No, the LHC won’t destroy the Earth

By Phil Plait | March 29, 2008 4:07 pm

I linked to this subtly in my post about my trip to the UK next month to visit Europe’s new particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), but it deserves more attention.

Two men are suing to stop the LHC from being switched on, saying it may be dangerous and might even destroy the Earth:

But Walter L. Wagner and Luis Sancho contend that scientists at the European Center for Nuclear Research, or CERN, have played down the chances that the collider could produce, among other horrors, a tiny black hole, which, they say, could eat the Earth. Or it could spit out something called a “strangelet” that would convert our planet to a shrunken dense dead lump of something called “strange matter.” Their suit also says CERN has failed to provide an environmental impact statement as required under the National Environmental Policy Act.

[...]

The lawsuit, filed March 21 in Federal District Court, in Honolulu, seeks a temporary restraining order prohibiting CERN from proceeding with the accelerator until it has produced a safety report and an environmental assessment. It names the federal Department of Energy, the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, the National Science Foundation and CERN as defendants.

First off the bat, this sounds nuts, but really it’s not so nuts that we shouldn’t look into it. There are two causes for some concern: one is that LHC might create a black hole which would eat the Earth, and the other is that a very odd quantum entity called a strangelet might be created, with equally devastating results.

However, I don’t think there’s anything to worry about. I want to make that clear up front.

The LHC will slam subatomic particles together at fantastic speeds. The collision in a sense shatters the particles and all sorts of weird beasties are created in the aftermath. This give physicists insight into the basic quantum nature of the Universe. The higher the energy of the collision, the more interesting stuff you get. LHC will be the most powerful collider ever built, and is expected to provide really new looks at the quantum world.

That’s what has the two litigators worried.

If two subatomic particles collide at high enough speed, it’s possible that they will collapse into a black hole. If that happens, it would fall through the Earth and, well, you can guess what bad things would happen then*.

However, studies done by CERN show that the energies generated will be too low to make black holes. Also, due to a weird effect called Hawking radiation, the tiny black holes would evaporate instantly. The two litigants, however, say that Hawking radiation is not an established fact, and therefore we should be more careful. While that’s technically true, they forgot something important: the same rules of quantum physics that make a black hole in a subatomic collision also indicate they would evaporate. So if you’re worried they won’t evaporate, then you shouldn’t be worried they’d be created in the first place.

Same goes for the creation of a quantum strangelet. This is a weird conglomeration of particles called quarks, and if a strangelet comes into contact with normal matter can convert it into more strangelets. The idea is that these can cause a chain reaction that turns all available matter into strangelets. That would be bad.

However, first, strangelets are completely theoretical, and again even if they are real it’s incredibly unlikely they would be created even by LHC. And even if they were created, the chances of them being a danger are very small. A study a few years ago by physicists at MIT, Yale, and Princeton shows this to be the case; as they point out, higher energy particles hit the Moon all the time. If strangelets could be created in this way, the Moon would have converted to a big ball o’ strangelets billions of years ago.

So I think that considering things like this happening is good — after all, we’re walking into new territory here — but in this particular case the litigants are wrong. A lawsuit seems like overkill. In fact, it’s so odd that my skeptical gland was tweaked, and I decided to look into the litigants’ backgrounds.

Walter Wagner apparently has a physics background, but was involved in a similar lawsuit over the Brookhaven collider a few years back, which turned out to be completely baseless.

As for the other, Luis Sancho, he’s, well, how do I phrase this delicately? He’s a bit outside the mainstream. Actually, way outside the mainstream. In fact, totally and way way far outside the mainstream. I don’t think you can even see the mainstream from where he is.

While dismissing the idea of any danger from LHC due to these factors would be an ad hominem and therefore unfair, I think it adds a dimension to this case that’s good to keep in mind.

Again, I’m not worried. I don’t see any basis for their fears, and certainly not for their lawsuit.

So I’m still greatly looking forward to visiting the LHC in April. It’ll be a fantastic glimpse into the next generation of physics, and will open up new vistas for us to explore.

If the court agrees to let it run, of course.



*Or you can read all about it in my book Death from the Skies! which comes out in a few months.

Comments (341)

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  1. I’m not worried of course… the fact that we get hit all the times with particles of enormous energy is quite reassuring that everything is almost 100% safe… almost.

    Some time ago people were afraid that an H-bomb test would ignite the atmosphere… I don’t know the odds for that, but I think there are bigger than creating a strangelet / black hole capable of destroying the earth.

  2. Grand Lunar

    Another case of fear trying to overcome reason.

    I hope someone can take what you said here Phil, or something akin to it, and show it to those that are making this lawsuit.

    But then, they might not understand it, and still push the lawsuit anyway, just because they can.

  3. BeeLever

    Actually, after looking at this guy’s site, I think he lives in a parallel universe where there IS NO mainstream…wow.

  4. The link for the Luis Sancho/ Unification theory page is really entertaining… but I’m not quite ready to throw everything to the garbage. (* even if some of that stuff is ridiculous)

    It’s the kind of (way too) lateral thinking that may be on to something… not “seminal rays” and such…

  5. Nospam

    Heck, I too want to know what happens when they fire up that bad boy. However, correct me if I’m wrong, but does anyone know with certainty what will happen when you turn on the LHC?

    “….even if [strangelets] are real it’s incredibly unlikely they would be created even by LHC. And even if they were created, the chances of them being a danger are very small.”

    So, you are saying it is possible (?) but the probabilities involved are infentesimally small. Regardless of whether the plaintiffs are right or wrong, if the court finds that the LHC did not do an adequate public safety evaluation: What would be the damage that a revised safety study with SOTA physics knowledge would cause? None, I would say, except a delay during which LHC could debug their software for instance.

    Parting volley: Was Galileo himself not outside the mainstream in his day?

  6. nfk

    But… but… if there’s no chance of the LHC destroying the Earth then the good Doctor won’t be coming here to save us from ourselves. Not fair.

  7. If two subatomic particles collide at high enough speed, it’s possible that they will collapse into a black hole. If that happens, it would fall through the Earth and, well, you can guess what bad things would happen then

    It would be tiny – it would have at most the mass-energy that the LHC had put into the experiment. I think it would oscillate back and forth more or less through the centre of the Earth (more precisely, it would orbit through the Earth but not on a Keplerian ellipse as mass above it wouldn’t count). Very occasionally, it might directly hit a nucleus and swallow it, or part of it. Who knows, it might have a mass of, ooh, several grams by the time the Sun frazzles the Earth.

    On the other hand, does your book have a chapter on dimwit litigators, know-nothing film producers, and obscurantist Floridians?

  8. Adnan Ahmad

    It won’t? Awww….

    On a side note: I’ve now got this urge to play the original Half Life…

  9. Davidlpf

    Would the event horizon of such a black hole be smaller then a atom therefore the particles have to be small enough to fit completely inside the event horizon.

  10. Diederick

    I also can’t think any reason why French scientists should be worried about the rulings of a Honolulu court. Or has Hawaii become French recently?

  11. Yoshi_3up

    I’ve heard the following from a scientist, whose name I cannot remember:

    “The odds of the LHC causing something bad are lower than winning the lottery big prize 3 WEEKS IN A ROW. The thing is, people actually think that they can win the lottery big prize 3 weeks in a row”.

  12. From the Unification Theory Website:Energy is bend into species of gravitational information that we call masses.

    Those are a lot of big words from someone who doesn’t spellcheck.

  13. Reed E

    Diederick: if the litigants aren’t careful, their suit will be thrown out on jurisdictional grounds for the reason you stated. However, they might still attempt to force the US to withdraw all official support for the project.

  14. Stripe

    Maybe they think France is a county in Hawaii. I think they believe all the sensationalist press. Reporters ask the scientists about what happens, find out it a lot of science that is over their heads and tune out. Then they ask what happens if something goes really really wrong. Scientist goes “Oh we destroy the world, but the chances of that are so small that it is negligible”. Reporter goes and prints the first part and ignores the second because it won’t make for a sensational story, so we get a public panic like this by people who do not know any better.

  15. When I started reading the post, images from the people manifestating near the machine in Contact suddenly came to my mind.

    I like my subconscious :)

    And surely LHC won’t destroy the Earth, but think about the pigeons! :lol:

  16. Reed E

    Yoshi_3up: many people don’t make a distinction between the improbable and that which is possible, especially in domains in which they lack familiarity, such as lottery math or particle physics or vaccination.

    Thus, I’d hope that scientists in the public eye would be very careful about saying something is in principle possible.

    ps, BA may recall that it was I who had the presence of mind to ask him about this very issue at one of his recent ‘Black Hole’ talks in Boulder.

  17. We’ve seen this same fear of existential catastrophy replay over for a while now without any credible basis. Surely there’s a higher chance of an asteroid flying from the other end of the universe and hitting Central Park.
    As far as the Unification Theory goes, it’s very…erm…special. Although I must say that Nospam raised a nice point with his Galileo argument.

    Bring on the LHC, besides, we’re not going to know if we’re turned into strange matter so what’s the harm?

  18. Melusine

    People were paranoid about Brookhaven Natl Lab in Long Island years ago. See here – NY Times.

    Among the more interesting hypotheses is that the RHIC project is actually a military device being constructed to shoot down U.F.O.’s. Another is that the the collider is some sort of time machine. Others believe that scientists are trying to construct an ”anti-universe.”

    Things don’t change much.

  19. KC

    Wondered if BA saw this one today. It’s not high on my list of worries – OK, so it’s probably at the very bottom. Still, a very remote probability is not the same as no probability. Then again, in 1952 some thought there was a small possibility that an hydrogen bomb might destroy the earth’s atmosphere.

  20. Adnan Ahmed said, “On a side note: I’ve now got this urge to play the original Half Life…”

    Me too!!

  21. Jeff

    You know, of all the ways to go, I’d be happy watching the apocalypse caused by a black hole falling repeatedly through the center of our planet. I mean, at least compared to like, some massive plague or nuclear war…

  22. Galileo was NOT out of the mainstream. A majority of scientists agreed that the Copernican model was better, but most scientists were not writing books implying that the pope was an idiot for disagreeing. The main thing that people often forget when invoking Galileo, was that he had DATA. The other side was busy spinning fanciful ideas trying to explain away the data, or simply ignoring it. Don’t make the mistake of comparing Galileo to the wrong side. My irony meter can’t take it. (Sorry. Pet peeve.)

  23. bigjohn

    Excuse me, but, where does it say that the U. S. Federal Court has anything to say about what happens in Europe? Maybe if the accelerator was in Waxahachie, where it ought to be, then this court could have some influence, but, since the thing is in Switzerland, U.S. courts have no say.

  24. Fredfillis

    Childish, I know, but you can contact the man from the Unification Theory website at Homo@europe.com.

    Sorry.

  25. SkepticTim

    “Also, due to a weird effect called Hawking radiation, the tiny black holes would evaporate instantly.”

    I suspect I’m not alone in hoping that the LHC does produce the occasional black hole so we can observe Hawking radiation – if it does exist. Hawking’s brilliant work needs experimental evidence and I think it would be wonderful if it could b provided. This would also provide evidence (perhaps circumstantial) for many other quantum vacuum phenomena.

  26. Kevin

    This reminds me of one of my favorite quotes, from Isaac Asimov:

    “Suppose that we are wise enough to learn and know and yet not wise enough to control our learning and knowledge, so that we use it to destroy ourselves? Even if that is so, knowledge remains better than ignorance. It is better to know even if the knowledge endures only for the moment that comes before destruction than to gain eternal life at the price of a dull and swinish lack of comprehension of a universe that swirls unseen before us in all its wonder. That was the choice of Achilles, and it is mine, too.”

  27. “CERN has failed to provide an environmental impact statement as required under the National Environmental Policy Act.”

    The rest of it is laughable, but this part isn’t. Ever tried to get anything big built without an environmental impact statement? If this is really the case then I’m amazed that they were even allowed to break ground on the project. And, considering that the supermagnets required to run CERN are made in America, then a successful lawsuit against Fermilab and the DoE and NSF would effectively kill the project, whether CERN officials show up in a Hawaii courtroom or not.

  28. Dave

    As Vagueofgodalming noted, there is an element of the stupidity here that you haven’t really emphasized. It doesn’t really matter if Hawking radiation doesn’t exist. The gravitational force of any black hole that the LHC would produce is many orders of magnitude smaller than the weak nuclear force. If the black hole has some electric charge it will collect some electrons or protons and become a funky sort of atom. It is unlikely, but perhaps possible that it might manage to swallow a charged particle and become neutral. But, then it would basically be a non-interacting particle. If it is neutral when it forms, then it isn’t likely to remain bound to the earth because there is very little chance of anything produced by the LHC moving slower than the Earth’s escape velocity.

  29. JackC

    A black hole out of subatomic matter. Do we even have math that can express how small that is? Do we even have math that can express how many times such a particle – could it even exist – would interact with any “normal” matter?

    Only slightly kidding or course, but man, my mind can’t wrap around how small and totally, completly, utterly insignificant such a thing would be. Assuming we could even tell that it was there.

    When you think of what it takes to marginally detect a neutrino, some sub-atomic “black hole” just sounds completely like the same thing as non-existence.

    JC

  30. Philip

    Well then, the LHC strangelet/bh production offers inspiration for a completely new theory.

    Our industrial/technological civilsation is only roughly 200years old.
    At this age any civilisation switches on their LHCs,
    and pooof, they’re gone.
    So is this the age limit for a civilisation?

    No wonder SETI hasn’t have any luck.

  31. H.C.

    1. what those people are worrying about is of course the Fermi paradox.
    2. They ask : “I suspect I’m not alone in hoping that the LHC does produce the occasional black hole so we can observe Hawking radiation – if it does exist.” – And what if it doesn’t?

    I would feel a lot safer if the whole thing had been constructed in orbit.

  32. Ad Hominid

    The background of my latest SF opus has a Chinese super-collider essentially opening the door to parallel universes, with untold wealth and power accruing to the owners.

    The consequences to various luddites who would not allow the west to have a similar machine are probably best left to the imagination, but I play them out onstage anyway. Buwahaahaa!

    Don’t ask how this works in terms of nuts and bolts physics, btw. If I knew that, I would apply for a patent, take home the Nobel Prize and buy my own planet with the proceeds.

  33. Espen

    If we take into account the fact that black holes altogether are merely theoretical artifacts with no conclusive evidence of their existence, it makes the situation even less threatening…

  34. Alan

    JackC wrote: “If the black hole has some electric charge it will collect some electrons or protons and become a funky sort of atom.”

    What a cool idea. Would that be called blackholium? Do we know enough about how charged black holes behave to know if such a thing could be done?

  35. StevoR

    I’ll second that – or better yet a main belt asteroid (eg. Philplait? ;-) ) or even bettter a Kuiper Belt or Oort cloud asteroid / cometary nucleus! ;-)

    Yes, I am also uneasy about this.

    Okay, the chances of apocalyptic destruction may be very remote but given the lack of certainty of what _is_ going to happen and the scope of posssible calamities I’d rather it wasnb’t turbned onb abnywhere on this Earth.

    This all reminds me of David Brin’s excellent SF novel ‘Earth’ (Futura, 1990) where a singularity is accidentally created …

    It also reminds me of vaguely hearing / reading somewhere that some neutron stars may actually be composed of quark or strange matter rather than neutrons.

    Incidentally, soem bneutrobn stars may actually e composed

  36. Alan

    Somewhere (I think a comment on the previous LHC article) someone suggested that GRB’s might really be civilizations turning on their LHCs. To me, that was screaming out for a back-of-the-envelope calculation. So: the mass of the earth is m=6×10^24 kg. This mass is equivalent to E=mc^2 = 5.4*10^41 Joules.

    Googling turns up that GRB’s are estimated to release about 10^45 to 10^47 Joules (http://www.astro.caltech.edu/~ejb/faq.html), or about 2,000 to 200,000 times the energy contained in the earth. As mentioned in the given link, the upper end of that range is roughly equivalent to converting the mass of our sun completely into energy (!!).

    So at least we won’t cause a GRB-sized explosion if we turn the earth into a ball of strangelets or something. :P Does anybody know if we should be able to see any such explosions happening in our galaxy or in the Local Group?

  37. StevoR

    HC:

    “I’d rather it was constructed in orbit.”

    was the idea I was seconding!

    Too many posts came after too quickly!

  38. Doug Little

    I for one cannot wait for them to turn the LHC on. The theories that can be tested with this device are mind blowing (IMHO) with the possibility of maybe detecting Hawking radiation a real bonus. I’m surprised that the suit doesn’t mention about risk that an energetic collision could cause vacuum decay thus destroying the universe as we know it.

  39. StevoR

    # Kevinon 29 Mar 2008 at 6:50 pm
    This reminds me of one of my favorite quotes, from Isaac Asimov:

    “Suppose that we are wise enough to learn and know and yet not wise enough to control our learning and knowledge, so that we use it to destroy ourselves? Even if that is so, knowledge remains better than ignorance. It is better to know even if the knowledge endures only for the moment that comes before destruction than to gain eternal life at the price of a dull and swinish lack of comprehension of a universe that swirls unseen before us in all its wonder. That was the choice of Achilles, and it is mine, too.”

    All very well to make that choice for yourself yet what about all the
    millions of others who would disbagree?

    Your choice would condemn them all too. :-(

  40. StevoR

    # Kevinon 29 Mar 2008 at 6:50 pm
    This reminds me of one of my favorite quotes, from Isaac Asimov:

    “Suppose that we are wise enough to learn and know and yet not wise enough to control our learning and knowledge, so that we use it to destroy ourselves? Even if that is so, knowledge remains better than ignorance. It is better to know even if the knowledge endures only for the moment that comes before destruction than to gain eternal life at the price of a dull and swinish lack of comprehension of a universe that swirls unseen before us in all its wonder. That was the choice of Achilles, and it is mine, too.”

    All very well to make that decision for yourself yet what of everyone else
    on the planet?

