LHC Dangerous?

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Should it be fired?

No
29
8%
Yes
326
92%
 
Total votes: 355

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redthegreat
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LHC Dangerous?

Postby redthegreat » Sun Sep 09, 2007 1:35 am UTC

I think it is.

Could kill us all.

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Postby Master Gunner » Sun Sep 09, 2007 2:39 am UTC

The way I figure it, coolness (and manliness) increases in proportion to size. The LHC has a circumference of 27km, thus, it is already friggin' cool. The only way to make it any cooler is to collide particles at close to the speed of light, possibly destroying the planet. The sheer amount of coolness produced by firing that thing would be worth it. Plus, we all gotta die sometime, why not in a miniature black hole (although, according to relativity, if the black hole didn't dissipate for some reason, wouldn't we all die of natural causes before we were swallowed up by it?)

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Re: LHC Dangerous?

Postby yy2bggggs » Sun Sep 09, 2007 2:39 am UTC


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Postby Swordfish » Sun Sep 09, 2007 2:50 am UTC

It wouldn't be the first time we built something that could kill us all.
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Postby skeptical scientist » Sun Sep 09, 2007 3:08 am UTC

skeptical scientist wrote:Respectable physicists seem to be unanimous in their consensus that any black holes created would evaporate before they could do any harm. Besides, according to David Brin, the probable effects of a micro black hole falling into the center of the Earth will be the beginning of a planet-wide utopia as the Earth itself becomes sentient.
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Postby miles01110 » Sun Sep 09, 2007 3:20 am UTC

If you're really worried about global destruction, start campaigning against nuclear weapons or something. Beliefs that the LHC could create something to destroy the Earth are sadly without scientific foundation.

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Postby Hawknc » Sun Sep 09, 2007 4:40 am UTC

Also, what's with the bait-and-switch in the poll? Your thread title says "LHC dangerous?", implying people should vote no if they think it is not, but the poll actually asks "should it be fired?", to which the same people would answer yes. That's not very nice.
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Postby redthegreat » Sun Sep 09, 2007 1:14 pm UTC

Anyone with half a brain cell would read the poll title and answer it, the poll is a sub section to the topic.
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Postby Gelsamel » Sun Sep 09, 2007 1:31 pm UTC

I would be awesome as hell if they did destroy the world though.
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Postby skeptical scientist » Sun Sep 09, 2007 4:34 pm UTC

Gelsamel wrote:I would be awesome as hell if they did destroy the world though.

Sir, I think you have a problem with your brain being missing.
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Postby Gelsamel » Sun Sep 09, 2007 4:53 pm UTC

skeptical scientist wrote:
Gelsamel wrote:I would be awesome as hell if they did destroy the world though.

Sir, I think you have a problem with your brain being missing.


Alien Universal Wikipedia-
Article: Earth
Status: Destroyed in the search of scientific advancement.

Yep, still awesome. Maybe something is wrong with my brain :S.
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Postby zombie_monkey » Sun Sep 09, 2007 4:54 pm UTC

Ugh, I voted no because the thread title asked if it's dangerous...

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Postby redthegreat » Sun Sep 09, 2007 6:58 pm UTC

Whoever votes based on the thread title and not actually on what the poll is about is a moron who should learn to use their optic orbs.
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Postby skeptical scientist » Sun Sep 09, 2007 7:25 pm UTC

Anyone who
  1. Is incapable of making a forum poll which is not confusing;
  2. Continues to harass forum users after more than one of them have pointed out the problem referred to in a.; and
  3. Thinks the LHC is dangerous because he is either unaware of the judgments of the best theoretical physicists who have all concluded that the LHC is incapable of creating dangerous objects, or else thinks he knows better than they do
is a moron who should learn not to embarrass himself on public forums.
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Postby Dobblesworth » Sun Sep 09, 2007 10:50 pm UTC

Cern need to set up loudspeakers across the world, and warn everyone 6-12 hours in advance of the launch, so everyone can get absolutely hammered off their heads if the world blows up so they all die happy.

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Postby Hawknc » Mon Sep 10, 2007 3:08 am UTC

Dobblesworth wrote:Cern need to set up loudspeakers across the world, and warn everyone 6-12 hours in advance of the launch, so everyone can get absolutely hammered off their heads if the world blows up so they all die happy.

Now there's an idea I can get behind. Not because the world will blow up, but because I figure everyone getting smashed at the same time around the world would be the closest thing to global unity we'll ever see.

Red, good job handling this like a total dick. :thumbsup:
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Postby GBog » Mon Sep 10, 2007 6:22 am UTC

If the world is ending, shouldn't we all put paper bags over our heads or something?

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Postby jestingrabbit » Mon Sep 10, 2007 9:25 am UTC

GBog wrote:If the world is ending, shouldn't we all put paper bags over our heads or something?
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Postby oxoiron » Mon Sep 10, 2007 7:49 pm UTC

GBog wrote:If the world is ending, shouldn't we all put paper bags over our heads or something?

