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  • End of World Nigh ?

    tomorrow, scientists attempt to make a mini "big bang"

    http://uk.news.yahoo.com/rtrs/20080909/ ... f2b7e.html

    the concern :

    The experiment is not without its detractors.

    Websites on the Internet, itself created at CERN in the early 1990s as a means of passing particle research results to scientists around the globe, have been inundated with claims that the LHC will create black holes sucking in the planet.
    even as a guy who likes science, i'm a little queasy at this experiment

  • #2
    Crap! What if they open some portal to another mutliverse, inadverdantly unleashing into our world some unspeakable evil?

    But even if that happens, it's almost a given that at least one of the scientists nearby comes out of the whole thing with some cool super powers, so it's all good.

    Comment


    • #3
      Mini big bang=jumbo shrimp?
      phsstt!

      Comment


      • #4
        What's the worst that could happen?. They inadvertently destroy all matter in our universe? Just think of it as a reboot of the system.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: End of World Nigh ?

          Originally posted by eldrick
          tomorrow, scientists attempt to make a mini "big bang"
          Eldrick, you think I wouldn't have started a thread on this already?!

          http://mb.trackandfieldnews.com/discuss ... hp?t=33053

          Also, there will be no "Big Bang" tomorrow, or anytime for the next month and change. The event taking place in a few hours, dubbed "first beam," is the initial injection of some protons into the accelerator. They're going to run them clockwise, then after a few weeks counterclockwise (there are two separate beam pipes).

          Collisions won't start until sometime late in October or November (and even then they won't be at full energy).

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          • #6
            problem is, only about 3 people here had a clue what you were talking about ! :P

            ( i don't see lee smolin being a "must have" author on bookshelves around here ! )

            thought it might be easier to couch it in easy-speak

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            • #7
              Where is Matt Marriott when we need him ?!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by dukehjsteve
                Where is Matt Marriott when we need him ?!
                Well, I did read something where the Illuminati were associated with CERN...

                http://www.danbrown.com/novels/angels_demons/plot.html

                Quite an amusing portrayal of physicists. Sad to say, our lives aren't that James Bondish!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by eldrick
                  problem is, only about 3 people here had a clue what you were talking about ! :P

                  ( i don't see lee smolin being a "must have" author on bookshelves around here ! )
                  Smolin's not on many physicists' reading list, either -- he's largely anti-string theory, which in many circles makes him persona non-grata. Although, he is the big cheese at the Perimeter Institute in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.

                  thought it might be easier to couch it in easy-speak
                  When have I failed to couch things in easy-speak? :lol: Besides, the other link provides a great interactive layman's overview from the BBC:

                  http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7543089.stm

                  By the way, for the adventurous forumites who live in LA, I'll be giving a (semi)non-technical talk about the LHC this Friday at LMU (3pm, Seaver Science Center, rm 102, Loyola Marymount University).

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: End of World Nigh ?

                    The experiment is not without its detractors.

                    Websites on the Internet, itself created at CERN in the early 1990s as a means of passing particle research results to scientists around the globe, have been inundated with claims that the LHC will create black holes sucking in the planet.
                    The "detractors" are out to lunch. This kind of disaster scenario is predicated on the synchrony of multiple, improbable events, including:

                    1. The mini-black holes are actually created (requires certainly theories to be correct, and there's no guarantee that they are)

                    2. If created, the mini-black holes must be stable to be a concern. Stephen Hawking has proven (on paper) that black holes will evaporate. We haven't been able to confirm this fact, because (a) we haven't observed black holes directly, and (b) the big black holes that exist in the universe will evaporate very slowly and undetectably. If black holes are created at the LHC (subject to condition 1), they will be very tiny and will evaporate very quickly, like in 0.000000000000000000000000001 s (i.e. much faster than Bolt's reaction time!).