    Millions would disagree & deserve their say – & their lives too.

    Would you condemn them all to death? :-(

  41. StevoR

    … & must a lack of a complete understanding of bizarre esoteric particle physics necessarily render life “dull & swinish”???

    Trillions have lived full, rich, interesting lives w/o knowing all the details of Higgs Bosons, high energy particles, stranglets and singularities ..

  42. StevoR

    Sorry, thought my first post there hadn’t worked .. :-(

    I don’t think CERN or the LHC will destroy the Earth …

    … But I do think there is a very slight possibility that the unforeseen will intervene & that it could happen.

    What if we split the neutrinio or cretae something we dbibdn’t expect and can’t cope with?

    Its not worth the risk. Especially when we don’t know what might happen.

    (The Aussie ABC TV science show Catalyst had a great piece on the CERN that made this clear to me.)

    As I said before, I’d be far happier if we waited to do this on an asteroid far from Earth. I nominate asteroid philpalit as a test site! ;-)

    Or maybe Sedna or Eris?

  43. JB

    Thanks! That was very reassuring.

    You should also put out a video. Wear a Jedi cloak, and with a wave of your hand say, “No, the LHC won’t destroy the Earth.”

    I’m really excited about the LHC. However, I do share their concerns for safety.

    What if Hawking Radiation does not exist? This is the only thing stopping a micro black hole from eating up the planet. We know black holes do exist and we know what they’re capable of doing.

    I am convinced about strangelets though. I think they should prove that Hawking Radiation does indeed exist before going off and firing up the LHC.

  44. JB

    BTW. I was being sarcastic about your post being very reassuring.

  45. Another case of fear trying to overcome reason.

    Nope. I think it’s a case of “attention whore trying to overcome obscurity”

    Isn’t the LHC in Europe? Why not sue them there instead of in Honolulu? CERN is a Swiss organization, why not sue in Switzerland?

    Oh, of course… because if he did, a Swiss judge would have him beaten about the head and shoulders and launched into France by catapult. But in the US, anyone who can walk up with a claim gets media and a day in court.

  46. Bigfoot

    Now you know why man hasn’t detected intelligent signals from anywhere else in the Universe yet — shortly after civilizations begin electromagnetic transmissions, without fail they go on to build high-energy colliders that terminate their existence through unintended quantum side effects.

    We mythical creatures only begin to reveal ourselves in the historic twilights of these civilizations, if only to make our brief stays on these flash-in-the-pan planets more memorable. It’s hard to resist getting ourselves a little TV and internet coverage after we patiently evolved in the shadows as far from the electric grid as possible for the last, my goodness, has it really been 5 billion years? The previous planet I evolved on, where I was nicknamed “three-eyes” (I swear, on my next planet I vow to evolve characteristics that can’t be reduced to these tacky two-word combination nicknames) took only 2.3 billion of your years to strangify its quantum soup. I’m sure you science-minded readers can imagine that creationists on that planet really emphasized the “not enough time” angle in their anti-evolution arguments.

    It was nice knowing you all, especially the rationalists, and I am sorry we led the more gullible among your race astray. Just so you know, string theory was sort of on the right track, but they would never have been able to complete and unify the standard model until they theorized the other six time dimensions. Dark matter and energy? That was just us playing games with your observations. Honestly, I argued fervently against it, but some of us, especially Nessie and Yetti, have sick, sick senses of humor.

    Finally, DB Cooper didn’t survive the jump. We found his lifeless body, buried his parachute to perpetuate the mystery, and blew most of the money on drinking and gambling on the reservation casinos.

    I must be going now, the strangelet will be created in a blink of an eye on our timescale. I truly regret that I can’t risk sticking around long enough to find out if the Arrested Development movie will truly be made …

    -Foot

  47. JackC

    @Alan

    [quote]JackC wrote: “If the black hole has some electric charge it will collect some electrons or protons and become a funky sort of atom.”[/quote]

    Actually, that was Dave. I hope I got that quote tag right. Probably not with my track record.

    JC

  48. JackC

    I submit that “something unexpected” WILL happen. I further submit that “something unexpected” ALWAYS happens. And finally, I submit that whatever unexpected DOES happen, it will be interesting, enlightening and totally, completely, absolutely benign – except perhaps to some attitudes about how unbelievably “dangerous” this all is because “something unexpected might happen”.

    If, through experimentation, we ONLY got what we expected, we would very soon grow tired of experimentation.

    Anyone worrying about “black holes” with the LHC needs a bit of time in the Total Perspective Vortex. I really want to say the same about ‘strangelets’ – but there, my physics escapes me leaving a cloud resembling itself.

    Belgium.

    JC

  49. Christian X Burnham

    According to my theoretical calculations…

    Smashing Republicans together would actually improve the chance of life on Earth.

    Where’s my grant?

  50. Ian

    I would feel a lot safer if the whole thing had been constructed in orbit.

    And I would be extremely disappointed that the results wouldn’t be available within my lifetime. Besides, it wouldn’t be that much safer (not that I think it’s at all unsafe to begin with): anything produced by an LHC in orbit (at, say, the altitude of the ISS) would have about as much chance of shooting down at the earth as it would of flying off into space and escaping.

    All very well to make that choice for yourself yet what about all the millions of others who would disbagree?Your choice would condemn them all too. :-(

    This may sound harsh, but I’ve often felt that the kindest thing about death is never getting the opportunity to regret it. So what if we all die? The universe won’t care, and neither will we.

    But I don’t think that matters here, because nobody seems to be making a solid case that any of this could actually happen.

  51. I see little to be gained from discussing two specific hypothetical catastrophies (black holes and strangelets) when it is even more likely that something will emerge for which we don’t even have a name to consume the planet or worse.

    I take more comfort in knowing that nature pounds us with even higher energy cosmic rays than the LHC with no Earth-ending effects (so far, anyway) than any calculation or assertion of improbability based on our incomplete theories.

  52. Reed

    IMO, the fact that particles with much greater energies than LHC can produce smash into our atmosphere (not to mention the rest of the observable universe) quite frequently is a pretty good argument that we we don’t have much to worry about.

    As Phil says, it’s worth thinking about, but the chances that we are wrong are very very slim indeed.

  53. Ari

    This kinda reminds me of the feeling I get on a plane as it’s taking off: even though I *know* this is technology we have 100% understanding of, what if this time….? But enough about my problems :)

    One thing that goes a long way towards allaying my fears has nothing to do with theoretical masses or hawking radiation or anything like that. As Phil pointed out, nature itself has created particles with far higher energies than anything that’s going to be coming out of the LHC. At least on the wikipedia page, collision energies in the LHC are listed as a max of 14 TeV (1.4 * 10^13) between protons and a max of 1,150 TeV (1.15 * 10^15) if aimed at lead (I actually don’t understand why stationary lead nuclei have more energy than a proton traveling at close to the speed of light, but then again, I’m not a particle physicist).

    By contrast, the “Oh-My-God particle” ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultra-high-energy_cosmic_ray ) was estimated to have an energy of 3 * 10^20 freakin’ eV. Not only is that 10,000 *times* more energetic than anything we’re playing around with here, there’s no reason to think that’s the most energetic thing out there (though from my limited understanding, that is skirting what people think is an upper limit). So if the theory was completely wrong and somehow stable black holes could have been produced, the Earth would’ve ceased to exist long ago, since we’re in essence, in the crosshairs of a far more powerful accelerator than the LHC.

  54. Kevin Conod

    Even if the LHC could create a “microhole”* I imagine the results would be negligible. Given the large amount of empty space on the subatomic level, a microscopic black hole wouldn’t be capable of inhaling the Earth any more than a distant stellar black hole could suck in all the stars in the galaxy – not even a supermassive black hole can do that. Gravity after all is gravity and it obeys the inverse square law.

    *Hey that’s pretty cool – I should trademark that!

  55. EvanHarper

    >If two subatomic particles collide at high enough speed, it’s possible that they will collapse into a black hole. If that happens, it would fall through the Earth and, well, you can guess what bad things would happen then.

    Okay, here’s my guess… NOTHING!

    The black hole would just fall to the center of the Earth. I don’t even think it would orbit around inside the Earth, since every time it got near to an atom, the tidal force exerted between the two particles would brake it. I’m pretty sure it would just fall to the center of the Earth, drift around, and do nothing.

    If I guess right, do I win a prize? Or are you saving this for the next book?

  56. Ad Hominid

    The defendants will first have to convince their own lawyers to fight this, rather than recommend a precautionary shut-down. Since lawyers are to physics as cavemen are to spaceflight, that will take some doing. I’ve got it! Just remind them that there will be no liability suit if the plaintiffs are right. They will sign off right away.

  57. Everyday we are bombarded with particles much more potent than any the LHC can produce and we survive. Everyday, the moon is bombarded with particles much more potent than the LHC can produce and we survive. If we are to fear the LHC, we should never have come out of our caves.

    One day we may build a machine that can smash particles together more powerfully than Nature creates and then we might worry. By then we’ll be building these things at a Lagrange point well away from the surface of the Earth, I hope.

    That assumes of course, a particle collision more powerful than Nature can create is even possible.

    JBS

  58. helioprogenus

    How am I not surprised that it would be the Honolulu District Court that this suit was filed in? It’s good to live in a somewhat progressive state, but even out here, we get our fair share of lunatic progressives. Don’t these people have better things to do? Maybe sue their mothers for having birthed their annoying selves?

  59. Crux Australis

    Wow, that website sure is a mish-mash of abstract ‘thinking’…as well as of fonts and typefaces.

  60. Crux Australis

    Some of the language in it reminds me of the stuff I read on crappily-made and crappily-translated crap from China. “Hours of funny and laugh!”

  61. Crudely Wrott

    All of the fretting about micromini black holes and strangelets might seem justified to some, but I feel it is misplaced. Probably due to the lack of fully fleshed out theory. Additionally, the probabilities of any mischief being done by the products of the LHC are on the order of the sun turning itself off tomorrow. That probability is not zero. It is close to zero, though. Wicked close.

    There is another concern that I have not yet heard discussed: the massive cooling system that allows the LHC to function. I’m convinced that it has a high probability (close to one) of producing ice-9. And that scares me. ;–>

    Dress warmly, kids! Wait . . . that wouldn’t help.

  62. Physdude

    The earth is bombarded every day by cosmic rays with far higher energy than the LHC will create in its collisions. High energy physicists would love to see what happens in those collisions, but they’re completely unpredictable; there’s no way to get a detector in place to catch one happening.

    So they have to spend billions of dollars to build an accelerator that can deliver the collisions to the exact middle of the enormous detectors.

    But everything that LHC will produce, and more, is already produced every day on this planet. It’s just in the wrong place.

    (But, some people say, cosmic ray collisions happen in the atmosphere. Is it more dangerous if they’re near the surface? As someone above noted, they happen on the surface of the moon, and it hasn’t imploded in the last 4 billion years.)

  63. Tim G

    There’s a one in a billion chance that it will destroy the earth.

    Since there are six billion people, the LHC will kill, on average, six people.

  64. chemdude

    Looks like they just watch too much of the SciFi channel, and think that the movie The Black Hole (with Judd Nelson) is really a documentary.
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0433883/

  65. Rudy

    No you’re right. I mean the link you provided DOES make Hawking radiation sound perfectly safe….

    “Whatever the case, you would not want to go near an evaporating mini black hole, which would be a source of lethal gamma rays and energetic particles, even if it didn’t look like much visually….

    In the final second of its existence, the mini black hole radiates about 1000 tonnes of rest mass energy. Such an explosion is large by human standards, but modest by astronomical standards. An evaporating black hole would be detectable from Earth only if it went off within the solar system, or at best no further away than the nearest star.”

    Why couldn’t they build it in France?

  66. Since you fly to the UK to see the LHC, just to mention, you won’t find it there ;-)

    It’s right on the swiss/french border very close to Geneva, 10 mins from the airport and 10 mins by foot from my home. And sunday 6 April is indeed an “Open Day” : you’ll have the last opportunity to visit the LHC before it is switched on.

  67. stopgap

    Let’s see here. Wouldn’t a black hole need a certain amount of mass to stay viable? The smallest of black holes are several solar masses. Or is this some strange type of black hole that given it’s size does not require a large amount of mass? Very interesting to say the least.

  68. Nigel Depledge

    Nospam said:
    “Parting volley: Was Galileo himself not outside the mainstream in his day?”

    Irrelevant. In Galileo’s time, the “mainstream” was dictated by the church, not by a massive body of empirical data (as it is today).

  69. Mr. LAME

    stupid americans!!!

  70. baley

    Cosmic rays coliding with the earth’s atmosphere carry more energy than LHC ever will. Apparently we didn’t observe any black holes in the atmosphere so I am reasonably sure that the LHC won’t cause anything. And why should CERN be concerned with the lawsuit in Hawaii? The building is complete and they are cooling the superconductors.

    BTW Cern is based in Switzerland and the energy is coming from France.

  71. Nigel Depledge

    OK, so I haven’t read all of the replies here, but it seems to me that a great many commenters have missed a point that Phil made:

    Particles of higher energy [than the LHC can achieve] are hitting the Moon all the time.

    Similarly energetic particles are also frequently colliding with Earth’s atmosphere. If there were a genuine risk that such energetic particle collisions could destroy the Earth, then the Earth would not be here now. Ergo, the LHC is safe (unless you have an artificial pacemaker and stand next to one of the superconducting magnets, in the which case you would just have contributed to increasing the average intelligence of the Earth’s population).

  72. Nigel Depledge

    Phil, I do have a bit of a quibble here, though:

    The BA said:
    “…my trip to the UK next month to visit Europe’s new particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), …”

    Erm, it’s at CERN, which straddles the French-Swiss border, not in the UK. Admittedly, you can catch a train from London to Geneva (probably with a change at Paris), but it is still a fair old distance away (probably over 500 miles, I think).

  73. Nigel Depledge

    Ah, there we are. Baley pre-empted my replies.

  74. Matt Penfold

    Why would CERN, which is based in Europe, have to pay the slightest attention to any court ruling in the US ?

    Someone needs to give these two idiots an atlas and lesson in legal jurisdiction. They somehow failed to notice that CERN would be subject the jurisdiction of France and Swizterland. Although most of the LHC is in the latter it does enter France.

  75. Jarno

    I don’t really get these scares – isn’t it the case that the Earth is constantly bombarded by cosmic rays at higher energies that will be achieved at LHC? And if such high-energy collisions could result in dangerous black holes, or quantum particles of DOOM, wouldn’t that kinda make our very existence in the first place impossible, in a universe where high-energy physics that put LHC to shame aren’t exactly rare? I mean if the LHC is to produce a tiny non-evaporating black hole, your average supernova explosion would pepper the universe with tiny black holes flying in every direction, would it not?

    So no, I’m not worried.

  76. TC

    My missus works at the place that makes the magnets for this baby so as an am astro myself (2 x 8″ meade sct) ive got some qs for the big boys amongst you, forgive this post here because i left one on a thread that has been dry since nov 07, what a muppet! (To many nights out in the cold maybe).

    Is there anything energetic enough to leave the universe?

    What is the escape velocity of the universe?

    Would an observer outside of the universe be able to ’see’ the universe?

    If the universe is expanding then what is it expanding into and why cant we get across the possibility of ’space’ existing outside of this observable universe?

    Black holes are detected due to their effects (gravitational influence, radition of particles being shredded at the EH etc etc)

    What is the ’smallest’ black hole detected?

    Has a mini black hole ever been detected?

    Has a black hole ever been detected where there was none before (at nova, snova, whatever)?

    Lastly, where did all the matter come from?

    Sweet dreams, enjoy your lives and the best health you can maintain, dont be frightened of dying. tc@123easypc.com

  77. Anders

    I am no physicist so I’ll have to trust that the guys at LHC knows what they’re doing, but for me, I hope they are more reassuring than: “I don’t think there’s anything to worry about”. When someone claims there a chance an experiment will destroy the Earth, you better be absolutely 100 % sure that it wont. What I don’t want to hear when someone makes that claim is: “Well, I don’t THINK it will…”.

    I am reminded by a quote from the Discworld: “Any true wizard, faced with a sign like ‘Do not open this door. Really. We mean it. We’re not kidding. Opening this door will mean the end of the universe,’ would automatically open the door in order to see what all the fuss was about.”

  78. Nigel Depledge

    TC said:
    “Is there anything energetic enough to leave the universe?”

    This question is meaningless, because the universe contains (by definition) everything, including space. There is no “outside”.

    TC – What is the escape velocity of the universe?

    Since we have no measure of the size of the universe (we can only comment on that portion of it which we can observe – because the universe is expanding, there is a certain distance beyond which we cannot see because those parts of the universe that are farther away are travelling away from us faster than the speed of light), we cannot know the sum total of the mass in the universe. Plus, also, there is no outside.

    TC – Would an observer outside of the universe be able to ’see’ the universe?

    Again, this question has no meaning in light of any present knowledge.

    TC – If the universe is expanding then what is it expanding into and why cant we get across the possibility of ’space’ existing outside of this observable universe?

    It does not have to be expanding into anything. The universe contains everything that exists and it is expanding and it is, as far as we can tell, infinite.

    TC – Black holes are detected due to their effects (gravitational influence, radition of particles being shredded at the EH etc etc)

    What is the ’smallest’ black hole detected?

    I don’t know for sure, but I seem to recall that there are several good BH candidates in the range of about 4 – 5 solar masses.

    TC – Has a mini black hole ever been detected?

    No, as far as I am aware.

    TC – Has a black hole ever been detected where there was none before (at nova, snova, whatever)?

    I don’t know. Anyone else want to take a stab at this one?

  79. chief

    Well… If it does take out the earth. We can at least take comfort in the fact that we won’t hear them gloat. err scratch that. A comet hitting the earth will happen before the LHC causes problems.

  80. Tom

    Good post, Phil. Covers the related facts of why there isn’t a concern without going overboard on the hyperbole.

