didn't MattMarriott already warn us about this? JRM, I am going to hold you personally responsible if a black hole crushes the galaxy or worse, wormholes us into Borg Space! (Unless of course there's another 7 of 9 out there, in which case my resistance is futile. 8)

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      • #4
        Re: LHC, LLC: Doomsday fears spark lawsuit

        Originally posted by JRM
        Question, though: if the unthinkable happens...
        Is the probability of this greater than zero? If it is you shouldn't even be contemplating this.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: LHC, LLC: Doomsday fears spark lawsuit

          Originally posted by Marlow
          Originally posted by JRM
          The builders of the world's biggest particle collider are being sued in federal court over fears that the experiment might create globe-gobbling black holes or never-before-seen strains of matter that would destroy the planet.
          Yawn - didn't MattMarriott already warn us about this? JRM, I am going to hold you personally responsible if a black hole crushes the galaxy or worse, wormholes us into Borg Space! (Unless of course there's another 7 of 9 out there, in which case my resistance is futile. 8)
          Speaking of MM and his warnings: CERN, the location of the LHC, is the setting for the action in "Angels and Daemons", Dan Brown's prequel to "The da Vinci Code". And which evil organization is plotting world domination? The Illuminati, of course!

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          • #6
            That's nothing! Guess who owns the domain name georgewbushlibrary.com?

            http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent ... ba34c.html

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            • #7
              Originally posted by gh
              That's nothing! Guess who owns the domain name georgewbushlibrary.com?
              http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent ... ba34c.html
              Oh Jeez! Now the Illuninati know martial arts??!! They are unstoppable!

              Comment


              • #8
                The NY Times carried a piece on this that i read last night. This is not the first that I have heard of this theory, in general. It was listed as one of several absolute disasters listed as things to worry about -- another one is a large asteroid/comment hitting the earth.

                Casual observation indicates that there have been quite a few events like this happening over time (billions/second in our sun, billions of suns and billions of years) and the universe has not suddenly disappeared. A rather far out projection from 'observation free' string theory variants do not seem to be the stuff of factual basis. If we used the principle suggested by the plaintiffs we would not get anywhere and you could probably re-phrase almost any effort in terms that might cause harm.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by 26mi235
                  Casual observation indicates that there have been quite a few events like this happening over time (billions/second in our sun, billions of suns and billions of years) and the universe has not suddenly disappeared. A rather far out projection from 'observation free' string theory variants do not seem to be the stuff of factual basis. If we used the principle suggested by the plaintiffs we would not get anywhere and you could probably re-phrase almost any effort in terms that might cause harm.
                  Actually, it wouldn't be happening in the Sun, since fusion energies are about 100,000 times smaller than those that will be produced in the LHC. There are, however, ultra-high-energy cosmic rays that frequently hit Earth's upper atmosphere, which are on par with LHC energies (and they've been happening for billions of years). The end result is what you say, though: we're still here.

                  Breakthroughs in "energy barriers" always lead to doomsday chat. Prior to the Trinity Test in 1945, several of the scientists were speculating that the nuclear explosion would ignite the nitrogen in the atmosphere and burn the earth to a cinder (well, it *would* have ended WWII, at least). They later said the same thing about the Hydrogen Bomb.

                  Particle collision energies a bit smaller than the LHC have been going on for a few years at Fermilab outside Chicago, as well as Brookhaven National Lab on Long Island (where the exact same disaster scenarios -- strangelet particles and black holes -- were predicted). Didn't happen... but there's always next time!

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                  • #10
                    Since the beginning of time people just love their dooms day fix. There are only 2 realistic dooms day threats that i know of. 6 mile wide asteroid and the sun burning out. Is there another one JRM? All out nuc. warfare? Black hole? Super Nova?
                    phsstt!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by SQUACKEE
                      Since the beginning of time people just love their dooms day fix. There are only 2 realistic dooms day threats that i know of. 6 mile wide asteroid and the sun burning out. Is there another one JRM? All out nuc. warfare? Black hole? Super Nova?
                      A killer asteroid is probably the most apparent and real threat we face, vis-a-vis doomsday. This is simply because there are so many out there that we can't hope to see them all, at least not before it's too late. Be sure to mark the following date on your calendar: 13 Apr 2029 (Friday! How's that for creepy!)

                      December 24 Update: 2004 MN4 is now being tracked very carefully by many astronmers around the world, and we continue to update our risk analysis for this object. Today's impact monitoring results indicate that the impact probability for April 13, 2029 has risen to about 1.6%, which for an object of this size corresponds to a rating of 4 on the ten-point Torino Scale. Nevertheless, the odds against impact are still high, about 60 to 1, meaning that there is a better than 98% chance that new data in the coming days, weeks, and months will rule out any possibility of impact in 2029.
                      Link: http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news146.html
                      The Sun won't go nova for another few million years, so we're probably OK there. Tiny black holes could be zooming through space and could inadvertently pass through the Earth, but they'd be traveling so fast that they wouldn't really create a significant problem.

                      Nuclear war? Hmm...

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                      • #12
                        Re: LHC, LLC: Doomsday fears spark lawsuit

                        Originally posted by pherekydes
                        Originally posted by JRM
                        Question, though: if the unthinkable happens...
                        Is the probability of this greater than zero? If it is you shouldn't even be contemplating this.
                        To put things in perspective: the danger of this happening should worry you about as much as the danger of an archaeological dig in Egypt releasing vengeful mummies that will ravage the world looking for the spirit of their long-departed Queen.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: LHC, LLC: Doomsday fears spark lawsuit

                          Originally posted by JRM
                          Originally posted by pherekydes
                          Originally posted by JRM
                          Question, though: if the unthinkable happens...
                          Is the probability of this greater than zero? If it is you shouldn't even be contemplating this.
                          To put things in perspective: the danger of this happening should worry you about as much as the danger of an archaeological dig in Egypt releasing vengeful mummies that will ravage the world looking for the spirit of their long-departed Queen.
                          Oh my God! I saw the documentary! Researcher Brendan Fraser is shown in this picture encountering a vengeful mummy.

                          http://www.imdb.com/media/rm3936917760/tt0120616
                          phsstt!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by JRM
                            Particle collision energies a bit smaller than the LHC have been going on for a few years at Fermilab outside Chicago, as well as Brookhaven National Lab on Long Island (where the exact same disaster scenarios -- strangelet particles and black holes -- were predicted). Didn't happen... but there's always next time!
                            If Dave Carey is out there on this board, he should chime in here. Dave is Secretary-General of FAST, editor of the FAST Newsletter for years, and with Scott Davis published the American National Women's Record Progression. Dave is also a particle physicist who works at Fermilab - possibly retired now.

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                            • #15
                              Ted Turner said we are all f#$% in 30 years. No crops and we be eating each other. End of the world.

                              TED TURNER: Not doing it will be catastrophic. We'll be eight degrees hotter in ten, not ten but 30 or 40 years and basically none of the crops will grow. Most of the people will have died and the rest of us will be cannibals. Civilization will have broken down. The few people left will be living in a failed state -- like Somalia or Sudan -- and living conditions will be intolerable. The droughts will be so bad there'll be no more corn grown.
                              phsstt!

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