This letter was found at: Atom-Smasher Looking for God, May Find Black Hole http://www.environmentalgraffiti.com/sc ... -hole/1052
(One of your fellow physicists appears to be suggesting perhaps a bit more caution before pushing the button...
Open letter to Professor Hawking
Dear Professor Hawking
The safety of micro black hole(mBH) production in the CERN LHC accelerator, operating in COLLIDER MODE, has not been properly addressed.
Six LAYERS OF PROTECTION for the Earth and all its inhabitants have been ASSUMED and discussed during the last decade or so:
[I’ll briefly outline the first five, and then explain a FATAL MATH ERROR in the sixth]
1. NO BLACK HOLES WILL BE PRODUCED.
Ten years ago we were assured that mBHs could not be produced by any conceivable accelerator on Earth. The Plank Energy 10 ^ 19 GeV was supposedly required to produce a micro black hole. This would require an accelerator thousands of light years across.
Today CERN and others are assuring us(if that’s the right word!) that the LHC will be a “BLACK HOLE FACTORY”, operating at only about 10 ^ 4GeV. Thus people believe a certain version of string theory with extra dimensions, and it is now thought that mBHs are 10 ^ 15 times easier to produce. And can be produced in an accelerator 10 ^ 15 times smaller in diameter than the hypothetical galactic version.
A revision of 15 orders of magnitude should make people more modest about the certitude of their pronouncements. According to CERN:
PROTECTION #1 NEVER EXISTED, but don‘t worry, they are absolutely certain of the next layers of protection, just like they used to be absolutely certain about #1.……………….(1)
2. BLACK HOLES WOULD EVAPORATE TOO QUICKLY TO INTERACT WITH THE EARTH.
The 5 x 10 ^ 3GeV mBHs they are confident of producing would have a lifetime of around 4 x 10^ -86sec according to what was believed a decade ago and more ago. Since this is about 42 orders of magnitude smaller than the Plank time(5.4 X 10 ^ -44sec), not surprisingly, mBHs of that mass were deemed impossible.
Now their lifetime is supposed to be in the order of 10 ^ -26sec, because of higher dimensions at small scales.
So we’re supposed to REVISE THE LIFETIME OF AN mBH UPWARD by a whopping 60 ORDERS OF MAGNITUDE, and SUPPRESS HAWKING RADIATION (HR)by the same amount. To put things into perspective, the ratio between the Plank time 5.4 x 10 ^ -44sec and estimated age of the universe is about 10 ^ 62. We could hardly be more unsure of the actual mBH lifetime, in a quantitative sense, since the predicted values are so dependent on the “flavor of the month” version of string theory.
Even if we are confident that a mBH must decay by Hawking Evaporation(HE):
PROTECTION # 2 INVOLVES MAGNITUDES THAT ARE TOO WILDLY SPECULATIVE TO RELY ON. The fact that HAWKING RADIATION HAS NEVER BEEN OBSERVED in cosmic ray showers, suggests a process too slow to save us, even if it occurs.
Purely from the HEALTH AND SAFETY point of view, we must assume therefore
THAT PROTECTION # 2 DOES NOT EXIST…………………………..(2)
3. PERSISTENCE OF EARTH, MOON, AND OTHER BODIES IN SOLAR SYSTEM PROVES SAFETY OF mBH BOMBARDMENT.
False analogy. Natural fission has been going on in the Solar System for Eons, without ever causing nuclear explosions(exponentially growing reactions). By changing the GEOMETRY of the experiment, TRINITY, the first atom bomb test, succeeded first try.
ALL mBHs produced by bombardment by high energy cosmic rays are NECESSARILY RELATIVISTIC. The CENTRE OF MASS VELOCITY of the collision is relativistic, and this is CRUCIAL TO THE SAFETY OF THE EARTH, Moon, Sun etc,.
These mBHs would cross the full diameter of the Earth in 0.042sec, Jupiter in 0.46sec, and the Sun in 4.6sec. Because of the small size and enormous speed, they would fly through like very heavy neutrinos, and have plenty of time to decay in the vastness of space. They would NEVER BE CAPTURED, AND SO WOULD POSE NO THREAT.