    Please use this post as a template for your more…how do I put this delicately…politically charged posts.

  81. Helena Constantine

    Its not an unfair ad hominem attack to say that someone offering an expert opinion has no qualitifications as an expert.

    It would be an ad hominem attack to say, ‘Yes, he is an expert, but he beats his wife, so we should not lsiten to him despite his expertise.’

  82. I really don’t see the point of the lawsuit. Many people mentioned allready that us-american law does not apply to switzerland or france. Only problem I see with that is that it could cause the us. to think about it’s participation again.

    And for the rest of the “debate”: Cosmic Rays. As long as we can’t produce anything with higher energy we are on pretty safe ground. It would be wrong to say 100% safe ground, but nothing in life is 100% sure. It’s in an area where every sane person would say something like “Yes we are defenitly sure nothing can happen”.

  83. MartinM

    The two litigants, however, say that Hawking radiation is not an established fact, and therefore we should be more careful.

    So in essense, their objection is that if physics is not as we think, then the results will be unpredictable. This is, of course, true of everything.

  84. LaCreption

    There is a lot of extreme activity in the universe. I am not an expert, but I have a feeling that experiments on earth are nothing compared to what is happening in stars. Some stars collapse to black holes, but not because of some particles accidentally smashing into each other somewhere half way. And as far as I know there is no record of stars disappearing and/or turning in quantum goo all the sudden.

  85. Nemo

    StevoR:

    Trillions have lived full, rich, interesting lives w/o knowing all the details of Higgs Bosons, high energy particles, stranglets and singularities ..

    Trillions of what? Humans? There haven’t been that many. I’ll quote Wikipedia:

    Estimates of the number of human beings who have ever lived on Earth constitute an extremely large range, with low estimates around 45 billion, and the highest estimates topping out around 125 billion. Many of the more robust estimates fall into the range of 90 to 110 billion humans.

    Also note that this includes large numbers of people who did not in fact live full, rich, or interesting lives.

  86. Gary Ansorge

    Nemo: Right on,,,

    While low tech tribes CAn have rich lives, a simple cut can also be painfully fatal,,,and don’t even try to imagine a decayed or damaged tooth extraction w/o Novocain,,,

    Gary 7

  87. Scythe

    LHC – It’s day 2 in the Big Collider House

    Gunter: Hey Karl, be careful with zose cake crumbs, zay are fallink into ze target area…

    Karl: Oh look Gunter, a cute baby black…. Woooaaaa! Look how fast it’s growi…… [phwok]

    God: Oh… bugger!!!
    (Thinks: That’s the last flippin’ time I let humans get onto the ark!)

    But that aside, I can’t help feeling that this is like watching a kid break something apart to “see how it works”. We’ve got to be more inventive than this. Bashing particles together may help us see some of what matter is made of, but smashing something to bits may itself be responsible for the splinters. Imagine that much investment being put into reusable spacecraft technology or development of telescope optics.

    BTW, the last thing I want to hear is: “So THAT’s what caused the big bang…” :-)

  88. Folks– I know the LHC is in Switzerland and France. I’m going to the UK to meet up with Dr. Cox et al., then flying over to visit CERN. I suppose I should say “my trip to Europe”, but I’m flying into London to meet up with everyone, and that’s where I’ll be most of the time.

  89. Scythe

    Heathrow Terminal 5 is a perfect example of Chaos Theory at the moment so make sure you have underwear and toothbrush in your hand luggage. Welcome to England! Have fun.

  90. OtherRob

    Sounds like someone’s been reading Hyperion recently.

  91. Doug Little

    Bashing particles together may help us see some of what matter is made of, but smashing something to bits may itself be responsible for the splinters. Imagine that much investment being put into reusable spacecraft technology or development of telescope optics.

    Smashing particles together is the only way to generate particles with high enough energy to test some of the main particle theories out there. In terms of science this is an absolutely fantastic tool which could help us get to the next level in terms of a GUT. I don’t see how more advanced optics or reusable spacecraft can compare to this on a scientific scale. I’m just thrilled that this is going to be turned on within my lifetime and that aspects of string theory will be able to be tested. I will go out on a limb here and state that the LHC could conceivably produce some of the most important scientific results in our history.

    p.s. I’ve probably sold advanced optics a little short as confirmation of life on exo-planets would probably have to be done optically since physically traveling there is a wee bit of a problem.

  92. gia

    I totally don’t understand how they think this suit will have any effect on what CERN does at all? Not only is the USA *not* a member state of CERN (they are merely an ‘observer’), but CERN exists outside the jurisdiction of even France and Switzerland – employees even have diplomatic plates on their cars.

    As far as the Environmental Impact statement is concerned, they have done loads of environmental impact studies… I believe the place is close to producing no CO2, for example… mainly because they get their power from France which is about 75% nuclear…

    This is simply stupid… I read a great quote on this in the NYT:
    Dr. Arkani-Hamed said concerning worries about the death of the Earth or universe, “Neither has any merit.” He pointed out that because of the dice-throwing nature of quantum physics, there was some probability of almost anything happening. There is some minuscule probability, he said, “the Large Hadron Collider might make dragons that might eat us up.”

  93. Gordon Freeman

    Look, just trust me on this. Don’t screw around with this kind of stuff. Or at least, if you do, be sure and bring lots of ammo.

    – Gordon Freeman

  94. Albert

    What beats me is the fact that two americans have the gall to think that a court in Honolulu of all places has any jurisdiction in France or Switzerland.

    You do not, I repeat DO NOT, rule the world.

  95. Scythe

    Hi Doug,

    Despite my comments regarding alternative investments I’m really very excited about LHC and the possible advances in understanding. I didn’t mean to sound negative.

    I would perhaps humbly suggest that we can also continue to learn more about the same areas of interest by better exploration of solar phenomena etc. This would be as well as and not instead of using LHC of course.

    I’m pretty much carried along, surfing precariously on the wave of discovery achieved by those far far cleverer than I, so I really don’t mind where those waves (or particles) originate so long as they keep coming! :-)

    Cheers

  96. Doug Little

    Scythe,

    I still don’t see how anything can compare to the accelerators that we use in terms of particle physics. Sure you can look toward stars and find observations that fit the macro scale theories, but in terms of quantum scale effects nothing beats smash up derby with a bunch of detectors standing by to test what the smash has wrought.

    I don’t understand why anybody would want to stop the “8th wonder of the world” from going ahead, they obviously have some ulterior motive, hmmmmm wonder what that could be, and the fact that they are American doing this in an American court will definitly not aid in the PR crisis.

  97. GoodnightJulia

    I love this blog, and I especially love that it now contains a post reassuring us that the Earth isn’t going to be destroyed by mad scientists. Though I guess I should check the archives before I assume it didn’t before.

    @Anders:

    Another potentially relevant Discworld quote is: “Scientists have calculated that the chance of anything so patently absurd actually existing are millions to one. But magicians have calculated that million-to-one chances crop up nine times out of ten.”

    That said, of all the ways we could possibly destroy the Earth, this is one I’m least likely to lose sleep over.

  98. Juan

    If im going to be finished off anytime soon, I would respect getting torn apart by a black hole. Instead of cancer, or car crash or any other mundane end, I think that would be more fun.

  99. jcbatlga

    I hope it does destroy the earth, then I can quit going to work. ( I work on Earth.)

  100. warren

    I can’t say that I’m worried about this. The question that the two gentlemen have raised has crossed my mind. But I also feel that the scientist that will be using the LHC have a greater understanding of what may or may not happen during their experiments. However,I do recall that the S.S.Titanic wasn’t supposed to be able to sink.

  101. John Q

    Okay, assuming even a SMALL (say .000000000001 percent) chance, does this give the scientists in question the right to gamble with everyone’s lives?

    If your answer is yes, then at what percentage risk do other individual’s views and rights begin to outweigh the specialists???
    One percent? Ten Percent?

    The pursuit of knowledge is a good thing, but when it comes to
    items like this perhaps the experiments should wait until they can be done elsewhere (.i.e. the moon, mars etc).

    This issue will begin to crop up more and more often as the powers
    humans wield become ever greater. Nanotechnology, genetic engineering, quantum physics, all have the potential to destroy
    our species.

  102. Jesse

    “I can’t help feeling that this is like watching a kid break something apart to “see how it works”. We’ve got to be more inventive than this. Bashing particles together may help us see some of what matter is made of, but smashing something to bits may itself be responsible for the splinters.”

    How else would you take atomic particles apart, my blender doesn’t have speed settings past frappe’ on it and I don’t know what size socket set to use for ‘sub-atomic.

  103. Jesse

    HAHA, DISREGARD THAT, I SUCK COCKS

  104. David Rochlin

    In a sense, operating the LHC will destroy the earth:
    Since every decision everyone makes, creates a new universe, pocket universes, fractally, branching off forever, the decision to switch the machine on will literally change the world! We will lose contact with everything we knew, forever, and be forced to face the new, post LHC universe. There is no turning back!

  105. MartinM

    It occurs to me that we might be looking at this the wrong way. Surely there exist conceivable (if low-probability) scenarios in which not turning on the LHC leads to the destruction of the Earth. Counter-suit!

  106. So the mini-black hole will drill a hole right to the center of the earth, and with its mass won’t pose a significant risk? Hmm… sounds like Exxon might be all over it…

    Regarding that other dude… where the heck does he get this macro-organism mumbo jumbo from? wow..

  107. Caseus Velox

    Well….

    The thing about higher-energy particles smashing into us all the time doesn’t seem right to me. If it’s true, it makes perfect sense that CERN poses no danger, because if something could go wrong, it would have already happened.

    But these particles (at least, ahem, according to Wikipedia; see for instance http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oh_my_god_particle) have macroscopic amounts of energy–that is, if they really were smashing into us, it seems to me that we would see (and occasionally feel) little explosions now and then for no reason. Which we don’t.

    And anyway, if we really are so sure what’s going to happen, why are we running the experiment?

  108. Davie

    Isn’t great that people think they can risk THE WHOLE PLANET and LIFE ON IT without following simple guidelines. It’s a wonder we’ve made it this far.

  109. And anyway, if we really are so sure what’s going to happen, why are we running the experiment?

    All theories are tested where possible to confirm, or not, the hypotheses. Just like the… ahem… ID hypotheses. We’re expecting confirmation on that score any day now. With a few billion people praying really hard you’d expect to see some sort of results. Real. Soon. Now…

  110. Cosmic Rays

    …any such novel particle created in nature by cosmic ray impacts would be left with a velocity at nearly the speed of light, relative to earth. At such speeds, …, is believed by most theorists to simply pass harmlessly through our planet with nary an impact, safely exiting on the other side. … Conversely, any such novel particle that might be created at the LHC would be at slow speed relative to earth, a goodly percentage would then be captured by earth’s gravity, and could possibly grow larger [accrete matter] with disastrous consequences of the earth turning into a large black hole.

  111. People are so self-centered? Why do they think it might destroy the Earth? Hell, if anything, it’ll take out the entire dang universe!
    Just out of curiosity, what are the chances this thing will get switched on before April 15?

  112. This arguement has occurred with every new, larger, particle accelerator that they create.

    I’m afraid as they continue to create yet larger and larger devices, this arguement will continue.

  113. Adela

    But if we do make a singularity then we can getting moving on Romulan War Bird production and ZPMs for wormhole gates.

  114. StevoR

    # Albert on 30 Mar 2008 at 1:22 pm

    “What beats me is the fact that two americans have the gall to think that a court in Honolulu of all places has any jurisdiction in France or Switzerland.

    You do not, I repeat DO NOT, rule the world.”

    Somebody please tell Bush Jr & his neo-con mates that! Really quickly! ;-)

  115. StevoR

    # John Q on 30 Mar 2008 at 4:53 pm

    [quote] “Okay, assuming even a SMALL (say .000000000001 percent) chance, does this give the scientists in question the right to gamble with everyone’s lives?

    If your answer is yes, then at what percentage risk do other individual’s views and rights begin to outweigh the specialists???
    One percent? Ten Percent?

    The pursuit of knowledge is a good thing, but when it comes to
    items like this perhaps the experiments should wait until they can be done elsewhere (.i.e. the moon, mars etc).

    This issue will begin to crop up more and more often as the powers
    humans wield become ever greater. Nanotechnology, genetic engineering, quantum physics, all have the potential to destroy
    our species.” [/unquote]

    Exactly! That’s my view too.

  116. StevoR

    Nemo : Ok then Billions of peopel not trillions – happy now? & ok not all have had rich and full lives but many have.

    # Ian on 29 Mar 2008 at 10:01 pm
    SR (me) : I would feel a lot safer if the whole thing had been constructed in orbit.

    [q] “And I would be extremely disappointed that the results wouldn’t be available within my lifetime.” [/q]

    Well, we’ll have to work on building an O’neill station or colonising the asteroids /Moon ultra-fast then won’t we! Who says your going to die so quick – I hope you don’t! ;-)

    Ian : “Besides, it wouldn’t be that much safer (not that I think it’s at all unsafe to begin with): anything produced by an LHC in orbit (at, say, the altitude of the ISS) would have about as much chance of shooting down at the earth as it would of flying off into space and escaping.” [/q]

    Yeah, but doing this in space would be much cooler and we’ll still have a planet to stand on if something does go wrong!

    What if this thing splits the neutrino or electron ..

    Just because we *can* do something doesn’t always mean we *should* ..

  117. Joe

    Some of those arguments came up when they were conducting the Manhattan project. No one knew for sure what would happen. Many of the scientists at questioned whether or not the nuclear reaction would stop and instead simply consume the whole Earth. Theoretical science takes risks. Go science!

  118. homo sapiens at risk

    Hawking radiation implies travel to the past as he interprets the negative sign of antiparticles not as standard physics does, a movement left or right, but a movement to the past, as a result it denies the 1st law of thremodynamics (infomation disappears to the past) and the 2nd law (the hottest source the black hole keeps getting hotter) obviously it has never been proved. It is a fancy mathematical hoax and mankind cannot depend on a hoax to survive. strangelets will be stable under the ordinary constant bag or MIT bag used by specialists. CERN is lying to keep the machine going.
    it is fascinating how people who would be histerical if some one puts a gun on his head, let physicists to do it just because they dont understand anythign about physics. It is ridiculous to die for not wanting to look silly

  119. Albert

    Do we really need a LHC to destroy the world ?

    It seems to me that we are doing a really great job at it, even without black holes lurking at the center.

  120. euan

    Well, great. These LHC fanboys get to risk our entire EXISTENCE to further their understanding of the universe. No matter how small the risk EVERYONE on earth should be asked whether this should be turned on or not. I mean, come on… it’s a huge risk. HUGE.

    I’d be a lot happier if they built it on the moon.

  121. Christian Treczoks

    Risk is always a question of two factors: How likely is the event, and what would happen, IF it happens.

    On the likelyhood side of things it is hard to say. According to Hawking, Hawking radiation exists, so a tiny black hole would pose no danger. On the other hand, particle physiscs was not always right on the spot. Keyword here: Solar Neutrinos. Additionally, other, yet unknown risks might exist. Propability therefor unknown, but they can’t be ruled out.

    On the risk side, events like “Earth might turn into something really bad” can be considered as quite a danger. Way worse than the risks I usually have to deal with, “Device might fail at the customers site” being the worst of the risks here…

    I’d cosider miself quite scientifically inclinded, and I consider research as very important. But I would sleep way better if they had put the whole thing in orbit.

  122. John O

    Curiosity killed the cat.

  123. “I don’t think there’s anything to worry about”… that’s a scary statement =)

  124. Okay, I’m no scientist, however let’s simplify.

    1) Scientists call them “strangelets” – which to me, doesn’t suggest the highest degree of understanding.

    2) They are doing this experiment because they want to see “what happens”, i.e. exploring new territory – but it “definitely” won’t destroy earth.

    3) 20 seconds ago I was reading that “scientists” how now decided cell phones give you cancer.

    “Sure, we’re not sure about the cell phone thing, that we’ve had for 20 years. However, we are sure this big shiny new thing won’t destroy earth.”

    Well, maybe they’ll make the world flat, that would be an ironic twist.

  125. Chris

    Perhaps the scaremongers are forgetting the amount of time it took to build the LHC. During all of that time, there was ample opportunity for this nonsense about “destroying the Earth” or “turning into strangelets” to be brought up. The LHC was proposed in 1984, and approved by the CERN council in 1994 (from CERN’s site: http://lhc-milestones.web.cern.ch/LHC-Milestones/LHCMilestones-en.html)- where were they then? or in the 14 years since?

    [sarcasm]AHA! I’ve got it!!! This is an attempt by CERN to up their public exposure! By getting some patsy to file a suit in the US, which has NO possibility of having any effect on the LHC’s operation (NTM no legal merit or standing), they get into the public eye![/sarcasm]

    As far as the whole “destroy the Earth” thing goes, pfft- so what? if it does, we won’t care anyway!

  126. Spiggi

    I’m no professional particle physicist, nor astrophysicist, but my elementary studies about the structure of an atom make it hard for me to follow the “more powerful particles hit the atmosphere every day”. If I remember correctly, a significantly large (near-100%) portion of an atom is empty space. Which means that the chances of an Oh-my-God particle (Wikipedia: the layman’s source of sounding intelligent) actually hitting the nucleus, or more specifically a proton in the nucleus, are infinitesimally low. The main benefit, and in fact one of the reasons for its inception, of the LHC is that the HEAD-ON collision of two particles can be observed. I would greatly appreciate if someone could clarify the scientific validity of this perspective.

    What I am, is a law student. And as a law student, I actually can appreciate their decision to initiate proceedings in the USA. There really can be no dispute about the jurisdiction, provided the lawyers are eloquent enough, and the Judge, patient enough. Insofar as much the EFFECT of the act alleged as illegal is felt within the Courts jurisdiction, the court may adjudicate. The problems will arise at the time of enforcement of the courts order. This is where (the litigants hope) the government steps in, and takes the matter to an international level. Concepts of sovereignty and freedom aside, it is still very much an international crime to (knowingly or unknowingly) put the planet in irreversible danger.

