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John Galt?

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#15 : June 30, 2008, 04:49:20 PM

They will turn it on, and it will not work.

Define "work". If you mean that it won't actually find a Higgs boson, that's entirely possible. In a lot of respects, that would actually be the MORE exciting outcome. If you mean it won't work at all, well, there's just no reason to think that. This is hardly the first big-honking particle accelerator that's been built. It's just bigger and honkier than the previous ones.

No, what he means is, you know how every house has that one light switch that no one knows what it does or what it is attached to?  Well, when they turn it on nothing will happen.  All the engineers and scientists will scramble around looking for the problem and not knowing what it is.  Then some guy in Cleveland will flip that lightswitch in his garage and the whole thing start accelerating particles like crazy.  Then that guy in Cleveland will flip that switch again and it'll shut down.


benchwarmer69

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#16 : June 30, 2008, 08:59:23 PM

From my understanding this particle accelerator has a One-in-fifty-million chance to destroy the earth. One scientist said "Obviously, It's not going to destroy the planet." another said, "But people DO win the lottery."

The thing that I worry about with this accelerator is that it "could" create black holes and stranglets. Depending on how strong the vacuum is in a black hole the size of a needle, we could all be sucked in (theoretically of course). Stranglets are even worse. They eat all matter, then grow in size. Only to consume more matter. So guess what happens to earth if one is actually created...

Of course, there were people worried that that atmosphere itself would "light up" when the first A-bomb was dropped. So it's hard to say if this isn't just a bunch of nail-biters, or if there IS something to worry about. Problem is, there is so much to learn from this project that it will not be just simply "let go" as some people wish it to be. This may be our first glance at obtaining antimatter energy after all.

I say "go for it".... Just don't run the machine more than fifty million times and we're all good.




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#17 : June 30, 2008, 09:18:08 PM

Sort of reminds of that move "event horizon" for some reason.. creepy!



Boid Fink

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#18 : July 01, 2008, 01:23:08 AM

Event Horizon was a creepy movie.  I loved it.

Watching that in the dark with a jumpy GF can be a blast!

(and I am the dude who makes loud, startled noises just to make people jump...yeah I am a jerk)



acacius

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#19 : July 01, 2008, 11:00:01 AM

Even if it produces micro-black holes, it would be *spectacularly* unlikely that they would cause any harm.  Firstly, Hawking radiation would have to not exist.  If it does, the MBHs would evaporate very nearly instantly.  Seconds, you have to keep in mind that these MBHs would be FAR smaller than a needle.  In fact, you're talking sizes on the order of a Plank length. 

So even in a worst-case scenario where stable MBHs formed that didn't pass through the earth, you should be looking at time-scales where it really wouldn't be a problem.  The fact that neutron stars exist helps support this.  The energies involved in the LHC will be smaller than that of the highest energy cosmic rays.  If the LHC produces MBHs, so should these cosmic rays.  If the LHC was a problem, every neutron star in the galaxy should have been eaten by MBHs by now.  You can make a very nearly identical argument against strangelets being a concern.

Also, since the energies of the LHC are lower than those produced naturally, there should be no chance of causing a false vacuum decay.  Noone mentioned that in this thread, but that's pretty much the ultimate doomsday scenario.  Forget dooming the earth, how does destroying the entire universe strike you?

:p
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