Operating the LHC in COLLIDER MODE, ensures that the centre of mass velocity of the collisions are distributed about zero, and not just under the speed of light. It CHANGES THE GEOMETRY of the experiment. This guarantees that some of the mBHs produced by the LHC IN COLLISION MODE would be GRAVITATIONALLY CAPTURED IN THE BULK OF THE EARTH, something UNPRECEDENTED in its history.
Any such mBH can never escape, and if it starts to absorb nucleons before it has time to evaporate, then it constitutes an EXISTENTIAL DANGER to the Earth. The only thing that matters then, is the TYPICAL DOUBLING TIME T2, analogous to T 1/2, the half-life for radioactive decay.
Such mBHs would have all the time in the world to grow exponentially. And “all the time in the world” might be very short.
PROTECTION # 3 DOES NOT EXIST IF LHC OPERATES IN COLLIDER MODE……….(3)
4.THE VASTLY HIGHER ENERGIES OF SOME COSMIC RAYS STRIKING EARTH ARE PROOF OF SAFETY.
All the mBHs produced by such very high energy particles are relativistic, and are harmless, for the reasons described above. OPERATING THE LHC IN COLLIDER MODE REMOVES THIS PROTECTION IMMEDIATELY, so:
PROTECTION # 4 IS TOTALLY BOGUS………………(4)
5. THE COLLISIONS HAVE LESS ENERGY THAN A FEW FLYING MOSQUITOS, so must be safe.
False analogy. The energy of the neutrons that triggered the exponential process in the TRINITY ATOM BOMB TEST 1945 in the New Mexico Desert was many orders of magnitude less than this, but STARTED AN EXPONENTIALLY INCREASING PROCESS. During the short time the U235 is explosively brought to a supercritical state, EVEN ONE SLOW NEUTRON causing fission is sufficient. Doesn’t take much energy to LIGHT A FUSE.
[Of course a relativistic neutron produced by cosmic rays, that zipped thru the core of an A-bomb with no chance to cause fission, would be pretty harmless……]
PROTECTION # 5 IS UTTER BILGE.
PROTECTION #2-5 are constantly quoted by CERN, whose attitude to RISK ASSESSMENT is really about PUBLIC RELATIONS and not the PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE…………..(5)
CERN is so blase about the weakness of the arguments for the PROTECTION #2-5, because even if they are rubbish, they think the next protection is surely a clincher:
CERN quote a mBH with a mass equivalent to 5000 nucleons, which might be typically produced, which absorbs one nucleon per hundred hours.
6.EVEN IF THE PREVIOUS PROTECTIONS FAIL, THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO DANGER BECAUSE:
[At that rate, even if one did not take into account the fact that each black hole would slow down every time it gobbled up a proton, and thus suck down matter at an even slower rate, “about 100 protons would be destroyed every year by such a black hole, so it would take much more than the age of universe to destroy even one milligram of Earth material]………(6)
Let’s see now, one mg contains about
M/u nucleons, where M=10 ^ -6 kg and u = 1.67 x 10 ^ -27kg
So number of nucleons to be destroyed is
N = 6 x 10 ^ 20 (ie Avogadro’s Number divided by a thousand, as we would expect)
So divide this by 100 to get a time to destroy that many nucleons of
T = 6 x 10 ^ 18 years, much more than the age of the universe.
Note the AMAZING ASSUMPTION OF LINEARITY. This must be the BIGGEST SCIENTIFIC BLUNDER IN HISTORY, and the most EXPENSIVE, if it literally costs the Earth.
A classical mBH accretes exponentially even as it slows down…….(7)
Speculative extra dimensions reduce the rate until the effect of the extra dimensions is no longer noticeable. On coming to a halt at the centre of the earth, material is forced towards the entire AREA(think N-squared) until conservation of momentum forces accretion to occur along the equator. So we could get a brief period of asymptotic growth, followed by exponential. In the exponential process N = No e ^ kt, the e time is less than 60 years! We cannot observe the minutae of the actual processes within the Earth. And extra mBHs are being added, presumably with variable starting masses and accretion rates, which depend on the size. The overall result is similar to that for analogues in the Economy. The growth of an investment portfolio for example, but one in which the individual investments cannot ever lose, cannot stay still, and after the initial settling period, cannot increase as slowly as a linear rate. ALL BOOM, and NO BUST. Such investments grow exponentially, until something runs out…..in this case, the EARTH ITSELF.
