Skip to comments.Atom-smashing lab says experiment to start end-June [scofs at fear of black hole destroying Earth]
Posted on 05/27/2008 12:53:48 PM PDT by Brilliant
European particle physics laboratory CERN is set to launch its gigantic experiment which hopes to throw light on the origins of the universe within a month, the laboratory's head said Tuesday.
If things go according to plan, the greatest experiment in the history of particle physics could unveil a sub-atomic component, the Higgs Boson, known as "the God Particle."
The "Higgs," named after the eminent British physicist, Peter Higgs, who first proposed it in 1964, would fill a gaping hole in the benchmark theory for understanding the physical cosmos.
Other work on the so-called Large Hadron Collider (LHC) could explain dark matter and dark energy -- strange phenomena that, stunned astrophysicists discovered a few years ago, account for 96 percent of the universe.
The LHC device "will be in working order by the end of June," CERN director general Robert Aymar told journalists.
A gamble costing six billion Swiss francs (almost six billion dollars, 3.9 billion euros) that has harnessed the labours of more than 2,000 physicists from nearly three dozen countries, the LHC is the biggest, most powerful high-energy particle accelerator ever built.
Beams of hydrogen protons will whizz around at near-light speed in opposite directions until, bent by powerful superconducting magnets, they will smash together in four bus-sized detector chambers, where they will be annihilated at temperatures hotter than the sun.
But Aymar played down hopes of any immediate discoveries once the LHC is set in motion.
"We will accumulate data for two years and it will take a lot of time to interpret," he said.
He also scoffed at fears that the massive experiment could create a black hole with potentially devastating consequences for life on Earth.
"The system is totally safe. There is nothing to fear," he said.
...I'm getting flashbacks to Spiderman 2...
Nice explanation of why one needs not to worry about black holes being created by this atom smasher:
At least Europe goes first. ;-)
This is the thing that we were trying to discover with the Texas supercollider that got cancelled by the Democrats because they did not like Texas.
Not that I think spending all that money on an atom smasher is such a good idea anyway...
This assumes hawking radiation is real, which has yet to be directly observed. I’m not arguing against hawking though, I believe he was right, but if he’s wrong it has ramifications for how quickly a hypothetical black hole would evaporate (never?).
Great post. My own question was also the first letter posted at the end. Good explanations!
Ah yes, I almost forgot The Krell Furnace.
What happens if the ‘Hawking radiation’ theory is incorrect, and it doesn’t evaporate?
Thanks for the thread. I’ve kept periodic track of this, and thought that CERN was going on-line in August or even later. This is great news, and they must have done some preliminary testing to determine that it could be turned on earlier. Keep us posted.
“He also scoffed at fears that the massive experiment could create a black hole with potentially devastating consequences for life on Earth.”
Let’s hope there’s not a blackhole out there somewhere looking for a partner.
Pastore: Is there anything connected in the hopes of this accelerator that in any way involves the security of this country?
Wilson: No sir; I do not believer so.
Pastore: Nothing at all?
Wilson: Nothing at all.
Pastore: It has no value in that respect?
Wilson: It only has to do with the respect with which we regard one another, the dignity of men, our love of culture. It has to do with those things. It has nothing to do with the military, I am sorry.
Pastore: Don't be sorry for it.
Wilson: I am not, but I cannot in honesty say it has any such application.
Pastore: Is there anything here that projects us in a position of being competitive with the Russians, with regard to this race?
Wilson: Only from a long-range point of view, of a developing technology. Otherwise, it has to do with: Are we good painters, good sculptors, great poets? I mean all the things that we really venerate and honor in our country and are patriotic about. In that sense, this new knowledge has all to do with honor and country but it has nothing to do directly with defending our country, except to make it worth defending.
Regardless, I have no faith whatsoever in any assurances from these scientists, most of which are clueless. I have known too many PhDs that I wouldn't trust to screw in a light-bulb. It's not safe to give them such powerful toys.
or Dan Brown’s “Angels and Demons”
(soon to be released movie...May 2008)
Maybe they could delay this test and conduct it in mecca during the next hajj?
An atom smasher is to a black hole as a match is to the sun. Not too much to worry about.
Said the captain of the Titanic, the Hindenburg and ...........
Inside every black hole is a little man with a flashlight, looking for a fuse box.
My thougths exactly, but, then again, we would all be merged into a singularity....
“Eternity with Nerds! It’s the Pasadena Star Trek Convention all over again!”
My pet rock comes thru again! Shazam
Another point that CERN itself has made is that the earth has already been bombarded by ultra-high energy cosmic rays for billions of years, with no apparent bad effects. These cosmic rays are essentially the same thing as what CERN produces, but with much higher energy. So why don’t we just study those? Their collisions happen at the edge of space, and occur randomly, uncontrolled.
Build it on the Moon.
“I said ‘Bud Light’.”
The Supreme Court will be handing down it's decision in "Heller" indicating whether the Second Amendment protects an individual right, and if it does, do DC's guns laws violate that right?
The Democrats will probably finally decide whether Socialist (Heavy) Clinton or Marxist Obama will be their nominee to go up against Socialist (light) McCain.
The Congress may refuse to further fund the War on Terror by not passing a supplemental appropriation causing massive layoffs of civilian support personnel and support contractors, as well as cancellation or shelving of several development programs. (The military is already asking permission to transfer money from other accounts so they can pay the troops, but that will only work through mid July)
And now, to end the madness perhaps, a Black Hole may devour the Earth. (Although I highly doubt it. The Fates are not that munificent).
After considering all the things Europeans have been wrong about...socialism, multiculturalism, man made global warming...I'm starting to worry!
Unlike an active star, there doesn't appear to be any limit to how small a black hole may be. Well there sort of is, but it is due to quantum mechanical effects, and would be quite small indeed. In fact that's part of the argument for this thing not being dangerous. The smaller a black hole is, the faster it "evaporates", due to higher tidal forces near it's event horizon, according to Hawking at least. Since the LHC could only create very small black holes, they would be expected to evaporate faster than they could eat. I hope he is right, and expect that he is.