  127. Togan

    The organisation that operates CERN is an European institution. As long as they don’t have any work being done in the US (after all, CERN is in Europe as well) then I doubt that any US court has jurisdiction over what that lab does. They should have filed the suit in an European court, though I believe European courts wouldn’t even have accepted a suit like that.

    If you argue with that “possibility to destroy the planet” thing, then I’d like to sue the US, Chinese and possibly a few other governments for having enough nuclear weapons to do the same thing (a few times over). After all, they aren’t 100% safe either.

  128. Aaron

    Funny. We seem so concerned about who has nukes but who cares who has a machine that, although the possibilities are slim, could destroy the entire earth.

    We’re insane.

  129. Steve

    If it were true that LHC would “eat” the earth, can you imagine a better way to go?

  130. Spiggi

    Thinking further upon the legal aspect, apart from the fact that the possible effects, as claimed by the litigants, of the LHC will obviously touch Honalulu (it after all being a part of planet Earth), another advantage to USA courts is the principle of strict liability applied by them. This essentially means that any organization (regardless of whether it be situated in the territory of the USA) will have to be responsible for any damage caused by them, without exception. The court will treat this matter similar to, suppose, a factory upon the US-Mexican border discharging dirty water into Texas. The effects are till felt in Texas, and therefore the courts of Houston will most certainly have a problem.

    Further, no event orchestrated by humans can ever compare to a natural phenomenon, regardless of the comparative lack of raw power; the defining point of human scientific actions is their quest for accuracy. Technological developments have made it possible to get larger returns with lesser input than the examples found in nature (For eg, forest fire vs. controlled combustion/conversion of wood -> charcoal) due to an increase in efficiency.

    Thus, although the LHC will smash together protons at lesser energy than that what occurs outside the Earth, it will do so in a infinitely more controlled and efficient manner, thus increasing the probability that the final result will be beyond that observable by nature.

    Quoting Hawkings, “the more we learn about the Universe, the more we have reason to believe in God”.

    And as to the existence of other means of destruction of the planet, they too are faced with extreme opposition (disregarding the views of certain near-dictator/dictator/allegedly-democratic leaders) by the international community at large. So shall this.

  131. Nigel Depledge

    Caseus Velox said:
    The thing about higher-energy particles smashing into us all the time doesn’t seem right to me. If it’s true, it makes perfect sense that CERN poses no danger, because if something could go wrong, it would have already happened.

    But these particles (at least, ahem, according to Wikipedia; see for instance http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oh_my_god_particle) have macroscopic amounts of energy–that is, if they really were smashing into us, it seems to me that we would see (and occasionally feel) little explosions now and then for no reason. Which we don’t.

    No, we should not expect to feel or see little explosions from high-energy cosmic rays. But, how do you think they are detected in the first place?

    First, these energetic particles often collide with atoms in the upper atmosphere, causing cascades of less energetic particles (many of which are short-lived, which is how we know they come from collisions within our atmosphere) that reach the ground. Sometimes particle detectors are lofted high into the atmosphere on helium balloons, which is where some of our data come from. Finally, I believe that some satellites are able to detect these particles (and hence work out precisely the energy they possess when they arrive at our atmosphere).

    Although an individual atom contains only a small amount of matter, there are a great many atoms in our atmosphere (plus, an interaction between a charged particle and an atom does not need to be a “head-on” collision to have a noticeable effect).

    Second, although the particles possess macroscopic energy, even if they did reach the ground we would not feel it. This is because they are not macroscopic objects, and thus do not interact as such. Have you (for example) ever felt the impact of an Alpha particle? No? Of course not. Even the most energetic alpha particles will not be felt because that energy is concentrated on such a small area that (a) it will not be stopped by our skin and so the energy is transmitted along a path rather than dissipated at the point of “impact”, and (b) the area affected is too small to be detected by our sense of touch.

  132. Nigel Depledge

    Oh curses, the quote marks did not appear. Anyone know the correct html to quote from another comment?

    In my above comment, the first two paragraphs are from Caseus Velox. The rest is mine.

  133. JohnQ

    As with so many things, it’s a question of risk tolerance; the risk in this case may be unbelievably small, but when the outcome risked is the loss of our whole world, I firmly believe no sane person can tolerate even that much risk. I am not satisfied with hordes of physicists thinking the risk laughable. Humans are fallible. Only math is guaranteed. Tell us it’s mathematically disproven (or else build it in orbit) and then I will rest easy, but not before.

  134. Nigel Depledge

    Homo sapiens at risk said:
    “Hawking radiation implies travel to the past as he interprets the negative sign of antiparticles not as standard physics does, a movement left or right, but a movement to the past, as a result it denies the 1st law of thremodynamics (infomation disappears to the past) and the 2nd law (the hottest source the black hole keeps getting hotter) obviously it has never been proved. It is a fancy mathematical hoax and mankind cannot depend on a hoax to survive.”

    Not so, in fact.

    There is a genuine basis for Hawking radiation that does not rely on breaking any laws of thermodynamics (speaking of which, I believe your interpretation of both the first and second laws is wrong). One possible formulation of Hawking radiation involves movement in time, but this is not the only formulation. It is a mathematical convenience. Not a hoax. And, hey, if you’re trying to do hyperdimensional mathematics in your head (which is the way Hawking has to do it), I’ll grant any mathematical convenience you care to choose.

  135. Nigel Depledge

    Euan said:
    “No matter how small the risk EVERYONE on earth should be asked whether this should be turned on or not. I mean, come on… it’s a huge risk. HUGE. ”

    No. The potential hazard is huge, but the risk is immeasureably small.

    I am sure that you, in your everyday life, take risks that are far larger. To do so is only human, after all.

    For example, when you are driving, and you make an overtake manouevre, do you consult the occupants of all the vehicles around you before performing the manouevre? No. But you are taking a risk with their lives. A risk that is many orders of magnitude larger than the risk being taken at the LHC.

  136. Nigel Depledge

    Christian Treczoks said:
    “I’d cosider miself quite scientifically inclinded, and I consider research as very important. But I would sleep way better if they had put the whole thing in orbit.”

    OK, and what, if any, protection would be afforded by a hundred miles of atmosphere and about 50 miles of vacuum?

    If the fact that cosmic rays are striking our atmosphere all the time does not indicate to you that high-energy particles by themselves do not pose a major hazard, then how is the atmosphere going to protect us from whatever might come out of the LHC?

  137. TommyS

    Nigel Depledgeon said:
    “For example, when you are driving, and you make an overtake manouevre, do you consult the occupants of all the vehicles around you before performing the manouevre? No. But you are taking a risk with their lives. A risk that is many orders of magnitude larger than the risk being taken at the LHC.”

    You don’t see a “slight” difference between risking crashing a car or killing someone in traffic and viping out the entire planet?

  138. rob

    I think we should stop the LHC. The reason is that it will create tiny black holes that are sentient and communicate via gravity or something mysterious that we can’t understand. But Hawking Radiation will vaporize the newly sentient black holes! We will be responsible for the creation and execution of potentially billions and billions of sentient beings! The very sentient beings that created earth 6000 years ago via Intelligent Design! Oh horrible!

    …Wait,…we should *use* the LHC…

    …and then we can trap the little bastards and ask why they left all the transitional fossils lying around.

    And what is up with those pharyngula arches anyway?

  139. Scythe

    A couple of quotes from the LHC and CERN sites…

    “Collisions in the LHC will generate temperatures more than 100 000 times hotter than the heart of the Sun. Physicists hope that under these conditions, the protons and neutrons will ‘melt’, freeing the quarks from their bonds with the gluons. This should create a state of matter called quark-gluon plasma, which probably existed just after the Big Bang when the Universe was still extremely hot.”

    Apparently there is enough energy in the combined beams to turn a tonne of copper into a molten blob (good for cooking pizza’s when working late then!).

    “British physicist, Peter Higgs, proposed the existence of a field (the Higg’s Field), which pervades the entire Universe and interacts with some particles and this gives them mass. If the theory is right then the field should reveal itself as a particle (the Higg’s particle). The Higg’s particle is too heavy to be made in existing accelerators, but the high energies of the LHC should enable us to produce and detect it.”

    It really is very very exciting stuff. What I keep thinking is, supposing we’ve got it all wrong? Isn’t it worth finding out if we have?

    After all, we can’t be true skeptics unless we want to know the truth!

  140. “This may sound harsh, but I’ve often felt that the kindest thing about death is never getting the opportunity to regret it. So what if we all die? The universe won’t care, and neither will we.”

    Spoken like a true serial killer….
    of course, the problem is not death. it is the absense of life.

  141. Atomic Scrotum

    iamaelephant is ghey haha

    digg

  142. “What beats me is the fact that two americans have the gall to think that a court in Honolulu of all places has any jurisdiction in France or Switzerland.

    You do not, I repeat DO NOT, rule the world.”

    Tell that to the British judge that issued $200,000 judgment recently against that American under British liable law even though only a few copies of his book ever made it into England. At least here, unlike the British court, no judgment has been issued doing anything. Brits don’t own the world, you know?

  143. Irishman

    H.C.said:
    > I would feel a lot safer if the whole thing had been constructed in orbit.

    You know, for what it cost and how much time it already took, they might as well have. ;-)

    gia, I definitely agree. This quote was hilarious:

    Dr. Arkani-Hamed said concerning worries about the death of the Earth or universe, “Neither has any merit.” He pointed out that because of the dice-throwing nature of quantum physics, there was some probability of almost anything happening. There is some minuscule probability, he said, “the Large Hadron Collider might make dragons that might eat us up.”

    That would certainly require us to rewrite the physics textbooks.

  144. Doug Little

    Unfortunately the naysayers don’t really understand small fractions. Let me put it to you this way if you think that something disastrous is going to happen you best get an oxygen mask because quantum mechanics says there is a small possibility that all the air in the room you are currently occupying in will end up in the to rightmost corner thus rendering you unconscious.

  145. me

    By all means something like this excites me. I enjoy the discoveries that scientists make but… I dont think something that uses 14 trillion electron-volts should be taken lightly. Given that they think its a low probability that doesnt make it ok to not ensure some sort of safety measure in case something like a micro black hole does appear. I mean It’s a low probability that when I step outside my house and turn the key in my car it wont start, its a low probability that I’ll win the lottery but its still possible. The way I see things, even if its the smallest fraction of a possibility, when it comes to something you dont full understand you just dont mess around.

    Im sure that never before has there been a concentration of 14 trillion electron-volts in one spot for this purpose. And as such, we should be more careful. The way particles react with energy isnt linear and shouldnt be treated like it is. Just like with electricity and how it interacts with transmission lines with high voltage ac, high voltage dc, ultra high ac and ultra high dc.

    Furthermore, have any of these scientist fully examined or analyzed a black hole before? We dont fully understand black holes yet we state that nothing will happen because we think it doesnt have enough energy. We dont have proof of this, so why do so many of you think it is true? Partles react differently with energy, environment, anything really. The black whole we have studied (from billions of light years way i might add) exist in a vaccum, the vaccum of space, not the Earth.

    I just wish we didnt pretend we know everything just becasue the math works out, math is a model of what maybe not what is.

  146. me

    *spelling mistakes etc

    Furthermore, have any of these scientist fully examined or analyzed a black hole before? We dont fully understand black holes yet we state that nothing will happen because we think it doesnt have enough energy. We dont have proof of this, so why do so many of you think it is true? Particles react differently with energy, environment, basically anything. The black holes we have studied (from billions of light years way i might add) exist in a vaccum, the vaccum of space, not the Earth.

  147. iamaelephant

    “Im sure that never before has there been a concentration of 14 trillion electron-volts in one spot for this purpose.”

    Actually the energies involved in LHC experiments happen quite frequently in nature. The purpose of a collider like LHC is to make these events happen in an environment where we can make predictions and control variables, rather than looking for random events in the atmosphere.

  148. zeppo

    ZP
    Foiled Terrorist Attack on Science Installation
    Tuesday April 1, 12:01 am ET
    By Zeppo ze Zeppelin, for Zathurts Press
    Armaggedon averted, for now

    Geneva, Switzerland (ZP) — Disaster averted as crazed group of Christian terrorists attack site of nearly-completed particle accelerator.

    Earlier today a group of about half a dozen attackers assaulted and gained access to CERN’s LHC (Large Hadron Collider) situated on the border between France and Switzerland. They were heavily armed and swiftly made their way to the interior and took hostages. The hostages, all of whom are now safe, were particle physics students and tradesmen working on the installation which is scheduled to be activated later this year.

    After securing themselves and their hostages they communicated by telephone to major media outlets and CERN project headquarters. In an unexpected twist, the terrorists demanded, not that the facility be destroyed or otherwise disabled, but rather they wanted it turned on immediately or they would begin executing hostages one by one, or as they described it, dispatching them to their maker.

    Specifics of their objectives remain unclear since they tended to incoherence and self-contradiction during these telephone conversations. According to a CERN spokesperson one thing they seemed upset about was a legal suit recently filed in Hawaii. Even the spokesperson seemed to struggle with the tortuous logic of the terrorists’ concerns as he continued to explain. “That suit is already known to us and is an ill-considered attempt to stop the activation of the collider since they claim that it might destroy the Earth. Those fears are absolutely groundless.” In response to further questions he went on to talk about the team’s enthusiasm about the possible creation of novel particles such as ‘strangelets’ and miniature black holes.

    The terrorists however, believe that the LHC, which when it is finally activated will be the most powerful partcile accelerator ever constructed, will result in the destruction of the planet. If the Hawaiian court, whose jurisdictional authority is dubious, does issue an injunction there is a risk the accelerator’s activation would be postponed indefinitely. The terrorists, who are members of an extremist fundamental religious sect, believe activation of the device will bring the day of judgment foretold in the Bible. Apparently they wish to hasten the purported end of creation and, it seems, to prevent the ‘unworthy atheistic scientists’ from being the instigators of the End when the accelerator is activated in due course. One of the terrorists in an abusive rant also derided Darwin’s theory of evolution and, if it were true, which he also asserted was a lie, ending the world would stop that as well.

    The situation seemed quite dire until project staff traced the telephones being used by the attackers to the vicinity of the one of the facility’s particle detectors. The facility, being 27 km around would have taken too long to search even with the rapid deployment of French special forces. Luckily they eschewed using wireless phones since they feared getting cancer, presumably in the short time remaining to us all. Some quick calculations by a small group of bespectacled scientists led to a conference with the military commander and an unusual tactical gambit. The science team’s leader, Dr. Fritz Kugelblitz spoke afterward to reporters.

    “When we discovered they were hiding inside the ATLAS detector we had an interesting little idea. There was some risk to the hostages but no more than an assault by the soldiers, and we could do it much faster.” Simplifying the matter for us he described how the terrorists minds were clearly highly polarized in comparison to the general population, which they could somehow make us of. “What we did, in short,” contined Dr. Kugelblitz, “was to briefly activate the detector’s enormous magnets.”

    While the technical explanation is complicated the result was spectacular, and fatally gruesome. One of the hostages, still seemingly in shock and being escorted to the waiting medical team, told of hearing a loud hum and seeing the eyes of the terrorists glowing brightly. They then all fell to the ground with their liquified brains pouring out of their ears.

    According to Dr. Kugelblitz’s explanation the terrorists’ highly-polarized and low-energy neurons enabled the powerful magnets to spin their brains inside their craniums at relativistic velocities. The hostages were unaffected.

    When asked about the glowing eyes, he mused. “Ah! Bremsstrahlung.”

    How the terrorists gained access to the secure site is still unclear. It is rumored however that a security camera at one of the guarded entry portals, where the guards were subsequently found to be sound asleep, shows a dapper looking gentleman who bears a striking resemblance to media personality Ben Stein. In the video he is seen talking to the guards. Just talking.

    In a bizarre coincidence, several PETA activists were apprehended on site the same day by the already-deployed military force. It was determined they were on a sabotage mission to disable the very same installation. As they were being led away in handcuffs, one of them who gave her name as Jaime Poutine, told reporters that their group is trying to put a stop to unrestrained scientific curiosity which, PETA claims, is having a deleterious effect on feline mortality rates.

    “Despite today’s extraordinary events,” the CERN spokesperson said, “the Large Hadron Collider project remains on schedule.”

  149. Leif

    I think it’s a bit like playing Russian Roulette..Since most of the “stuff” in the universe is stuff that we know very little about. Dark matter/energy make up almost all of the known universe, but very little is know of it…Just to start slamming things together might be playing fast and loose with things we don’t fully understand..

  150. TC

    Hi Nigel thanks for reinforcing my knowledge of how it is ‘supposed’ to be laid out. Are you old enough to remember the first fusion bomb tests? There was a huge rumble (;0) in the commmunity regarding a possible chain reaction was there not? At least this might even be public knowledge, who really knows what gets tested conspiracy blah blah. Forgive the pointless questions, what im driving at is the possibility of an ‘outside’ a multiverse? An openverse? A Bookaverse?
    1 Q, and im not being a pedant mate I promise, you mention the possibility of faster than light in your reply, please tell me more “travelling away from us faster than the speed of light” I like the sound of the possibility of that. Thanks again for previous response TC

  151. StevoR

    # Steve on 31 Mar 2008 at 8:54 am

    [quote/]
    “If it were true that LHC would “eat” the earth, can you imagine a better way to go? [/quote]

    Yes!
    Lots actually including drowning in beer,beingsmoothered in caramel syrup, dying er.. well ican’t say thatone here .. ;-)

    … &, well, heaps more.

    Even being shot in the head, hung or decapitated would be preferable. (Quick, dramatic, final &relatively flaw-free if done right.)

    Death by radiation poisoning or the earth blowingapart or being transformed into quark matter … ?

    No thanks.

    I think the liklihood of disaster when the CERN LHC supercollider is very
    remote.