It is easier for mere mathematical mortals like me to understand it in terms of something like the growth of an investment. The period is 100 hours, and the rate is .02% COMPOUND INTEREST. That approach is familiar to non-scientists in business etc, and this is an open letter. The best way to do the math then is in terms of the DOUBLING TIME T2, the time to double the investment. Even wild fluctuations in the rate, can be accommodated by corresponding reductions in T2. It still only takes a certain number of doublings to consume the Earth.
N = No(2 ^ n) where n is the number of doublings each taking T2.
No = 5000, then with dN/dt starting at 1 per hundred hours(2.8 x 10 ^ -6 nucleons per sec), the mBH doubles in 40 years, and gobbles the earth in just under 160 such doublings, or about 6400 years.
( the factor is 2 ^ 160 = 10 ^ 48 approx, and we started with 5 x 10 ^ 3.)
There is another huge problem:
A classical mBH of mass about 5GeV has a radius of approx 10 ^ -50m, so much under the PLANK SIZE, as to be pretty meaningless. No wonder it used to be thought that such mBHs were impossible.
The SAME mBH is now supposed to be around 10 ^ -19m. ANOTHER WHOPPING REVISION, 31 MAGNITUDES!
So the CROSS SECTION, and ability to interact with matter is INCREASED by about 62 MAGNITUDES. And no-one at CERN is modest enough to say WE DON’T KNOW WHAT THE HELL WE ARE DOING!
In view of the wild variations in the order of magnitude of the cross-section, depending on the particular model, we should note that if the mBH starts accreting at one nucleon per hour, the Earth has only 64 years, and if we start with 100 nucleons per hour, the Earth has less than 8 months, the last of which would be horrific in the extreme. Only if the doubling time is long in Geological terms, EONS, is the COST to the Earth negligible……..(8)
Yet CERN have an AMAZING FAITH that:
A black hole absorbs only one nucleon per hundred hours or roughly 10 ^ 2 per year indefinitely………IRRESPECTIVE OF HOW BIG IT GROWS
When it is a million times, or a billion times, or a trillion times more massive, the mBH still gobbles only one nucleon per hundred hours……even when it grows from N = 5000 to N = 6 x 10 ^20, and presumably even when it grows to 3.6 x 10 ^ 51(the number of nucleons in the Earth). In a linear model, this sure would take a long time. Let’s restate it:
CERN BELIEVE THAT ACCRETION OCCURS AT A CONSTANT RATE, INDEPENDENT OF SIZE AND MASS.
WHAT AN EXTRAORDINARY CLAIM.
dN/dt = a constant for a black hole in the Earth.
This constant is INDEPENDENT OF THE MASS AND SIZE, an astonishing state of affairs. At just what scale does this break down?
A 10 ^ 9 solar mass black hole in the nucleus of a Quasar perhaps? The density of space in the central region of a Galaxy near a SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLE is nowhere near that in the interior of the Earth. And as we have seen, the people at CERN think that SIZE DOESN’T MATTER! I believe that Astronomers, if they actually thought about it, would LAUGH THEM TO SCORN.
But this is TRAGIC COMEDY:
(7)To apply a CERN type RISK ASSESSMENT to the TITANIC would find that it could not possibly sink, since the rate of taking on water would be independent of the size of the hole, so tearing a 100 meter long gash would do no more harm than drilling a millimeter diameter hole. How could it possibly sink? FORGET THE LIFEBOATS!
After all, starting with a microscopic hole, it should be possible to cut it to any arbitrary larger size without increasing the rate at which water is entering! I suppose we could cut away the entire ship, which is what they may succeed in doing with our Spaceship Earth. We might be tempted to laugh at the idiocy of all this, but that would be like whistling in the cattle cars trundling down the track towards Auschwitz.
