Monday, September 8, 2008

Large Hadron Collider will not turn World into Glob of Goo

......but it could very well cause black holes to form in the earth. I'll explain in a moment.

Cancel your plans for this coming Wednesday, it could be your last day on Earth. Or could it?

If you believe a vocal lobby of doomsayers, at the flick of a switch on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) this week the world will be consumed from the inside out and turned to a pile of gray goo, or nothing at all; just a black hole orbited by a moon. This past weekend, their apocalyptic warnings were challenged by a report from the scientists behind the project outlining just how safe it is to recreate the Big Bang under the France-Switzerland border.

The Large Hadron Collider - the atom-smashing machine built underneath the Alps - has sent more physicists into a spin than it will have atomic particles whizzing around its 17-mile circumference when it is put into action this week. Many fear that the energies released will be so powerful that a runaway black hole will be created that will engulf the planet or produce “quantum strangelets” transforming the Earth into a dead lump of “strange matter”. And if not a black hole, there is always the possibility of creating a quasar.

So worried are they about the impending end of the Universe that they have been to court to try to stop it.

Scientists have been using particle

collision devices for 30 years without

incident but concerns have arisen

over the LHC because of its size and power.

Walter L. Wagner and Luis Sancho in Hawaii sought a temporary restraining order on scientists at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, or CERN, who they say have played down the chances that the collider could produce a tiny black hole, which could eat the Earth. They say that CERN has failed to provide an environmental impact statement as required under the National Environmental Policy Act.

Their objections have been so vehement that the scientists behind the LHC have published a report to allay their fears and convince them that the world will carry on as normal after the biggest and most powerful atom collider ever built is turned on in Geneva.

“Nature has already conducted the equivalent of about a hundred thousand LHC experimental programmes on Earth – and the planet still exists,” the report says. Just outside Geneva, 300ft below ground, the LHC will blast atomic particles around its circumference approximately 11,200 times every second, before smashing them headlong into one another. Scientists have been using particle collision devices for 30 years without incident but concerns have arisen over the LHC because of its size and power.

The report was written by five CERN physicists, who were told to review a safety assessment written by colleagues in 2003 that also gave the project the green light. The new Safety Assessment Report, published by the Institute of Physics in London, says that any black holes produced by the collider would be “microscopic” and would decay almost immediately because they would lack the energy to grow or be sustained.

“Each collision of a pair of protons in the LHC will release an amount of energy comparable to that of two colliding mosquitoes, so any black hole produced would be much smaller than those known to astrophysicists,” it says.

As for the hypothesised “strange-lets”, the report referred to data from the Relativistic Heavy-Ion Collider at the Brookhaven National Laboratory, New York, to say that these would not be produced by collisions in the LHC. France has also asked its Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) to carry out a safety appraisal of the collider.

The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg rejected a last-ditch legal attempt last month to stop the LHC. The suit had been filed by a group of European citizens, led by a German biochemist, Otto Rössler, of the University of Tübingen.

He had deduced that it would be “quite plausible” to conclude that black holes resulting from the collider experiment “will grow exponentially and eat the planet from the inside” across a devastating four-year period of decay. However, former NASA scientist Richard C. Hoagland of Enterprise Mission, states it would be a matter of months, not years.

Some consider the saner voice of science is shining through, however, as Valerie Jamieson, deputy features editor of New Scientist, explains on her blog.

“Scale the cosmic ray sums up to cover the 100 billion stars in the Milky Way and the 100 billion galaxies in the visible Universe and you find that nature has already made the equivalent of 1,031 LHCs. Or if you like, 10 trillion LHCs are running every second. And we’re still here.”

What Jamieson doesn't understand is the current ebb and flow of cosmic rays that surround us is a part of nature and spread out over space and time. This energy is not concentrated in one general area in, around or on our planet. Jamieson, clearly needs to brush up on basic physics. Additionally, while there are numerous colliders that operate here on earth, there has never been an collider of this magnitude to ever be put in operation on this planet even when considering the supper collider at Livermore Lab.

The whole black hole theory that results from all of this centers on one of the main reasons the LHC was built at a cost of $6 billion, although it will be used for other experiments. Essentially the LHC is to start unleashing a beam of protons in the first stage of its commissioning process on Wednesday. Two parallel beams of particles, pulsing around the underground ring in opposite directions, will be bent by superconducting magnets at four points to cause them to collide. Detectors in the giant chamber will record the resulting sub-atomic debris. Granted, this invisible rubble could help to resolve some of the biggest questions in physics such as the nature of mass, the weakness of gravity and whether, as some suggest, dimensions exist beyond our own. However, after the particles have collided, their motion stops and they no longer have the same energy mass that keeps them going, therefore, they literally fall to the center of the earth. Think about that for a moment, then read my earlier post regarding this topic:

The European Organization for Nuclear Research (French: Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire), commonly known as CERN (see Naming), pronounced [sɝn] (or [sɛʀn] in French), is the world's largest particle physics laboratory, situated in the northwest suburbs of Geneva on the border between France and Switzerland. The convention establishing CERN was signed on 29 September 1954. From the original 12 signatories of the CERN convention, membership has grown to the present 20 member states. Its main function is to provide the particle accelerators and other infrastructure needed for high-energy physics research. Numerous experiments have been constructed at CERN by international collaborations to make use of them.


Sources: Science News, New Scientist, AP Europe Bureau


JTankers said...

Only a very small number of physicists have studied the safety arguments in detail, and the results are very mixed.

Most of the reviews are linked to CERN, either CERN scientists, CERN Scientific Policy Committee members or scientists requested to comment as a favor to CERN.

Other fully independent physicists including senior Physics PHD Dr. Rainer Plaga wrote a paper refuting safety and proposing risk mitigation measures, currently ignored by CERN.

Visiting Professor of Physics Dr. Otto Rossler is an award winning and famous contributor to Chaos Theory and the founder of Endophysics. Dr. Rossler also refutes CERN's claims that white dwarf and neutron stars are susceptible to fast moving micro black holes, Dr. Rossler contends that CERN's experiment may pose an existential risk to the planet.

Dr. Rossler calculates that creation of micro black holes could be catastrophic to Earth in years, decades or centuries.

Former cosmic ray researcher, California math champion and Nuclear Safety Officer Walter L. Wagner discovered flaws with CERN's safety arguments. He calculates stable strange matter creation (particularly from Lead Lead collisions) and dangerous micro black hole creation has not been excluded and might as likely prove catastrophic.

Walter said...

Walter Wagner will be appearing on Coast to Coast AM with George Norry Monday night/Tuesday morning to talk more about all of this.