    However, I do think there is a real danger – that the unforseen may result in something far worse than we can imagine – and I do think that is enough reason to NOT turn it on anywhere on Earth.

    Thanks for your amusing little tale there Zeppo but we’ll have to disagree ..

  152. bomberman

    If you are worrying about the LHC destroying earth, don’t be! Google RHIC! It’s been active for quite some time, does the exact same thing! But not as big.

  153. MartinM

    OT, but:

    Tell that to the British judge that issued $200,000 judgment recently against that American under British liable law even though only a few copies of his book ever made it into England. At least here, unlike the British court, no judgment has been issued doing anything. Brits don’t own the world, you know?

    Oddly enough, when you disseminate libellous material, ‘but it was only a few copies!’ isn’t considered a viable defence.

  154. Nigel Depledge

    Tommy S said:
    “You don’t see a “slight” difference between risking crashing a car or killing someone in traffic and viping out the entire planet?”

    Yes, there is a big difference. The car crash is vastly more probable. Like, probably hexillions of times more likely.

    Think of it this way:
    Let’s assume that you are a brilliant driver, and there is a 1-in-10-million chance that, by initiating an overtake at a particular time and place, you will kill a person.

    1 in 10 million is a pretty small risk, right? But it could happen despite being a small risk, right? And yet, do you consult all of the occupants of the vehicles around you before you make an overtake?

    Now, for the sake of argument, let’s assume that the chance of the LHC destroying the world is 1 in 10 octillion (although my personal feeling is that the risk is infinitesimally small – I’m being generous, for the sake of argument). That’s a 1 in 10 octillion chance of killing 6 billion people. But the cumulative risk to everyone is still smaller than for the overtake manouevre described above.

    The car crash is 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 times more likely to occur, yet you are unconcerned about that. Does that one person’s life matter less than everyone else’s? Surely not. The risk from the LHC, in this scenario, to everyone individually is still about a trillion times lower than the risk of being killed by you in a car crash.

    Now, of course you could quibble about the figures I have chosen, but the main point is the same: when the risk is really so miniscule, why make such a big fuss about it, especially when you are so unconcerned about much much larger risks?

  155. Spoozilla

    So long and thanks for all the pigeons.

  156. MartinM

    That’s a 1 in 10 octillion chance of killing 6 billion people. But the cumulative risk to everyone is still smaller than for the overtake manouevre described above.

    Ah, but killing off the world’s population prevents more people from being born, whereas killing off one person isn’t going to make much difference to the global picture. The cumulative risk is almost certainly still nicely miniscule, though.

  157. Doug Little

    People here better start getting those oxygen masks ready? seems to me we have a lot of quantum gamblers present.

    Why is no one here trying to shut down the Z-Machine? It has just as much wow factor and has been chugging away for a good number of years.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Z_machine

    Check it out and prepare to declare that the end of the world is neigh!

    3.7 Billion Degrees Kelvin, Why didn’t the earth melt?

  158. Craig

    “People here better start getting those oxygen masks ready? seems to me we have a lot of quantum gamblers present.

    Why is no one here trying to shut down the Z-Machine? It has just as much wow factor and has been chugging away for a good number of years.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Z_machine

    Check it out and prepare to declare that the end of the world is neigh!

    3.7 Billion Degrees Kelvin, Why didn’t the earth melt?”

    Possibly because of what is actually happening inside the z-machine. The z-machine isnt propelling partcles at high speeds and energies, it is super heating them. Compared with the LHC, its quite different. Its like comparing a car being reved out in neutral (z-machine) and a car travelling 200 kph slaming into a wall (LHC), its different.

  159. Doug Little

    The z-machine isnt propelling partcles at high speeds and energies

    Ahhh actually it is, the magnetic field created causes the matter to be accelerated and crunched thus causing the high temperatures.

    Yet particles imploded in the accelerator’s tiny targets — about the size of a spool of thread — reach velocities that would fly a plane from Los Angeles to New York in a second.

    Also

    Milestones Z was expected to achieve were an X-ray energy of 1.5 megajoules — achieved is 2.0 megajoules.

    Which is a pretty strong XRay Source.

  160. FMB

    WWED?

    What Would Einstein Do?

    Seriously, this is craziness! STOP IT! Experimenting with subatomic mass and energy interactions that are based on THEORY is extremely dangerous. You don’t have to be Einstein to know this. They are literally ready to smash particles to mimic conditions not seen since the big bang.

    This isn’t relatively benign playing god like “OOPS… our genetically modified corn has escaped and is hybridizing with wild corn now.” This is like “OOPS…we started a black hole that’s emitting deadly radiation and we don’t know how to stop it.”

    I read some of the comments above from people saying things like “Do you know how small the black hole created would be?” and “the energy absorbed/produced would be so small to be of insignificance.” To which I respond; Do you know the diameter of black holes that really do exist in the universe? They are tiny! Has anybody personally observed what one of these black holes were like at their birth? I understand the whole star-collapse event causing either supernova or black hole depending on the amount of star fuel, but do you KNOW with 100% certainty that a black hole created in a particle accelerator this way would not grow in size exponentially using the matter surrounding it to fuel it’s creation?

    Sorry, but if the experimental theory shows that a condition affecting the stability of the universe is POSSIBLE, it MUST NOT PROCEED. How hard is this to fathom? I do know that the universe is made up of around 90% dark matter and forces we can’t even begin to understand fully. What if this experiment is the trigger for a cascading chain-reaction failure of our known reality? There is a reason it’s called the UNIverse, it’s ONE, there isn’t another alternative one we can escape to if we fundamentally alter it.

    So far scientific evidence has shown us that the size of subatomic particles is infinite, How far are we willing to go? At the expense of total existence?

    STOP THIS MADNESS NOW!

  161. pptj

    i was wondering if they prove this whole thing and find the god particle

    which they say might of created the world then it makes sence to say their is no god right

  162. pptj

    i wonder what would happen if we get in to a black hole

    has any one thought of when we get suck in a black whole we would go into a nother parallel universe/dimension

    that would be off da hook

  163. TC

    since we are told we cannot escape the universe it is a spacetime well

    i cant see a way for it but there must be an outside since there is an inside

    where did all the matter come from?

  164. Max Williams

    A more important point than ‘the odds of making a black hole are very small’ is that even if it happens it’s no big deal. Aren’t something like 3 black holes made in the earths atmosphere every day due to cosmic ray impacts? At the risk of monumental hubris, bring on the holes.

  165. Oak

    Some americans found recently through the WWW that they can actually talk about stuff that they do not understand in Europe as though they are the masters of the universe. Although this has been promoted largely by a diet of right-wing, evangelical politics and a few TV shows, they should be shown that eventually, in their infancy, they must have seen a colouring book where other countries where represented.
    For those americans, and speaking of black holes, I contend the following: There is a finite possibility that their tremendous arrogance in pulling inane comments on everything out of their nether regions would accumulate so much that they could eventually implode into their own asses. The only problem is, the only “field” they would be creating then would be one of extreme smeliness that would keep the earth-eating dragons away for life…

  166. Mike

    Everyone interested in this topic should read this page in it’s entirety:

    http://www.lhcdefense.org/WHAT_SCIENTISTS_SAY.html

  167. Bob

    I am a layman, not a scientist, and as such have a simple question:

    Since we have evolved and are alive right now to have this discussion, it must be a simple fact that we have done so because there are no black holes in the immediate area to cause our extinction.

    Why do we have to make them then? Is it necessary?

    p.s. I have a wife and 4 month old son.

  168. CERNs web site states that we have not been destroyed by effects of cosmic rays and micro black holes will evaporate.

    However, cosmic rays travel too fast to be captured by Earths gravity, and Hawking Radiation is disputed and contradicts Einsteins highly successful relativity theory. Collider particles smash head on like a car collision and can be captured by Earths gravity, and relativity predicts micro black holes will not decay (Hawking called Einstein doubly wrong, yet it is Einstein who is repeatedly found to have been correct in his theories). There is currently no reasonable proof of LHC safety, LSAG (LHC Safety Assessment Group) has been trying for months to prove safety without success. I hold the minority opinion that it may not be possible because it may in fact not be safe.

    Cosmic Rays from the legal complaint.

    any such novel particle created in nature by cosmic ray impacts would be left with a velocity at nearly the speed of light, relative to earth. At such speeds, . . . , is believed by most theorists to simply pass harmlessly through our planet with nary an impact, safely exiting on the other side. . . . Conversely, any such novel particle that might be created at the LHC would be at slow speed relative to earth, a goodly percentage would then be captured by earths gravity, and could possibly grow larger [accrete matter] with disastrous consequences of the earth turning into a large black hole.

    If this thing is so safe, why arent CERN scientists allowed to express any personal fears they might have about this Collider?

    Alleged in the legal action: Chief Scientific Officer, Mr. Engelen passed an internal memorandum to workers at CERN, asking them, regardless of personal opinion, to affirm in all interviews that there were no risks involved in the experiments, changing the previous assertion of minimal risk.

    (Statisticians generally consider minimal risk as 1-10%).

    JTankers
    LHCConcerns.com

  169. Dan

    Here’s the problem as I see it:

    The accelerator straddles the border of France and Switzerland. They are accellerating atomic nuclei to near the speed of light. Therefore they will be moving nuclear materials accross international borders thousands of times each second while the beam is luminous. The IAEA requires voluminous paperwork each time nuclear materials are moved accross international borders. Thus, in order to maintain compliance with international agreements, hundreds of pages of paperwork will need to be produced thousands of times each second. This will likely quickly require every tree on the planet to be converted into IAEA paperwork, causing an ecological disaster of unparralleled proportions. As enough of this paperwork accumulates at IAEA headquarters, there pecomes a greater and greater risk that it will undergo a quantum fluctuation and spontaneously contract into a black hole, destroying whatever life is left on Earth.

  170. Fabio Souza

    I agree: there is no chance that LHC experiences could put the earth in a destruction tray, but talking about the argumetns against the litigants theories, there is an important thing to say: In the nature, the high energy particles are present in high speed space crossing scenario while in particles accelarator, when the collision occurs, we have a low speed scenario, and the question is: what will happen in this abnormal scenario ?

  171. nadeem

    hello
    its nadeem
    is geneva will created danger lhc project which will producing destructive activities for mankind what is guarantees

  172. paul

    sure, baby black holes instead of growign, travel back to the past cause einstein is ‘double wrong’and we are sons of god, so earth’s microbial surface will reproduce the big bang and nothing will happen, after all the infinite universe has been created exactly as it is by god, cause he consulted with a goatkeeper called moses to fit the anthropic principle and then came to explain it all to the globbers…
    ah but the rest of mortals cant sure understnad the great minds of scientists who cant do a single thought experiment and so they resource to blow up with a 27 km. canon particle to explain
    what their feeble minds cant even grasp
    the harder they fall…

  173. Professor Dr. Otto E. Roessler estimates 50 months Earth accretion time from a single micro black hole captured by Earth’s gravity (www.golem.de/0802/57477-4.html, translation at http://www.lhcconcerns.com/LHCConcerns/Forums/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=52)

  174. Nigel Depledge

    Craig said:
    ” The z-machine isnt propelling partcles at high speeds and energies, it is super heating them. ”

    Craig, what do you think temperature actually is?

  175. Nigel Depledge

    FMB said:
    ” They are literally ready to smash particles to mimic conditions not seen since the big bang. ”

    Or, in fact, conditions not seen since the last high-energy cosmic ray smashed into our atmosphere.

  176. Nigel Depledge

    Bob said:
    “Since we have evolved and are alive right now to have this discussion, it must be a simple fact that we have done so because there are no black holes in the immediate area to cause our extinction. ”

    No. That does no follow.

    A BH is not some huge beast gobbling up everything in its path. Black hole candidates have been detected with around 3.5 times the sun’s mass, only a few hundred light years away. All that we can deduce from our existence is this: no large BH has passed close enough to the Earth to have a significant adverse effect on human evolution.

    Microscopic black holes may have passed close by the Earth thousands of times, but how could we know about these?

  177. Nigel Depledge

    Bob said:
    “Why do we have to make them then? Is it necessary? ”

    It is not necessary. A BH is a possible but unlikely by-product of particle interactions that will occur in the LHC. As someone calculated further up the comments, at the energy of the LHC, a BH will be smaller than the Planck length and will therefore evaporate too quickly for it to register on a detector (although we might pick up the by-products of its evaporation).

    The LHC was not designed to make black holes, but to study high-energy particle interactions. Which it looks set to do very well.

  178. Nigel Depledge

    Isn’t it odd how the purveyors of woo will, on the one hand, claim that evolution is “only a theory”, but on the other, take theoretical predictions of probabilities that currently have no confimratory evidence as if they were many orders of magnitude more likely than even the most optimistic set of assumptions will lead one to conclude.

  179. richwonderfull

    Wow, this guy’s website seems familiar…Does “time cube” ring a bell for anyone else?

  180. richwonderfull

    from the NY times: “Dr. Arkani-Hamed said concerning worries about the death of the Earth or universe, “Neither has any merit.” He pointed out that because of the dice-throwing nature of quantum physics, there was some probability of almost anything happening. There is some minuscule probability, he said, “the Large Hadron Collider might make dragons that might eat us up.””

    Now they’re telling us it might make dragons? By god, it must be stopped!

  181. brickinthewall

    If there is even the slightest possibility of a risk of whatever kind, even if it is an 0.0000000001 per cent risk, there can be only one answer to the question, whether or not this risk should be taken: NO WAY!
    A handful of scientists who have a stubborn trust in what they believe to know may want to take that risk still; however, 99.9999999999 per cent of the world population don’t.
    STOP LHC NOW!

  182. Exirus

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relativistic_Heavy_Ion_Collider

    * RHIC creates a black hole
    * RHIC creates a transition into a different quantum mechanical
    vacuum (see false vacuum)
    * RHIC creates strange matter that is more stable than ordinary matter

    The debate started in 1999 with an exchange of letters in Scientific American between Walter L. Wagner[20], and F. Wilczek

    It’s the exact same argument, and the RHIC has been running for years now, there’s no difference in the RHIC as there is the LHC, except for different tests – They both slam particles at just under the speed of light… Ones bigger.

  183. Toxin75

    I am unnerved due to the fact that this has a much higher chance of destroying the Earth as to the chances were that created it. What about the study at MIT where the scientists/students claimed the chances of a creation of a stranglet were “very likely” and how CERN lays silent and will not refute anyone’s claims against them. Also the possibility of other branches of science or madmen threatening millions of lives in basically a d*** measuring contest.

    This is comparable to someone kidnapping your child and injecting them with some unknown substance into their blood, which they believe to be harmless. This test’s only purpose is to see who’s right, or wrong and will have no direct benefit to your child or you. Despite how you feel about it, you have no choice in this matter. Except this isn’t done to just your child, or you, but playing Russian roulette with everyone’s lives in the world all at one time.

    The actions of CERN are the denial of basic human rights, that’s the worst part and the actions of those that will follow in their footsteps.

  184. Toxin75

    Walter L. Wagner’s LHC defense website: http://www.lhcdefense.org

  185. Exirus

    “I am unnerved due to the fact that this has a much higher chance of destroying the Earth as to the chances were that created it.”

    You’re talking like there’s a new earth creating itself left and right in the universe.. Even If the chances are phenomenally higher, I still wouldn’t worry, and neither should you.

    I’m gonna trust the 20+ thousand physicists’ working on the thing.

    Maybe actually you know… Search the forums and read up on it a bit.

  186. folcrom

    Hell I’m going to through my two bits in on this old post.

    Quantum Stranglets:

    Theoretical particles that in all probability don’t exist.
    And even if they did, I’m sure there’s a reason why they couldn’t exist long enough to have any real effect. A bit like, why wasn’t the universe destroyed by equal quantities of matter/anti-matter in the beginning of time. If strangelets could exist, our universe probably would be a very different place to the one we currently live in.

    Black Holes:

    If two sub atomic particles collide with sufficient energies to create a black hole, how bad will it really be?

    Do the math, calculate the size of the black hole’s event horizon.
    (BA you could do this, you’re good at math).
    Remember sub atomic particles have very, very, very small masses.
    So the event horizon requires that their mass be compressed to the point where the escape velocity exceeds the velocity of light.

    This makes for one extra-ordinarily small even horizon!

    So small, you would not have to worry about it.
    If one was created, sure it might devour the Earth,
    however it would probably take more than 10 billion years to do it!

    Simply put, the Sun would in all likely hood render the Earth uninhabitable first, by several billion years!

    So

    Everythings gonna be alright, don’t worry, be happy.

    Folcrom

  187. brickinthewall

    It’s revealing that from those who seem to be quite unconcerned about the LHC all we get is commonplaces such as “relax about it”, “don’t worry” etc. How come nobody so far has come up with a real reason why there’s no worry. That silly decade-old Hawking-hypothesis keeps coming up, along with other highly theoretical – I should say highly hypothetical – stuff.
    Sorry, lads, that doesn’t convince me in the slightest. If a black hole, even a minuscule one, is called a black hole, it has the awful capacity of accumulating matter since its matter exerts more gravity on the surrounding environment than the single particles themselves. This chain reaction, bluntly spoken, can’t be tossed away by the argument that the black hole is so tiny.

  188. Dr Obnxs

    The “relax a bit” crowd has great reasons to advocate that position. The LHC won’t create any events any more energetic than already exist now. This is the “persistance of the moon” explanation. The moon is still there, even though it gets hit by more energetic events. The LHC won’t create anything other than good science and access to energy ranges that have elluded high energy physics experimentalists till now.

    Matt

  189. Phil: I find your lack of total certainty in this matter to be deeply disturbing. What do you think of this?:

    Will the Earth be sucked into a tiny black hole in June?

  190. brickinthewall

    So let’s assume a “tiny” black hole is created. And let’s assume that the Hawking-hypothesis is false and therefore the black hole persists.
    What will happen then? Now continue the scenario (without referring to the situation in outer space, because the situation there is not at all transferrable to the LHC-set-up) by applying what we know about gravity.
    Does anyone seriously believe the “tiny black hole” is going to linger around as such for a while or just drift through the earth and that’s it?