And it would be unfair to compare the new LHC GAMBLE to the launch of the TITANIC, because:
The designers and operators of TITANIC were OPTIMISTS, but NOT CRIMINALS.
1. Did not seek out dangerous objects like icebergs.
2. Had credible detection methods for potentially dangerous objects. Foghorns and echoes. Men with binoculars on watch.
3. Had credible methods of detecting damage, and if not too severe, of effecting temporary repair. Sound of collision, crew reports of shipping water, plates and braced beams etc.
4. Had watertight compartments to contain flooding, if not too severe.
5. Had some lifeboats, so that at least some people would survive.
6. Had radio communication, to call in outside help.
7. Had the whole world outside the ship to be rescued to.
8.There was no conceivable way for the rest of humanity to go down with the ship.
1. Gleefully seeking to operate BLACK HOLE FACTORY.
2. No detection of mBH that doesn’t evaporate harmlessly.
3. No detection of damage, until it is terminal for the Earth. No repair.
4. No containment of mBH that doesn’t evaporate harmlessly.
5. No escape.
6. No rescue from E.T!
7. Nowhere to go.
8. We’re ALL IN THE SAME BOAT.
CERN HAVE NO PLAN B,
and would not even know there was a problem until it was too late.
I suggest that the fairest comparison would be to a monstrous slow motion version of the original TRINITY ATOM BOMB TEST, with all of us NOT JUST OBSERVERS, BUT PARTICIPANTS.
Note that a CERN style risk assessment would conclude that the original atom bomb could not possibly explode, because
1. Natural fission has been going on in the earth for billions of years, and the Earth is still here.
2. We never detect even small natural nuclear explosions in seismic records.
3. Neutrons produced by cosmic rays on the surface of the moon must cause fission events, but we never witness explosions.
4 .The amount of fissile material available for natural fission events in the Earth, Moon, and Solar System is vastly bigger than anything we could pack into a bomb.
5. A single fission produces less energy than a mosquito’s heartbeat.
6. A neutron capable of causing fission has less energy than a mosquito’s thought about its cardiovascular health.
7.Before the concentration of fissile material can become supercritical, the heat produced will A. Make it expand or
B. melt or
C. vaporize and so become sub critical.
8. And this is the clincher, natural fission occurs, and the process takes billions of years before a fraction of the fuel is used. Otherwise there‘d be no fissionable elements left!
9. The 35kg of U235 contains about 10 ^ 26 nuclei. If the time for one fission to trigger another, T2 is say 10 ^ - 8 seconds, then it would take 10 ^ 18 seconds for the bomb to run its
course, or longer than the age of the universe. It would hardly get warm…….because of course, according to CERN the process would be linear. Of course if it was……golly gosh, exponential, it would take about 87 doublings, or in this case under a microsecond!
Please check my claims, and get colleagues and grad students to do the same. A lay person like me has zero credibility in the CLOSED CERN MINDSET.
If you are alarmed by CERN’s DISREGARD for the PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE, and failure to understand that a possibly small, BUT WILDLY UNKNOWN PROBABILITY multiplied by the ULTIMATE LOSS(it is infinite to us!) is unacceptable:
I beseech you to write an OPEN LETTER to the Director of CERN, copying to President Sarkozy and other heads of state, colleagues etc……….(9)
COLLIDER MODE SHOULD BE DISABLED until INCONTROVERTIBLE EVIDENCE of HAWKING RADIATION is found in beams striking STATIONARY TARGETS, just like cosmic ray impacts(and so just as safe), and in the COSMIC RAY DATA itself.
In the last century, Einstein’s General Relativity theory predicted twice the bending of light passing the Sun that Newton’s theory predicted. That factor of two made it possible for Eddington and to verify Einstein’s prediction in 1919 during a Solar Eclipse.
Today we have competing ideas, whose particular expressions predict wildly different orders of magnitude…….and NO EXPERIMENTAL DATA to help us DECIDE WHICH IS EVEN REMOTELY CLOSE TO THE TRUTH.