Shouldn't you grab your Electronic Thumb and pack a towel?
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Postby tomw2005 » Mon Sep 10, 2007 8:39 pm UTC

An instant message convo I had in realtion to this topic:

τɦσɱɒς ωιlκιηςση says:
'The way I figure it, coolness (and manliness) increases in proportion to size. The LHC has a circumference of 27km, thus, it is already friggin' cool. The only way to make it any cooler is to collide particles at close to the speed of light, possibly destroying the planet. '

Sane Man says:
it is the only way. can ur computer do it

τɦσɱɒς ωιlκιηςση says:
lol, the miniblack holes probably won't destroy the planet but we'll all find out Nov 5th

Sane Man says:
we can watch on web cam hopefully

τɦσɱɒς ωιlκιηςση says:
lol will do

Sane Man says:
the end of the world could be fun. i will bring beer#

τɦσɱɒς ωιlκιηςση says:
i'll bring some too or maybe cider

Sane Man says:
make a night of it


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Postby Schmendreck » Tue Sep 11, 2007 12:50 am UTC

oxoiron wrote:
GBog wrote:If the world is ending, shouldn't we all put paper bags over our heads or something?

Shouldn't you grab your Electronic Thumb and pack a towel?

A guide would be nice also.

But honestly, did any one see that BBC special on the end of the world?

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Postby Alcari » Thu Sep 13, 2007 8:54 pm UTC

I like the other "End of the world" things better, at least I don't understand those, like HAARP or

I know blackholes will quickly decay into Hawking radiation, so it's no fun. I have no idea how ionosphere works.

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Postby archgoon » Fri Sep 14, 2007 4:46 am UTC

This post's purpose has been accomplished more elegantly by a previous poster.
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Postby Zake » Mon Sep 17, 2007 10:16 pm UTC

skeptical scientist wrote:
skeptical scientist wrote:Respectable physicists seem to be unanimous in their consensus that any black holes created would evaporate before they could do any harm..


...And we all know, the respectable scientists of the world have never been wrong. Not even with plate tectonics, or the Steady State model, or so forth. Just saying. >_> Hawking radiation does supposedly deal with a grey enough area of physics to make one marginally uneasy, despite its theoretical verification.

(Or has hawking radiation been observed? I know there have been projects to detect the result of cosmic ray impacts, and those are supposed to be able to generate micro-black-holes, so wouldn't that show up?)

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Postby sigsfried » Mon Sep 17, 2007 10:19 pm UTC

mini black holes have already been produced. So I don't see why these should be any different.

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Postby gmalivuk » Mon Sep 17, 2007 11:26 pm UTC

sigsfried wrote:mini black holes have already been produced. So I don't see why these should be any different.


When and where have these alleged black holes been produced?
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Postby notzeb » Tue Sep 18, 2007 12:21 am UTC

Aww, strangelets are SO MUCH COOLER than micro black holes, but no one even acknowledges their existence.

I hope everyone else will be able to agree with me in their last moments of life.
Zµ«V­jÕ«ZµjÖ­Zµ«VµjÕ­ZµkV­ZÕ«VµjÖ­Zµ«V­jÕ«ZµjÖ­ZÕ«VµjÕ­ZµkV­ZÕ«VµjÖ­Zµ«V­jÕ«ZµjÖ­ZÕ«VµjÕ­ZµkV­ZÕ«ZµjÖ­Zµ«V­jÕ«ZµjÖ­ZÕ«VµjÕ­Z

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Postby skeptical scientist » Tue Sep 18, 2007 12:54 am UTC

Zake wrote:
skeptical scientist wrote:
skeptical scientist wrote:Respectable physicists seem to be unanimous in their consensus that any black holes created would evaporate before they could do any harm..


...And we all know, the respectable scientists of the world have never been wrong. Not even with plate tectonics, or the Steady State model, or so forth. Just saying. >_> Hawking radiation does supposedly deal with a grey enough area of physics to make one marginally uneasy, despite its theoretical verification.

(Or has hawking radiation been observed? I know there have been projects to detect the result of cosmic ray impacts, and those are supposed to be able to generate micro-black-holes, so wouldn't that show up?)

Yeah, but here the respectable physicists are well aware of their own fallibility and the consequences of being wrong about this. They have proven that the LHC is safe not only according to the best current theories (which are pretty damned good) but also to any remotely plausible models which have not yet been confirmed.
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Postby e946 » Tue Sep 18, 2007 5:31 am UTC

How long would it take for one of thse to destroy the earth, anyways?

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Postby yy2bggggs » Tue Sep 18, 2007 6:01 am UTC

e946 wrote:How long would it take for one of thse to destroy the earth, anyways?

Sanity check--higher energy particles are constantly bombarding the earth, and have been doing so for billions of years. You can't blink without this happening. Every second several of these things pass through your own body.

The main reason the LHC carries such a high possibility of destroying the earth is that it fools with particles, and we know nuclear bombs are driven by particles, and we imagine the LHC is doing something fundamentally beyond everything that has ever been attempted, and we have no clue what's going to happen. But all of this is fuzzy, emotional, unchecked and irrational fears. Face it--this may be a big huge machine we're building, and yeah, we don't know exactly what's going to happen, but in terms of things happening in nature--it is not going to do anything fundamentally different than what constantly happens. It's just going to be more controlled and more subject to study.