  191. A couple of months before news of the lawsuit against LHC, I found myself putting together a science fiction story about a brane theorist on a massive super-collider project, like the LHC but bigger and in the US. The brane theorist built a model that suggested that the energy level of the supercollider could possibly rupture the brane of our universe, either destroying it or altering its character by mixing in other parallel universes. But he could not get anyone to take his analysis and concern seriously – except a fundamentalist preacher. I had fun with the story and anybody interested can read it on my writings website. http://www.vincegiuliano.com. Its simply called Supercollider and deals with physics and almost-physics. I don’t personally worry about LHC ending the world. Should it do that, I won’t notice it. I am giving 1,000 to one odds that the LHC won’t destroy the universe within two years. If you bet a dollar and I win, you pay me a dollar. If I lose I will pay you $1,000 if you can manage to collect it.

  192. Folcrom

    Size is important when talking about a black hole.

    It’s mass dictates the size of the event horizon.

    If a sub atomic particle forms a black,
    it’s event horizon will miniscule,
    enormously smaller than the sub atomic particle that formed it.

    It’s gravity, though immense at the event horizon,
    dimishes swiftly. (Known laws of gravity dictate this).

    Space at the quantum level is largely (hugely) empty.
    This hyperthetical sub-atomic particle generated black hole,
    will live a very, very lonely existance.

    It will only come into contact with ordinary matter rarely.
    It will have difficulty swallowing other sub atomic particles,
    assuming it can at all. (All black holes are messy eaters at best).
    Remember it’s event horizon will be enormously smaller than
    the particle that created it.

    So it’s growth, if any, will be extrordinarily slow, initially.
    Until it has grown to a significant size,
    ie considerably larger than the atoms around it,
    it will continue to grow extrordinarily slowly.

    So, the Sun will, as said before,
    will expire long before the black hole becomes a threat.
    The earth will have died long before then anyway.

    Study physics, learn the math and you’ll come to the same conclusion.

    An no, I’m not going to do the math myself,
    I have better things to do with my time.

    Folcrom.

  193. Nick

    After reading around on the internet, I’m covinced that the chances of anything happening at the LHC are microscopic. However, LHC alarmists still make me uneasy. Can anyone tell me if any of these things are legitimate?

    http://www.risk-evaluation-forum.org/limits.htm

    Also, does anyone think the dominium model is legitimate?

  194. I have NO INTEREST in some scientists creating huge collisions using the power of a small city, with no clue about the outcome.

    All I know is that the Big Bang was not exactly a place in history where life was around, so recreating something that is anywhere near those conditions is not acceptable.

    If you want to explore some black hole, invent a space ship and drive there to check it out, don’t bring the black hole here!!

    Stop the LHC!!
    http://www.stop-lhc.com

  195. ATLAS

    By the way, to all of you complaining about a lack of “real” answers defending the LHC (other than the obvious “come on!!!!! relax”).

    The comments thar rpenner left here:

    http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2008/04/will_the_earth_be_sucked_into.php

    will surely answer all your doubts (if you are really willing to deal with the maths and logic and stop being happily paranoic).

    And if you are just having fun with all this madness, enjoy them. A really interesting, intelligent, debate between the metioned rpenner and the blog owner. It is worth it.

    Cheers.

  196. atlas

    If you are an explosive expert, and you prove scientifically that it wont damage my house. Yes, go ahead, try it in front of my house. I am not knowledgable in C4 enough to understand it well, I will research (properly, not via blogs but via authentic sources) what you want to do, and I may eye what you are doing when you start. But I wont panic and say nonsense about something I do not know.

    I am not saying that you should take what we say at face value. I understand that you shouldnt do that (I am far more critic than you are, likely).

    By chance: have you looked into the link I put? With the mathematical calculation of the risk, and a proper explanation why it is not really a risk and just panic?

    Atlas is obviously a nickname. It is one of the experiments of the LHC (the one I work in). This madness is making me really nervous – and sad.

    Not because I believe it is true. From my (ok, limited) point of view there is not a chance that we will do any harm. Seriously. That’s why I see all of this as a joke. There are theories, yes. Loads of them. But there are studies documenting the possibilities that Mr. Wagner mentions. And scientically destroying them (please ;-) , have a look at the link, ok?) – even if those two guys refuse to believe it.

    Scientist are not idiots. Even if you believe we would, even if you really think that we are that naive, we wouldnt blow up the earth we wouldnt want to be there when the LHC start. We are not suicides.

    It is really depressing that the image that the media has about us is so distorted that so many people are willing to believe so fast that we would gamble with something that dear just for playing.

    Come on. This is just a panic attack, manipulated by the media ’cause I grant you, the theme is a sure-bestseller for newspapers.

    But playing with something SO important as what the world thinks of science, right now that the money invested in developing what we know about the world is decreasing and decreasing… Really depressing.

    If you want to go against LHC, ok, that’s your take on it, your free will. Go ahead.

    But please, document yourself properly before. Contrast information. Go to sites supporting and to sites against, check the way things are addressed in both places. Look up the basics of what accelerators do. Cosmic rays. Probabilities. Maths.

    And then, if you are really sure you understand it, sgo against it.

    But proper critics, which open to an interesting debate, have to be based on non-biased knowledge.

    (Which is, by the way, why I am researching what are the reasons why people are against my work. I first research, and then judge. Not just go “ooooooh my goood” without thinking).

    (By the why. Plasma engines & so probably wont ever happen if free research is cut down on the terms of fear. Fear is understandable and human. But there is a difference between caution, and panic. Which you overdo).

  197. brickinthewall

    Atlas,
    great to know that some people who work at CERN do take these forums kind of seriously. Just one question: Have you read “Our final hour” (2003) by astrophysicist Martin Rees? Read chapter 9 and discuss it with colleagues. Martin Rees is not just anybody, but amongst scientists he is one of the very few who have retained a high amount of ethics and a sense of responsibility. Potentially dangerous experiments may happen at CERN, and there are a lot of humans in this world who are seriously scared who can’t be comforted by CERN-physicists reiterating phrases like “probably nothing will happen” – this simply isn’t enough!
    If the public feels that CERN staff has been brain-washed or is neglecting natural fears about the uncertainty that is part of some experiments there, then something is seriouly wrong at CERN. Are you guys working there perhaps too naive or carried away by the urge to find the final answer? Are you guys at CERN perhaps a bit too sure about “theories” such as the Hawking-hypothesis about “unstable” black micro-holes?
    If you “ask an expert” at CERN via e-mail as they invite you to do on the homepage, you get the same prepared answers which you repeatedly find in the press and which don’t convince anyone who has a bit of a clue!

  198. Nick

    To brickinthewall:

    Here, I quote Dr. Rees from a NYTimes article:

    “Neither Dr. Calogero nor Dr. Rees say they are losing sleep over the collider.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/15/science/15risk.html?_r=1&ref=science&oref=slogin

    If the collider was a serious threat, and Dr. Rees was aware of the risk, he would definitely be able to raise awareness of the dangers within the scientific community. No physicist seriously thinks the LHC poses a significant threat. I have read that the odds of a worst case scenario are 1 in 10^-74, or .000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001 percent. (I may be off on the zeros, but you get the point).

    All the alarmists are not citing any credible sources, and pick and choose their science to come up with doomsday theories. Thank you, BA, for debunking this nonsense.

  199. romi

    Came across your blog while searching for particle accelerators in Switzerland. A friend in Germany mentioned today that an article in bild.de said that the possibility of an “accident” might be possible and would end the world. As I had just read about this in a book, “Dangerous World” by Marq de Villiers who suggested the possibility was so infinitely small as to be almost non-existant I wanted to know more and finally wound up on your blog.
    My knowledge of science is, at most, very basic and gained from 55 years of copious reading of science fiction, articles that pique my interest and from my daughter who was on the pioneering edge of the use of mass spec in biology. I just wanted to let you know that you, as did my daughter, have the gift of making things inscrutable, quite clear to the lay person. Thanks.

  200. All in All

    Since Hawkins calls it “anything” which is a MUCH bigger set than infinite i think a science establishment poo poo of this guy is slightly disingenuous. IF singularity which is the source of anything is “constructed” then anything is not merely infinitely probable anything is inevitable. I think what this guy ( http://www.unificationtheory.com/astrophysics/starandgalaxy.htm ) on his web site misses (as far as i have read anyway!) is singularity exists everywhere in the fractal multiverse and that means the singularity in abstract is no less singularity.
    So the chances of a catastrophe are slim? i want to know upon what evidence there is an extremely low chance considering we are told nuclear power is safe by scientists who appear to ignore the FACT there is no such thing as a closed system.
    The chances of a melt down are what exactly? and how many people over a thousand year period are killed by the fall out? (Remember the number of casualties only ever increases)
    Perhaps the science establishment needs to wake up to rogue elements within its franchise ranks at the same time as they point their dirty fingers at easy targets.
    Oh and by the way let us not forget that all science is fiction until it becomes “fact”… (note the inverted commas, change is inevitable)
    Saying something which is extremely remotely dangerous is safe is hardly science fact is it !
    Be careful how you unfold your universe.

  201. All in All

    Since Hawkins calls it “anything” which is a MUCH bigger set than infinite i think a science establishment poo poo of this guy is slightly disingenuous. IF singularity which is the source of anything is “constructed” then anything is not merely infinitely probable anything is inevitable. I think what this guy ( http://www.unificationtheory.com/astrophysics/starandgalaxy.htm ) on his web site misses (as far as i have read anyway!) is singularity exists everywhere in the fractal multiverse and that means the singularity in abstract is no less singularity.
    So the chances of a catastrophe are slim? i want to know upon what evidence there is an extremely low chance considering we are told nuclear power is safe by scientists who appear to ignore the FACT there is no such thing as a closed system.
    The chances of a melt down are what exactly? and how many people over a thousand year period are killed by the fall out? (Remember the number of casualties only ever increases)
    Perhaps the science establishment needs to wake up to rogue elements within its franchise ranks at the same time as they point their dirty fingers at easy targets.
    Oh and by the way let us not forget that all science is fiction until it becomes “fact”… (note the inverted commas, change is inevitable)
    Saying something which is extremely remotely dangerous is safe is hardly science fact is it !
    Be careful how you unfold your universe..

  202. TNA

    I think this thing aint gonna do anything….but what if it dosen’t decay?

  203. Hello,

    My blog is talking about the LHC at CERN.

    My view is that there is a possibility or black hole creation, that the time it takes a black hole to eat the universe is anytime between 50 months and 50 billion years.

    There are many news on this subject.

    I have quotes of many news articles, opinions, feedback and a status page on my blog.

    I invite you to draw your own conclusions from the material posted at my site as well as from the ressources linked to.

    admin

    http://www.notepad.ch

  204. Chris

    So when the fire up date any idea

  205. This is a quote from http://www.notepad.ch on Nostradamus:

    This possibly has absolutely nothing to do with the LHC, but some sites connect it to the LHC.

    Nostradamus 9 44

    The following is a quote from Nostradamus:

    ‘All should leave Geneva.
    Saturns turns from gold to iron,
    The contrary positive ray (RAYPOZ) will exterminate everything,the will be signs in the sky before this.’

    Nostradamus

    admin

    notepad

    PS:
    The previous post should have been the last post today. This one will. I don’t want to waste space here and leave the space for the potential insiders. I VERY much hope they come and post. admin

    source:
    http://www.notepad.ch

  206. WMM

    “INSTANT EXTINCTION LOTTO”

    EVERYONE WITH BRAIN CELLS, SEE:

    http://tinyurl.com/4vh7xl

    Read it. Think about it. Then read this one:

    http://www.unconfirmedsources.com/index.php?itemid=3241

  207. Martin

    Wouldn’t it be cool if Ringo Starr were standing near the accelerator when it produced a black hole and it escaped? He could then say his famous line from Yellow Submarine – “I’ve got an ‘ole in me pocket!”

  208. Dan Asti

    It’s simply idiotic to assume that a microscopic, subatomic “black hole” would magically appear then move through massive, solid matter such as the earth. It’s a stretch to assume that any exotic gravitational effect will be observable from these experiements. But a “black hole” with an event horizon?

    So then it would somehow become an endless, continuous vacuum sucking up everything until the entire earth was swallowed? Fortunately, that’s not how black holes work. If they did the entire universe, including us, would reside inside one right now.

    Maybe we do reside in a black hole? We should file a lawsuit and shut down everything until we can prove that we aren’t living a black hole! Right?

    These jerks who filed the lawsuit are trying to garner attention to themselves. They are armed with fear, not facts. They prey on people who are obsessed with, and addicted to, end-of-the-world, doomsday scenarios and government conspiracy. They want others to prove something is safe from something they can’t prove exists. Think for a moment just how stupid that is! It’s rather sad to see them getting any attention.

  209. Most posters above have shallow visions of the physics involved. A few are more cognizant.

    CERN organized the LHC Safety Assessement Group [LSAG] to conduct a safety study to address the issues not previously addressed. This was in response to the Red Team challenge requesting a review of specific issues, and the formation of a Blue Team to do so. In doing so, the Blue Team [LSAG] preliminarily confirmed the two key points raised in the lawsuit. Specifically, they 1) confirmed that “Hawking Radiation” is not proven and cannot be relied upon for safety, as was done in previous studies; and 2) confirmed that the fact that high-energy cosmic rays impacting Earth, the moon, the sun, etc. at energies far greater than producible at the LHC is irrelevant to the safety argument.

    Most posters are ignorant of the physics involved. Fortunately, the LSAG Blue Team is knowedgeable in physics, and won’t rely on those ignorami. A 14 TeV collision in a collider is not mimiced by a 14 TeV cosmic ray impact on Earth. Those posters who believe it is are ignorant of relatvistic physics. To mimic a 1000 TeV collision, an incoming cosmic ray would require closer to 10^21 eV, as it is the Center of Momentum energy that is relevant, not the earth-reference-frame energy. Such high-energy collisions are rare indeed.

    However, their rarity is not the problem. The problem is that such collisions in nature produce relativstic product which would zip through Earth in 1/4 second, a fact overlooked in previous safety studies and now confirmed by the LSAG. That most of the posters above also overlooked that fact is typical of the ignorami who are so blindly led by the media, or wanting to ‘conform’ to the norm without regard to the dictates of science.

    The LSAG report is now long overdue. That is the reason for the lawsuit. It will take at least six months to review the report by the Red Team that instigated initiation of the report. The LSAG [Blue Team] has had at least eight months to prepare the report, and the Red Team will require comparable time to review and report back.

    Regards,

    Walter L. Wagner
    Red Team Captain

  210. atlas

    Lol.

    So cognizant people are people who agree with you? And shallow those who disagree?

    And that is a completely scientific posture. Really. And mature as well.

    And you have not done this suit in a way that surely attracts more media (why Hawaii? I mean, ok, sue CERN. But via Hawaii?).

    You’re Don Quixote fighting the evil, narrow-minded scientists.

    Good luck.

  211. TrevorX

    Should the CERN created micro objects really be called Black Holes? Although they will be of Black Hole density they won’t have enough mass to have any gravity to speak of. And it’s the massive gravity of true Black Holes that make them dangerous. Indeed the object has to have a giant star’s worth of mass, compacted, to gravitationally hold down
    photons thus earning the name Black Hole. The micro, highly dense CERN objects won’t have any pulling power, and, having none, cannot get any. They can’t capture anything at all. A better name for them would be micro Ultradense Objects, correct? If so, the Earth is not at risk from dense objects created in the LHC.

    (Strangelets are a different question, of course.)

  212. TrevorX

    Uh, no, I was wrong before in my prior post, above. The protons will have increased mass because they will be greatly accelerated by the LHC, and, as I should have recalled, the energy in the acceleration will be converted to mass according to Einstein’s formula E=m(c squared). Hawking radiation, anyone?

  213. One wonders what will trigger the end time great tribulation prophesied by Christ in the Biblical book of Matthew 24:21-22? “And except those days should be shortened, no flesh will survive.”

  214. GFreeman

    “The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) could allow it to become a black-hole factory with a production rate as high as about one per second.” Source: CERN Courier Nov 12, 2004 The case for mini black holes

    Hopefully if there are black holes produced they will all evaporate and/or escape earth’s terminal velocity.

    Keep in mind the mini black holes, Hawking Evaporation Law/Hawking Radiation has yet to be proven.

  215. rpenner

    Update: The trial has been scheduled for June 2009. (But I expect it to be eviscerated in the next 14 days.) The plaintiffs have not served court papers on even half the named defendants yet, and the Department of Energy’s earliest notes suggest that this case is essentially still-born.

    http://www.physforum.com/index.php?showtopic=4830&view=findpost&p=349304
    http://www.physforum.com/index.php?showtopic=4830&view=findpost&p=349685

    Reposted from http://scienceblogs.com/pontiff/2008/03/oh_noes_blak_holz_are_eatn_my.php

  216. Aaron

    Ok I just want to say I just learned about the LHC like 3 days ago and its really peaked my intrest and Ive been reealy trying to get my facts right. Now my gut feeling when I read about it is we are going to far and we really don’t understand what we could be doing enough. After reading a bit my feeling is even worse. The concern I have is that Scientist want to prove higgs theory and I feel as if its a holly grail so to speak. The issue with that is human nature is to not let things stand in the way of “progres” I feel very little trust from any organization or group that stands to gain as much as the scientific comunity does if this goes forward. Now Im sure there is more then two scientist out there that are worried about this but if they come forward one would thin they my be black balled. The other thing that alwarms me is how people minipulate points to justify for or against LHC now most of this site seems to be pro LHC. An exampleis that in one sentence they admit that no one really knows for sure how a black hole actualy works and its all just theory. But in the Event of a Black Hole it will be so small that its insignificent where is your eveidence that size plays any factor regarding a black hole. I just dont think you can risk the entire planet on a theory because to often theorys are somehow mixed up with facts and that worries me. In the end I think LHC will happen and I really feel uneasy about it. Oh and as far as this kind of doomsday senario happening over and over and no I would perfer to at least have people keeping science in check then having no one question what is going on that could effect the whole world.
    “The road to hell is paved with good intentions”

  217. Joakim Sandroos

    It’s also kind of interesting to consider what kind of juristiction an american court would hold in the EU.