CERN might try to jump the gun, and launch before the expected date. If HAWKING RADIATION IS OBSERVED, beyond any doubt, then we are safe until they dream up the next way to endanger the Earth. Banishment of the whole show to a distant asteroid should be contemplated, if we are to avoid becoming an exemplar for the FERMI PARADOX…….(10)
But if none is observed, then don’t expect an admission “we were wrong, and didn’t know what the hell we were doing”. Instead expect “we told you it was safe”. That could be disastrous, because, mBHs could already be accreting in the Earth, and even if not, more powerful experiments such as COLLIDING LEAD NUCLEI at 10 ^ 6GeV, would be started to discover the elusive God Particle, the Higgs(eluded us since the 60s), and create those oh-so harmless micro black holes…………..http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/hep-ph/pdf/0310/0310162v1.pdfIhttp://www.ichep02.nl/Transparencies/B
CERN still cite this:
Note the scathing dismissal of mBH production:http://doc.cern.ch//archive/electronic/
Do mBHs radiate? Is HR fast enough?http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/gr-qc/pdf/0408/0408009v2.pdfhttp://arxiv.org/PS_cache/gr-qc/pdf/0304/0304042v1.pdf
Note the UNQUESTIONED ASSUMPTION that HR will save us:http://doc.cern.ch/yellowrep/2003/2003-001/p1.pdf
(3) (4) (5)
Note the repetition of the false analogies, and the CULT LIKE BELIEF that HR will save us:http://public.web.cern.ch/public/en/LHC/Safety-en.html
CERN totally ignore the PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE:http://www.infra.kth.se/~sandin/dissintro.pdfhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Precautionary_principle
Again the FAITH that HR will occur, and will be rapid enough to save us. More worried about careers and Noble Prizes!http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/
Really awful FAITH in linear growth:http://www.livescience.com/environment/
Do people who associate themselves with CERN get loans from Swiss banks that charge 5 cents a year interest on 1 Euro, and still only charge 5 cents a year interest on 1billion Euros, or a trillion, or 10^20, or the number of nucleons in the Earth, 3.6 x 10 ^ 51?
(7)If we look at the claim that initially the rate of absorption slows as the mBH slows and grows, and consider the Classical case:
The mBH is effectively flying through free space, since most of an atom is empty space.
An mBH with an initial mass Mo, initial velocity Vo that absorbs a nucleus mass m:
By conservation of momentum if M = Mo + m
M x V = Mo x Vo
V = Mo x Vo / M
Expressing everything in atomic terms of nucleons
V = No x Vo / N
V is inversely proportional to N.
Number of nucleons absorbed per unit time is proportional to Volume swept out by mBH:
dN/dt = Const x pi x R ^ 2 x V
Where R = 2GM/c ^ 2, the Schwarzschild radius.
Gathering constants and noting that R proportional to N, and V inversely proportional to N
dN/dt = k x N ^ 2 / N
Integration gives us
N = No e ^ kt
In the last 20 doublings, the mBH goes from being one millionth the Earth’s mass to gobbling it up. 2 ^ 20 = approx 10 ^ 6.
In the last 10 x T2, the mBH gobbles the last 999/1000 of the Earth.
Survival time is insensitive to initial number of mBHs absorbed in a short time, if belated prudence sets in and the machine is switched off. Thus a thousand mBHs shorten the life by about 10 x T2, say from 64 years to 60. since 2 ^ 10 = 1024, or approx a thousand. So PERVERSELY, even a single mBH is almost as dangerous as a whole lot of them. It just gains us a little extra time towards the end.
Survival time is of course proportional to the typical or average doubling time T2.
A closed letter would be thrown into the bin, or would disappear into a bureaucratic black hole!
Or some secretary who doesn’t know a hadron from a haddock would keep it on file until after the LHC is fully operational, so as not to upset the boss……
Perhaps all civilizations in the Galaxy are like us, and find it easier to switch on a LHC in collider mode, before they have self-sufficient space colonies which would allow them to avoid total extinction. Hence the answer to the question, “where the hell are they”?