                    3. If they are created and are stable, the black holes must remain on the Earth. The protons involved in the collisions are traveling at 99.99999% the speed of light. Any particles that fly out of the collision -- including black holes -- will have a speed much, much greater than the Earth's escape velocity. So, most likely if (1, 2) are correct, the black holes will fly out into space before we know they're there.

                    4. There is a MINISCULE probability that the black holes will be created with precisely 0 velocity (two protons colliding exactly head on with exactly the same speed can do this, but that's very difficult to do). If that happens (and they are stable), the black hole will sink into the earth toward the core and start gobbling stuff up. In this case, depending on who you ask, we'll have between 5-30 years to figure out how to get off the planet.

                    Anyway, the short answer to the above quote is: "Ain't gonna happen!"

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by JRM
                      Smolin's not on many physicists' reading list, either -- he's largely anti-string theory, which in many circles makes him persona non-grata. Although, he is the big cheese at the Perimeter Institute in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.
                      I liked Smolin's book which was a diatribe against string theory, however. I read a lot of these books for pleasure (my wife says I am the only one who buys them), and this was different from many of the ones i read.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Many of these same end-of-world scenarios were voiced in the 40s during the Manhattan Project, when people were worried the fission reaction might ignite the atmosphere. Its described in Rhodes book "The Making of the Atomic Bomb."

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: End of World Nigh ?

                          Originally posted by JRM
                          The experiment is not without its detractors.

                          Websites on the Internet, itself created at CERN in the early 1990s as a means of passing particle research results to scientists around the globe, have been inundated with claims that the LHC will create black holes sucking in the planet.
                          The "detractors" are out to lunch. This kind of disaster scenario is predicated on the synchrony of multiple, improbable events, including:

                          1. The mini-black holes are actually created (requires certainly theories to be correct, and there's no guarantee that they are)

                          2. If created, the mini-black holes must be stable to be a concern. Stephen Hawking has proven (on paper) that black holes will evaporate. We haven't been able to confirm this fact, because (a) we haven't observed black holes directly, and (b) the big black holes that exist in the universe will evaporate very slowly and undetectably. If black holes are created at the LHC (subject to condition 1), they will be very tiny and will evaporate very quickly, like in 0.000000000000000000000000001 s (i.e. much faster than Bolt's reaction time!).

                          3. If they are created and are stable, the black holes must remain on the Earth. The protons involved in the collisions are traveling at 99.99999% the speed of light. Any particles that fly out of the collision -- including black holes -- will have a speed much, much greater than the Earth's escape velocity. So, most likely if (1, 2) are correct, the black holes will fly out into space before we know they're there.

                          4. There is a MINISCULE probability that the black holes will be created with precisely 0 velocity (two protons colliding exactly head on with exactly the same speed can do this, but that's very difficult to do). If that happens (and they are stable), the black hole will sink into the earth toward the core and start gobbling stuff up. In this case, depending on who you ask, we'll have between 5-30 years to figure out how to get off the planet.

                          Anyway, the short answer to the above quote is: "Ain't gonna happen!"
                          This would be a great movie if number 4 happened

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by bambam1729
                            Originally posted by JRM
                            Smolin's not on many physicists' reading list, either -- he's largely anti-string theory, which in many circles makes him persona non-grata. Although, he is the big cheese at the Perimeter Institute in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.
                            I liked Smolin's book which was a diatribe against string theory, however. I read a lot of these books for pleasure (my wife says I am the only one who buys them), and this was different from many of the ones i read.
                            I should make it clear that I'm not dissing Smolin or his views. He raises many valid points about the "political" climate surrounding string theory. I agree with many things he says. He's also a really nice guy.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              so that makes 3 of us with a smolin book ? :P

                              ( must admit i got mine in a job lot of books thru a bookclub a few years ago - no one seemed to be interested in the science books & i assumed they wanted to clear warehouse space for harry potter & so they had an offer of $20 for 5 of them or $35 for any 10 ( in fact, i think if i'd waited another coupla months, they have paid me to take them off their hands :wink: ) )

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