    I think I can sum it up in one word: None.

    /J

  218. i dont know wats gonna happen but if summtin does happen then it’ll be interesting…for me atleast

  219. ZUN

    I’m looking forward to my trip to Gensokyo.

  220. Pritt

    Okay, I also don’t really know what’s going to happen. If I look on the Internet some claim that there’s no reason to be afraid, others claim that the Earth will vanish. But could somebody please tell me what IS going to happen. To be honest, I’m pretty concerned about it. Also: can somebody tell me when this experiment will start? I found some dates: 15th July, somewhere in August or somewhere in the Autumn.
    Sigh… So many unanswered questions… Please hurry, it’s almost 15th July

  221. i got really concerned about this lhc when i read in a article on gaurdian.co.uk/science web site of higgs saying there is a chance it could destroy the earth but it was a (slim)chance, but still even a chance is scary, but then again so is the year 2012 around the corner. i just hope nothing bad happens and they find out alot of info, maybe save us from other bad things in the future. thanks, peace.

  222. MASON

    PARTICLES DO HIT US AND THE MOON ALL OF THE TIME. BUT THEY HIT US AT NEARLY THE SPEED OF LIGHT.

    THE LHC WILL SEND THE PROTONS IN OPPOSITE DIRECTIONS(BOTH NEARLY THE SPEED OF LIGHT)

    BASICALLY WHAT I AM SAYING IS THAT IT WILL BE LIKE 600 MILLION PROTONS TRAVELING NEARLY TWICE THE SPEED OF LIGHT SLAMMING INTO A STATIONARY PROTON.

    COMPARING IT TO MATTER HITTING US AT NEARLY THE SPEED OF LIGHT IS ONLY HALF THE STORY.

    I WOULD SAY THAT THERE IS SOMETHING TO WORRY ABOUT

  223. Wilkins

    Mason, if you are concerned about cosmic ray argument, you do realize that there are denser objects in outerspace (the sun and neutron stars, for example) who would catch the blackhole. Also using caps locks will make people treat you less seriously (just a little tip).

    Also to those who want to stop the LHC at whatever no cost, why are you wasting your time writing ineffective comments on the ‘net when you can be holding top scientists ransom to stop the LHC or even suicide-bombing the machine itself? Mind you, that is terrorism, but it gets the job done (I hope I am not giving anyone ideas here ;-) ).

    The thing is that a bunch of scientists had checked this thing up in order to see if it is safe, and they found no evidence to be alarmed. This evidence was checked by an outside ccouncil of even more scientists, and even they have reached the same conclusion. Would you trust people who have studied and known about this subject more than you, or would you trust your imagination who has fallen for the jargon of some knowlegeless alarmist?

    Personally, I’d believe in the people who have actually know something.

  224. Pritt

    Wilkins, you have some good points there, but still, even if many scientists say that it’s safe, some other scientists (Sancho and Wagner are the most well-known I suppose) say that LHC mustn’t complete the experiment because of the dangers (creating a stable black hole etc.). Although Stephen Hawking says that this black hole will evaporate because of Hawking Radiation, these scientists (who have a doom scenario in mind) make me concerned.

  225. Wilkins

    I understand that, fear is rather hard to control especially when there are others saying that something could happen. Well, as the article does say, Wagner and Sancho are’nt exactly top-notch physists. And as for Otto E Roessler and his theory of the 50 month accretion, he changes certain properties which would invalidate his own theory. I don’t know the exact details on this as I am more of an amateur in the realm of physics, but I am certain that these are about the only scientists who are scared of the LHC. I believe that CERN has also has provided a webpage to consult with things like blackholes, and there is also an e-mail adress for getting further information on stuff like this.

  226. Michelle

    To those slagging Americans . . . Who do you think is supplying financial backing for this project in no small sum? Who nearly always does on projects of this magnitude, in fact? And have you forgotten that the LHC’s two main experiments come from the U.S.? The U.S. fully delivered on its financial and scientific support and represents more than a fifth of the members of ATLAS and CMS, so stop generalizing about Americans. It just underscores your idiocy.

  227. Dm3666

    yea but still even if there is a small chance of something bad happening, they shouldn’t try it.
    NOT saying that something bad WILL happen

  228. Kristian

    The LHC must have been constructed in Mars.

  229. vague

    if (IF) a black hole is created, and is small enough to only affect neighboring atoms, that would be a truly unique opportunity to learn invaluable information about a cosmic event otherwise too powerful to play with.
    this lawsuit is punctuation on the worlds statement of disgust with the u.s. and most probably originated in the u.s.’s desire to be biggest and badest at all times – if anyone is going to be responsible for destroying the earth, it should be us!
    c’mon, what if our nations forefathers stood at the pier looking at the nina, pinta and santa maria and decided it was too risky, we shouldnt cross the vast atlantic into the unknown – then got the nearest solicitor to take columbus to court for proposing the trip and trying to keep others from boarding?(!?!)
    as a resident of the state with the u.s.’s largest, now inactive and arguably useless supercollider: i say fire the LHC up, put your own american institutionaly designed feelings of inadequacy aside and let the cards fall where they may. a man-made globally-catastrophic event only advances the inevitable end of life on this planet anyway – the asteroid that we know is out there but hasnt shown up yet, the pressure relentlessly building in the megavolcano that is yellowstone national park, the black hole we know is silently lurking at the very fringe of our solar system, mutually assured nuclear destruction and the resulting nuclear winter (you DO know that russia has already started to rebuild its nuclear arsenal to be completed by 2013, dont you?) – all these alternatives only provide for a much slower and tortuous, yet unavoidable end. do you really want your descendents to have to watch the sun stop shining then hope they slowly starve to death before the earth is swallowed by the resulting black hole, or would you rather sit back and watch the world implode on your hi-def surround sound plasma big screen? hell, if we market it right, it’d probably have better commercials than the superbowl.

  230. joe

    still the fact remains that it could cause a black hole. no one in their right mind knows exaclty what could hap;pen till it happens. think of it this way those of you that have kids like myself are you willing to throw all that hard work in rasing thme lovin them, to vote selfishly and see what the odds are. i mean dont get me wrong but it would be a historical event. but in the worste case earth as we know it will be gone. everything. just by flipping a switch. the label should as well be labeled dead or alive. im an american and i live the way i live for waht im able to. and if your askin if im votin yes, to not do this. gods creation is earth, we are already over populated what if just waht if this is the armegedon end of all survival. this is the extinction of life and years of progress wasted. based on a 50 million to 1 on nothing will happen well ill bet on tghat 1. think seriously. god help us all.

  231. Him

    …Must we put religion in everything?!?

  232. I

    Thank you very much! I have used hours of my time, to look on the internet about Lhc, and you are the first, who convinced me, that this project is no concern! Especially, when you wrote about the two, who say the earth might be sucked in a black hole, that convinced me!

    I thank you again !!

  233. Entropy

    I for one am hoping to see black holes at the LHC, since their creation would open up vast new avenues of physics. For example, it would prove that at subatomic scales the normally feeble force of gravity (so feeble that an ordinary kitchen magnet or a little static electricity could overpower the gravity of the entire planet) is actually equal to the other quantum forces.

    That would provide a great deal of evidence in favor of string theory. It basically works like this: one possibility is that the universe–particles, forces, energy, and all–is embedded on a 3+time dimensional membrane, called a 3-brane, which is like a dynamic subspace within a background space of 11 dimensions (or 10 and 26 dimensions if you are calculating one of the 5 main lower-energy limits of string theory). All of physics, from the force particles such as photons to quarks and electrons, take place on this 3-brane, since the particles are open strings, and their endpoints attach to the brane’s surface. But gravity, being a closed string, has no “sticky” endpoints, and thus can float away into the higher dimensions–the “bulk”–and be subject to all of the odd symmetries and geometry of space. Effectively, gravity is diluted at large scales, and the mass of the 3-brane and the dimensionality of our region of space determine the force strength and the distance at which gravity’s strength is recovered.

    Of course, other things are due to be tested at the LHC, such as the existence of Supersymmetric particles, but black holes are the key issue I want to discuss. Let me assure everyone that no black hole will eat your children. Any calculation performed to predict the likelihood of mini black hole production will also tell you that its decay half-life is about the Plank time, which–trust me–is far too short a time for a black hole grow adequately enough in mass to begin devouring the Earth. In fact, it will decay billions of times more quickly that it will absorb matter at that size, since its small mass (about that of a dust mote) will not be attracting much matter very quickly, whereas the decay rate of a black hole increases as the black holes mass decreases.

    And the scientists know what they are talking about far more than the two quacks do, particularly the one whose contribution to human knowledge consists of a great deal of New Age nonsense about an organic universe and black hole social groups…

  234. Alex Mac

    Regardless, if there is even a minute possibility wouldn’t the prudent thing be to even go about the process that might create the event? It seems too risky, even if the chance is very small.

  235. Chris

    Just a point for consideration…Hawking was wrong for 30 years, and all the prominent physicists fell into line behind him. It’s Stephen Hawking after all. Now he has changed his mind and we have Hawking Radiation (still unproven). Once again we throw all of our eggs into his basket. If a micro black hole were to be created (I know, I’m not overly worried either, just IF) we are relying on the Hawking Radiation to evaporate the thing before accretion can begin. What IF Hawking is wrong again? Who are we to gamble with the lives of the ignorant masses? What gives any of us the right to make those choices on their behalf (how republican of us)? I’m not saying that we shouldn’t proceed with our research, only that we should err on the side of caution. POSTPONE.

  236. Brian Stanfield

    We would like to voice our comments. The particle accelerator machine should not be allowed to be used or even tried. If something went wrong with this machine it would be irreversible. I would like to put a simple question to the self appointed holocaust seekers who call themselves scientists. Bottom line question. Who gives them the right to put the world and humanity at any risk, no matter what the reason. They do not posses it. They should be brought to trial. We are asked to help this planets’ environment, what for, when egotistic so called scientists are allowed to do this. No consideration or thought has even been given to how much people are worrying and how much unhappiness and insecurity is being caused, for something that really serves no purpose. That vast amount of money could have been spent on far better things like helping to solve the worlds other problems. I am going to try, if we survive this, to start a website called safer earth, hoping to get enough members to put severe pressure on these kinds of people, and bring them down.

  237. John

    If the LHC destroys the earth, that might explain why SETI has failed, and why we’ve had no time travellers from earth’s future.

    If we really knew what will happen when the LHC is swtiched on, we wouldn’t need it. It’s very existence is justified by our ignorance of what will happen.

  238. Daniel Skitt

    Although, I do not agree that anyone has the right to bargain 6 billion human lives, it feels surreal to have my life at stake, without my consent. I agree with the LHC, I’m not worried about my death, I’m worried about the Human race, we’ve come this far not even an octillion on the risk factor will stop us from creating bigger, more colossus & potentially harmful HCs. The risk factor will grow larger and larger, until we stop – which we won’t. It’s in our nature to be ignorant with the value of lives.

    The end will someday come to Humanity, I just hope it isn’t for a long long long time, nor from our hands.

    If you’re reading this by next week, then lady luck was in our favor, but how long until our luck runs out?

  239. Gia

    I am terrified by this whole thing. I am a human being and I do not give my consent to have my life played with by these “scientists”!!!
    I object! (Said in an Elle Woods voice.)

  240. John

    Several considerations to think about here:

    First, the European Court won’t even allow this to be heard. The plaintiff simply haven’t put together a convincing case. As far as the Federal Court in Hawaii is concerned, they have absolutely no jurisdiction over CERN.

    I realise that this may come as a shock to some American readers, but a court decision anywhere in the US is not binding on the rest of the world. The “best” that a decision favourable to the plaintiff could achieve is to prevent America from benefiting from the new knowledge that the LHC will provide.

    Second; as pointed out in the article, the same theory that predicts the formation of nano black holes also predicts Hawking Radiation. The surface temperature of a black hole, that is the temperature evidenced by its event horizon, is inversely proportional to its mass. A nano black hole will simply radiate itself to oblivion long before it can absorb any mass or energy from its surroundings. As it radiates its mass away, its temperature increases and the wavelength of the radiation it produces decreases. Basically, it just evaporates like a puddle on a hot pavement.

    Third; If stranglets are not produced by the constant bombardment of every piece of matter in the universe by collisions considerably more energetic than those produced by the LRC, and no strangelets are produced why should they be produced by a less energetic collision?

    Fourth; “Build it in orbit”. Quite frankly a very silly idea. check out the weight of some of those components, then figure out how much fuel would need to be burnt to get those into even a low earth orbit and the impact of that burn on the atmosphere and then come back and tell us how much better off our planet would be. And having gotten the entire structure up into orbit, we have to supply it and staff it and………. No, it’s just an idiotic suggestion.

    Fifth; we’re human – we need to know what’s over the next hill. We need to know how things work, including our universe at its smallest and largest dimensions.

    If we don’t then: “I don’t agree with this new fangled ‘fire’,” said Old Ugg. “Frostbitten toes and being eaten alive by leopards was good enough for my grandad, and they’re good enough for me!”

  241. Rick Cain

    I’ve you are a fan of the canadian sci-fi show LEXX, you know that earth, like many other planets is destined to die because most civilizations attempt to create the Higgs-Boson particle, succeed, and thus shrink their planets down to the size of a pea.

    I have my crowbar and my HEV suit so I’m ready for anything.

    Anyway, if it does happen we won’t last long enough to have a debate over what went wrong, nor have enough time to pull their funding.

    Lastly, aren’t these the same scientists that claim global warming exists when its really just a liberal trick to get us to drive electric cars and vote for socialists? I figured the GOP would be all over this one!

  242. John

    Rick,

    I can’t decide whether you have your tongue firmly in your cheek or whether you actually mean what you say. Assuming, probably erroneously, the latter:

    So, you’re basing your objections on a Canadian Sci-Fi TV program? Strange.

    And no, these are not the same scientists that claim that global warming exists and is a real menace to the world. Those scientist are climatologists while the people at CERN are mostly physicists.

    However, they do share the desire to see the world and universe as it is, rather than how they wish it was or have it conform to some preconceived political or religious notion.

    And, actually, as difficult as it may be to comprehend, the GOP has no influence in either Switzerland or France. They are strictly a local phenomenon.

  243. Optimist Prime

    Why worry, if we do experience strangelets……..it will be over in less than the blink of an eye….carry on….

  244. John Bhatt

    “Why worry, if we do experience strangelets……..it will be over in less than the blink of an eye….carry on….”

    That may be. But I along with many other people DON’T want it to be over. Maybe Optimist Prime is tired of living. I’m not.

    Although I agree the chances are fairly insignificant with regards to anything going horribly wrong, the point is there still are those odds to consider. Until further testing can be completed, I say put the project on hold for as long as it takes to make as certain as possible that this is a good idea.

    We can be patient, wait, and do without the knowledge gained from this experiment a while longer. There are plenty of other things left to study.

  245. Adam Groden

    How can the probability of disaster be predicted when unforseen results seem inevitable? And even if what we DO know makes disaster seem unlikely, any chance that the money and brains could have been used elsewhere? Say to reduce disease, famine, that kind of thing? Are bosons edible?

  246. Jack

    1. To repeat: What if Hawking is wrong?

    2. To echo another sentiment: I’m no more comfortable with utterly “committed” scientists taking me along for the ride than I am with a Bush, Blair, Ahmadinejad or Putin dragging the whole world towards some banal, but ultimately double-plus-ungood-for-my-children, endgame. Ned Ludd, even as a fictional character, deserves every beating he gets, but that doesn’t mean the objects of his scorn should get a pass, just because they aren’t Luddites.

    3. What if we don’t really know as much about what happens “along” the Scwharzschild radius as we’ve told ourselves, collectively, we do? What about the disconnect – as asked by others – between the Einstein models, and those of Hawkings?

    4. What if String Theory itself is hogwash, as is argued by Penrose, Connes and Woit?

    Thank you in advance.

  247. Jack

    Schwarzschild Radius*

    (my apologies for the spelling error)

  248. Alix

    Erhm… how is it possible to know the exact results of what will happen until it does happen? For all we know, all this stuff about nothing happening could just be theory.

    yeah im kinda 13, so if all of that is a load of crap, please dont kill me!! Or i shall have to kll you with the ninja ways <3 ok scratch that im just kinda crazy :D

  249. Dale

    lmao. Theyre literally playing God here. I know stuff like black holes, quarks and all those things that make up the universe have been proven, i dont think they still fully understand those theories so i think they should fire this thing up and let rip. But im also against firing it up coz it really does seem wrong to make stuff which happened 13 billion years ago today as we dont know what will happen and they should not risk humanity and all our other sentient lifeforms, oh well, lol, we are meant to die eventually, not on a large scale though.

  250. Pritt

    Tomorrow is the big day, 9:30 Geneve time
    Exiting

  251. Andrew

    I do understand that these scientists have been working this stuff out for years and they have a pretty good understanding of what’s going on. I don’t, however, think this is a very good idea. I mean, besides “knowledge,” what good is coming out of this? And the only knowledge we’re going to receive is a bunch of useless garbage. I’ve heard crap like “it will prove the Big Bang Theory” and “it can lead to knowledge of another dimension,” but honestly, is this knowledge necessary? And it’s not like we’ve ever gone up and studied a black hole before, and I don’t think that would be possible. In fact, wouldn’t the closest black hole ever obeserved have been like lightyears away? So even with all the math that has gone into this project, I don’t think it is very safe to carry out with this. I mean, I highly doubt that a black hole will form that can suck up the earth as so many other people are freaking out about, but these scientists say it will last “a nano-nano-nanosecond,” and what baffles me is how they can prove this, because it’s not like anyone has ever “harvested” a black hole before. It may not suck up the entire earth, but it may last long enough to cause quite a large amount of damage. And anothere thing that angers me is that over 8 billion dollars have gone inot this prject. Is there really nothing more important to spend it on, such as funding scientists looking for a way to supress/eliminate AIDS? You know, something that can help mankind? Because I totally would rather die of AIDS than die not knowing about black holes…
    The main point I’m trying to reach is that there are so many more important and safer things out there than discovering how a black hole works, and this is coming from a man who will major in applied physics/aerospace engineering.