The fears are unfounded. They're based more on monsters from the back end of our psyche than they are on real possibilities. That's why the real scientists working on it aren't screaming in terror--they know better than to do so.

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Postby e946 » Tue Sep 18, 2007 6:17 am UTC

That article poses a much better argument than you do, unfortunately. Not that I'm afraid of the world exploding, i'm just curious about the specifics of how it work if it did happen.

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Postby Vaniver » Tue Sep 18, 2007 6:20 am UTC

That's why the real scientists working on it aren't screaming in terror--they know better than to do so.
They also have the self-control to not burst into maniacal laughter until they begin holding the world at ransom.

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Postby po2141 » Tue Sep 18, 2007 8:23 am UTC

e946 wrote:How long would it take for one of thse to destroy the earth, anyways?


As far as I understand it, IF a mini black hole was created and IF it didn't instantly evaporate and IF it was not whirled away into outer space, THEN it would sink to the centre of the earth and very slowly start to assimilate its matter, however the black hole would be of very small size indeed so would take many millions of years (thats a guesstimate cos I cant remember the exact answer, but its definately a very loooong time) to consume a significant amount of matter. I heard that one of these black holes would have to travel through solid iron from here to the moon and back before encountering a single atom of iron.

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Postby Maurog » Tue Sep 18, 2007 9:30 am UTC

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Postby Pause » Tue Sep 18, 2007 11:19 am UTC

po2141 wrote:
e946 wrote:How long would it take for one of thse to destroy the earth, anyways?


As far as I understand it, IF a mini black hole was created and IF it didn't instantly evaporate and IF it was not whirled away into outer space, THEN it would sink to the centre of the earth and very slowly start to assimilate its matter, however the black hole would be of very small size indeed so would take many millions of years (thats a guesstimate cos I cant remember the exact answer, but its definately a very loooong time) to consume a significant amount of matter. I heard that one of these black holes would have to travel through solid iron from here to the moon and back before encountering a single atom of iron.

That reminds me of an excellent short story by Larry Niven, where a black hole finds its way to the centre of Mars. The estimate given in the story is 6 months to a couple of years, but then science wasn't exactly the strong point of the story.

More usefully, this article at Universe Today (which also references that story) suggests it could take longer than the Sun has left to go, though I haven't checked the maths. At all. It doesn't say when the black hole gets there, either - whether it was there at formation, arrives today, or at some point in the future.

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Postby po2141 » Tue Sep 18, 2007 3:43 pm UTC

There is also "forge of god" by greg bear (I think) where some evil replication probes destroy earth by lobbing two asteroid sized chunks of neutronium (one is actually anti-neutronium) into the earth. The density and gravity of each projectile is such that they experience little drag while moving through the earths matter (causing earthquakes and such, the anti-neutronium does not annihilate here as it apparently becomes enshrouded in a shell of "ambi-plasma") and they spiral round the earths core until they finally meet, causing a huge release of energy and the physical break up of the planet.

Anybody want to calculate the amount of matter/anti-matter required to break up the planet and put it in orbit around itself (or however it goes...)?

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Postby gmalivuk » Tue Sep 18, 2007 4:39 pm UTC

po2141 wrote:Anybody want to calculate the amount of matter/anti-matter required to break up the planet and put it in orbit around itself (or however it goes...)?


I think there's a "how to destroy the earth" thread somewhere in this very forum, that deals with that. You "just" need to compute the Earth's gravitational binding energy.
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Postby Swordfish » Tue Sep 18, 2007 6:30 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
po2141 wrote:Anybody want to calculate the amount of matter/anti-matter required to break up the planet and put it in orbit around itself (or however it goes...)?


I think there's a "how to destroy the earth" thread somewhere in this very forum, that deals with that. You "just" need to compute the Earth's gravitational binding energy.


Gravitational binding energy of the Earth: 2.2405 × 10^32 kg m^2 s^-2

Mass of matter and antimatter required to blast the Earth apart: 2.4928 × 10^15 kg
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Postby simen » Tue Sep 18, 2007 8:28 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
po2141 wrote:Anybody want to calculate the amount of matter/anti-matter required to break up the planet and put it in orbit around itself (or however it goes...)?


I think there's a "how to destroy the earth" thread somewhere in this very forum, that deals with that. You "just" need to compute the Earth's gravitational binding energy.

There was a thread about that on alt.destroy.the.earth some time ago, although it dealt with nuclear warheads.
http://groups.google.com/group/alt.dest ... 43d0ffcb98

TL;DR version: 4.47 * 10^19 bombs, each with the energy of 1.2 megatons of TNT.

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Postby yy2bggggs » Wed Sep 19, 2007 12:20 am UTC

I realize atomic particles are pretty small, but, the solar system (yes, there are other big bodies here) is pretty big, and billions of years is pretty long. Assuming LHC can produce a non-decaying earth destroying cold atomic black hole, should we worry about nature doing the same?


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