  252. CapitalismKills

    >>… Theoretical science takes risks. (talking about the Manhattan Proj)
    -They only stopped being risks after the bomb was tested. Before that they were risks – that project was rushed by any standards, due not to scientific, but political will.

    >> The main thing that people often forget when invoking Galileo, was that he had DATA. The other side was busy spinning fanciful ideas trying to explain away the data.
    -Whereas today they are spinning fanciful ideas to try to explain the data (unless you think dragons eating the world isn’t fanciful). Seriously, they might be orders of magnitude smarter than me, but they are still human. Physicists know a lot, but there’s a lot they don’t. Eg gravity or how a photon speeds up again after slowing through glass to name a couple. Maybe we should put ‘em on hold until they are smart enough to answer questions we’ve all heard answered by our school physics teachers:-)

    I do NOT think anything bad will happen, but comparing this to the Columbus crossing, or Galileo peering into the skies is vapid. I agree that the odds given earlier of 1/billion chance of the planet going are probably bearable. But if there is a one in a thousand billion chance that something could destroy the *universe* then maybe it should be discussed. It no longer effects only us.

  253. Bryan

    I rally think its a really (sorry for my languhge) stupid thing to do why becuose why would they whant to hit particals for!! and what if they do find out what are they going to do whith that info? intead of spending mony in that coudn’t they use it for the people that are hungry cold and whithout shelters but no they whant to kill our earth. ok lets say that its working but for somthing the machin dosent go your way and you guys cant stopit you gus are just going to say “well we had it undercontrll but now we cant do enything”. My quetion is why play whith our planet we are alrady detroing it why more we shoud inprouve it not make it worse no please dont do it becouse you dont now wat can go rong juts leave it the way it should be peacefully

  254. Metal Merlin

    Mason said:
    “PARTICLES DO HIT US AND THE MOON ALL OF THE TIME. BUT THEY HIT US AT NEARLY THE SPEED OF LIGHT.

    THE LHC WILL SEND THE PROTONS IN OPPOSITE DIRECTIONS(BOTH NEARLY THE SPEED OF LIGHT)

    BASICALLY WHAT I AM SAYING IS THAT IT WILL BE LIKE 600 MILLION PROTONS TRAVELING NEARLY TWICE THE SPEED OF LIGHT SLAMMING INTO A STATIONARY PROTON.

    COMPARING IT TO MATTER HITTING US AT NEARLY THE SPEED OF LIGHT IS ONLY HALF THE STORY.

    I WOULD SAY THAT THERE IS SOMETHING TO WORRY ABOUT”

    These arguments are why I cannot be afraid of the LHC. The most elementary of physics classes goes into how the speed of light is the upper limit… Lorentz transformations for velocity are needed at these speeds. The difference between a .999c proton hitting a stationary proton and a .999c proton hitting another .999c proton is almost impossibly small. Its effectively taking the square root of zero for the difference.

    So far, I have heard very little compelling evidence against activating it. Apparently the Hawking Radiation theory COMES from the same theory predicting the mini-black holes which people are so worked up about. To say that it’s “just a theory” is ridiculous as an argument; mini black holes are just as unfounded. The reason we do this at all is to see what happens. It’s just as much speculation to say “we’re all going to become super-intelligent” as “we’re all going to die.” The cosmic ray argument is an EXCELLENT argument against Strangelets, as well as the fact that they are apparently difficult (read as impossible) to form under extremely high energy conditions.

    I was a bit worried before about this, but i’ve done enough reading to convince myself that we’re not going to suddenly vanish come the 21st of October. I’ll sleep well that night, regardless of the particles formed.

  255. Dr. Mengele

    The reason a Honolulu Judge can stop a Swiss laboratory is because the unwritten trend…….acceptance that laws in one country must be adhered in all. In another words no sovereignty for any nation. The same rules the UN openly dictates. It falls into line with the hacker from Sweden who gets deported to the USA, or the Holocaust denier being extradited from Canada to the UK. Basically, its NWO rules. Get used to it, borders mean nothing today.

    To emphasize the border issue….observe how a nation can ridiculously brainwash its people “terror” terror” “must stop terror” over & over…….stripping every freedom you have to “save you” from “terror” – yet a half wit immigrant can cross the border with 700 lbs of marijuana & little resistance. Terror is fictitious false flag operations. Borders mean nothing. Its about control. there is no sovereignty for any nation today that subscribes to NWO thinking. The only recognized borders are in communist countries – they dont subscribe to NWO……..yet.

  256. Jim H

    Look folks, the “feed the hungry” argument has been done to death. These are the same kinds people that wanted the Apollo program cancelled because we could use the money to feed the homeless. Well, guess what? We didn’t. Not only did we NOT use the money to help the less fortunate, we’re actually spending LESS per person today than we did at the height of the space program.

    Get over it.

    BTW, I don’t believe Luis Sancho is really all that far out there. He just took the Gaia hypothesis and extended it to its natural conclusion.

  257. FreePlay

    Well, nothing bad happened.

    Surprise, surprise.

  258. Erik

    “it can lead to knowledge of another dimension, but honestly, is this knowledge necessary?”

    Are you insane? You don’t care to know how many dimensions you are living in, and you say you are going to major in applied physics? You think the money would be better spent on AIDS treatments???? It would be BETTER for us to all be dead, than for us to stop exploring and learning about the creation that surrounds us!!!

  259. Morpheus

    U can either chose the red pill or the blue pill.

    but Black holes don’t exist- go on youtube and search “the big bang from a plasma perspective” to find out.

    like I said… it’s You’re choice. To find out how deep the rabbit hole goes- or wake up on you’re bed the next day.

  260. Necraz

    Only through an incredible amount of hubris can one guarantee that nothing of direct value will come from the LHC experiments. At this point in time, I don’t see any concrete applications…but I’m sure that citizens hundreds of years ago believed that researching electricity was a waste of time.

    There’s so much more to learn and so many advancements yet to be made. If we assume that there is no where left to go scientifically, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

  261. I like how you say the first guy has a physics background, and then you just don’t even talk about Luis’ background only to say he is so far from the mainstream that you can’t even see it from where he is.

    Well, I’ll give you some ideas buddy. The mainstream is WRONG. You just completely nullified the credibility of this blog entry by saying that comment, because there are thousands of indigenous peoples who will tell you that the Earth is a living being. Fire is a living being.

    You can scoff at this if you want, it will not surprise me in the least. How can it? Plants are living beings yet they that fact is completely ignored in science. Am I some weird plants rights activist? no. Am I some PETA nut? no. The fact that no reverence is given to plants or animals at all by the mainstream is beside the point. It supports my point, but it is beside it. My point is that the MAINSTREAM is what is messed up.

    You don’t just say someone is far from the mainstream and then imply that that is solely enough to not listen to anything the person has to say. Theories are theories and no one has proven any of the “mainstream” theories or they would no longer be theories.

    I can’t imagine Einstein, Hawking or anyone else saying what you have said.

    Perhaps if you at least have gone further into the man’s background in this post as to find REAL REASONS to not believe him that would be good, but you simply leave that stuff out.

    You should not leave anything out.

  262. greg

    wow cheers this will help for my speech in english about how the lhc will not kill us but some of my class mates arn’t the brighest and cannot understand what i am trying to tell them

  263. If it is ok that LHC goes ahead with actual collisions at the highest possible energies, then is it ok if I do a similar experiment here at my house? I have it all set up. Dont try to stop me with a “law” suit, because you don’t know what I know. See, this way LHC will only be “replicating” my own results.

  264. sean

    alot of people in the 1950′s did think the H-Bomb would ‘destroy the worlds atmosphere’…and look, they were right.

  265. Thomas Theis

    WOOOW!!! I went to the unifiction web page.. and after reading what he had to saaaay… Luis Sancho is 100 light yaers and past the twight light Zone from the mainstream.. some plz tell him to get back on his meds before he says Stars are powered by garden Gnomes off of Travalocity…!

    REALLY!!!! Luis Sancho hes CoCo!!! coco for crazy puffs

  266. luis sancho

    Hi Tom, now to be fair go this page and see my movie about CERN
    to see who is really cuckoo:
    http://www.lhcdefence.org
    regards
    luis sancho

  267. Thomas Theis

    ok… im sorry luis sancho i wont call you crazy or coco for crazy puffs.. that was really mean of mine self… but the movie is pretty byest if ask me.. Im doing a resherch paper on the CERN LHC has we speak.. its a draft. for a school asingment.. and since your the olny one that has really typed back to me. im woundering if you would like to help me on this paper i have some detailed qusetion i would like to ask you. if you want to.. and sorry for the hole crazy thing.

  268. Thomas Theis

    luis sancho if u deside to talk with me… my msn is dark_hops@hotmail.com

  269. Some guy with a misspelling of a certain type of mineral formation for a name

    Big words… They hurt! THEY HURT!

    …Well, I understand them, but I can’t bring myself to use them constantly. ‘Tis one of the effects of being a teenager, eh?

    Man, some of these guys don’t know what they are thinking with this whole “OHN8ES THA L-AYCH-SEE WILL CRE4TE UH BLACK HOAL N DESTORY T3H ERTH” thing. Besides, it’s not exactly confirmed whether black holes merge together upon contact or just cancel eachother out, so… The hell with the tiny black holes merging together.

  270. James

    i donte see why any one is worried about LHC it has no chance at all to create the energy needed to create a black hole suitable to sustain life, if youll will think about this for a second ull see why, now if i remember right it takes 10 earths to make 1 of our sun now are sun if it was to all of a sudden to go supernova (not goin happen any time soon) and then collapse it still would not be able to create a black cause it could not produce the energy it would need, now they have figured out that it would take 10x the mass of our sun to create a black hole so come on yall think about it LHC is safe there aint nothin gonna happen to us

  271. Wandering Fool

    @sean
    “alot of people in the 1950’s did think the H-Bomb would ‘destroy the worlds atmosphere’…and look, they were right.”

    Ok, take a deep breath. Oh, feel that? omfg. There’s STILL atmosphere!

  272. Oppenheimer

    Whatever, ppl. seriously, if u wont believe the overwhelming amounts of expert opinion stating these disasters WILL NOT HAPPEN, just believe the data. nearly-impossible IS impossible, OK? or at least think of it that way, so you stop making fools of yourselves. The scientists just say NEARLY because the fact of statistics makes NOTHING ABSOLUTELY impossible. Meaning if you think the LHC will be the end of the earth, then you’d better not get up from your computer, or one of your hairs might collide with another and begin a chain fission reaction.

  273. dont confuse ‘scientists’ with nuclear physicists, don’t put us in the same lot. ‘Experts’ are corrupted. ‘Experts’ in finances are telling you how wonderful is to give 200 billion to AIG so they can again divide the pie of your taxes after the scam of a decade. Do you think ‘cern’s’ experts are more idealistic? Data shows that over 10.000 quarks with their strong force will form a strangelet liquid. We saw a proto-strangelet at RHIC and ‘experts’ still call it gluon-plasma, they even deny experimental evidence. RHIC produced quasi-stable strange liquid. The probability is over 50%. This blog with people just making ‘ad hominem’ attacks to the plaintiffs instead of arguing the issue is a prove of what ‘experts’ do. im now in a suit with 3 retarded nobel prize ‘experts’, who are filing documents saying they have ‘special knowledge’ and don’t want to argue the issue. Why? because if they argue and we will explain this for everybody to understand, the Court would know. So they are playing high priests, quoting decade old papers, lying even about the name of the machine – they said it only will collide protons when it is called Large Hadron collider. It is a moral problem, 13 billion $ have gone a long way to convince ‘experts’, and downplay facts. But what really defeats the few people who are in this just because the issue, is how the ‘herd’ let’s itself be cheated ad nauseam by ‘experts’ trapped themselves in the routine of an industrial project that has nothing to do with knowledge. if you want to observe the big-bang buy yourself a telescope, dont pretend that a 7 tb quark cannon that is going to study the death of our electro-weak matter (the breaking of symmetry) is a good thing for mankind just to get the money. Now oppenheimer said ‘i am kali, the god of death’ when he saw his work at Trinity, problem is these ‘experts’ wont have time to say much. Distinguish the industry of weapons from the industry of knowledge. Now that the cold war is over, the industry of weapons has to find better excuses so the nuclear industry pays james lovelock to talk about the stupidity of global warming and then they will sell you the clean energy of their plants and they talk about the recreation fo the big bang when they are just making a bigger atomic cannon.

  274. MadScientist

    A lot of people annoyed me with the “LHC will destroy the earth!” so I told them “great; I hope they start it quick” and “wouldn’t that be wonderful? We would have learned something new.”

  275. imonly16

    i think that the lhc is something that will change the way scientists interperate everything for coming centurys and the fact that somone wants to stop the further development of human understanding is because of ignorance. i agree with the authors explanation that even if mini black holes were created that they would just evaporate. because they do not have enought mass.

  276. aggy

    Apparently black holes have already been created at the RHIC http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/03/0318_050318_pin_blackhole.html
    Considering that this was at a much lower luminosity and nobody really has any knowledge of the processes that form black holes, I think that making jokes about all this is very stupid. I think the danger is very real. Nostradamus might have meant: CERN turns from gold to ion in his famous quatrain. If that is true then its goodbye Geneva.

  277. Fran

    So the question is “what will happen if it works?”
    But if you say that the moon gets hit by subatomic particles all the time and it does nothing, why try and reproduce it?

  278. marketing

    because it is a lie lol, cosmic rays are NOT quarks, WHICH is what CERN will deconfine, quarks form bose-einstein condensates, the densest matter on earth, responsible for ice-9 reactions, novas and supernovas. Cosmic rays are lonely protons. B oth experiments have nothig to do and that is why we made the lhc. We are doing experiments that have never happened on earth only inside ultradense stars provokinng often nova explosions thaat is the risk cern’s maarketing department hides

  279. ThisIsMySecretIdentity

    All I know is that all of the experts agreed that the Titanic was unsinkable… and then something unexpected happened.

  280. HeatherRoss

    U hav written how safe. but what if someone wanted to cause harm, then if they got into the facility, controlled the area to main instruments, then I think people who live on the earth worry about the mad scientists are “playing fire” with their toys, ignoring the chance they may be giving to bad people. How safe is it then? If a terrorist has already come in that is. Now people are really worried. Maybe we are scared this machine could be used to kill in wars or cause havoc in certain countries. Past history rises up to slap us all in the face at times. I think this cern lhc should be have more security. and in the USA we hope if it blows up at least maybe we have enuf ‘water’ to separate us from europe, and hopefully enuf ground underneath to cushion the blast. *scared laugh*

  281. 00198-07

    Trying to understand the complexities of the universe with the human intellect is like trying to measure the ocean with a teaspoon – the tool for the job is wholly inadequate (despite what your unbounded conceit tells you). You are consummate fools and will all die as such when the oversights of the scientist’s you revere so much that you cannot help but hang on to their every word as if they are a new breed of deity result in this or the next contraption destroying your planet. Its just a pity the truly wise ones, those who understand certain things are not to be toyed with regardless of the amount of money or pride at stake, will be forced to die with you. But, such is your supreme stupidity.

  282. Emery

    I am pretty sure the LHC was run up and a test has already been performed. Perhaps not at full capacity but don’t already have a test under our Van Allen belt?

    I actually hope these two morons are right and they lose the court case and the LHC does indeed form a microscopic black hole that consumes the earth and everything on it. We are all better off compressed to a singularity than to have to suffer this incredible idiocy.

  283. STM

    I have my own theory in relation to the numerous black holes spread across the universe.

    I believe they are the remains of solar systems containing Earth-like planets, whose inhabitants were advanced enough in their technology to come up with a Large Hadron Collider-like gizmo designed to explore the big-bang theory – but were not advanced enough to be able to predict exactly would would happen once they switched the bloody thing on …

  284. tomcats

    so now we are experiencing large earthquakes. something Lous Sancho said might occur with stranglets. It might be coincidence but it needs to be looked into.

  285. jeffs

    Am no expert on strangelets; however to the best of my knowledge of “black holes” they result from extremely large stars collapsing under own weight after nuclear fusion runs down from lack of light weight fuel.
    This is due to the effect of gravity.
    Could anybody remind me about the gravitational force of a body the size of one or even a million atoms ???

  286. pie

    Possibly, the LHC is producing small black holes in the center of our sun drawing off the sun’s power by trying to form a black hole. Since our sun is not large enough to become a black hole the experiments at LHC is weaking the sun by having the sun wanting to fall back into the mini black hole thats created every time LHC does a collision. Evidence of little or no black holes, and weaking of solar radiation with the sun decreasing is size since these colliders s starting doing experiments.

  287. Particles meeting at less then 1 minute of angle off with precisely tuned equal and opposite momentum and many TeV of energy are probably actually uncommon to the point of never happening naturally. If these pairs sometimes form something, with net momentum, then it should probably only have a few times earth escape velocity (on average), and certainly not solar escape velocity. The cosmic ray analogy falls flat as those collision products, with net momentum of the immediate colliding particles assumed, will always leave the solar environment at some substantial portion of light speed. The natural (potential) collision products leave as the momentum space for randomly meeting TeV energy particles is so vast and the danger region, that around canceling momentum, is too relatively small to occur.

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