LHC: Doomsday or Discovery?

Where can you find the world’s largest refrigerator, the world’s fastest racetrack, the hottest spot on Earth, and the emptiest space for thousands of light years? CERN’s Large Hadron Particle Accelerator lays claim to each of these records. Propelled by 9300 super-cooled magnets (-271.3°C), a particle will travel 26,658m at speeds of 99.99% the speed of light through a vacuum whose pressure is 10-13 atm’s. Two colliding beams of particles will collide with energies of 14 Tev which will generate temperatures 100,000 times the temperature of the center of the sun.

The LHC will be conducing six experiments: ALICE, ATLAS, CMS, LHCb, TOTEM, and LHCf. The ALICE experiment (A Large Ion Collider Experiment) will attempt to recreate the earliest conditions predicted by the big bang. This will be achieved by colliding lead ions at speeds of 99.99% the speed of light. The collision will separate the ions into protons and neutrons, and under temperatures 100,000 times the heat of the sun, should further break down into a quark-gluon plasma, scientists hope to observe this plasma as it cools and recreates known particles.

On September 10th at precisely 10:28 am, the first step towards experimentation and hopefully discovery was taken, as a test beam successfully traveled the nearly 27,000 m tunnel. For CERN this was a moment of triumph as they observed their marvel of engineering come to flawless life. But their 20 year journey was not without pain, as CERN even had to battle a doomsday scenario lawsuit.

On March 21, 2008 Walter Wagner, founder of Citizens Against The Large Hadron Collider, filed a lawsuit against the US Department of Energy, Fermi lab, the National Science foundation, and CERN. The goal of the lawsuit was to put a time restraint on the activation of the LHC while safety issues were evaluated. The safety issues Wagner is concerned about include miniature black holes, and strangelets. Wagner fears that if the LHC creates miniature black holes, they would fill their tremendous appetites by feasting on the Earth. Defendants of the LHC say that this is of no concern because any black hole that does form would have a lifespan of about 10-23 seconds. Wagner also fears that if strangelets are formed they will transform the entire planet into a lump of exotic matter.

Once the experimentation has begun, and Wagner can once again sleep through the night, the LHC hopes to prove or disprove a major theory, discover new subatomic particles, search for extra dimensions, discover what causes the formation of mass, and explore the mysteries of dark matter. Whether or not all or even one the goals are achieved, one thing is for certain; the LHC will expand our knowledge and provide us with a clearer image of the universe in which we live.

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2 Responses to “LHC: Doomsday or Discovery?”

  1. JTankers Says:

    Yes but the question is how long will we have to enjoy the enlightnment.

    One of the best recent articles I read was from Queen Marry’s Math Professor Shahn Majid, author of “On Space and Time” with contributions by Roger Penrose. Prof. Shahn Majid writes “”I’m only not worried because I do not think that step 1 [micro black hole creation] will occur in the first place. But this is just my personal skepticism.”[11]

    Another question is how disinformation and censorship can short circuit legitimate safety debate.[12]

    Disinformation includes stating that Large Hadron Collider safety is assured and global danger is not possible (as most people would understand not possible) when in fact safety is disputed by multiple credible sources[1][2] and safety is unknown[3][4].

    Disinformation includes stating that micro black holes evaporate without noting that Hawking Radiation is unproven theory disputed by multiple credible papers as fundamentally flawed and may not or does not exist.[5][6][2]

    Disinformation and censorship includes directing CERN scientists to affirm no risk in all interviews regardless of personal opinion[7], and attacking the credibility of independent scientists who publicly express concern.

    Are scientists more concerned with public opinion and funding scientific experimentation than safety? At the Global Catastrophic Risk conference when Toby Ord estimated a 1 in 1,000 chance that CERN’s safety assumptions may be fundamentally wrong, an author of CERN’s safety report replied “Jeopardizing the future of scientific research would be a global catastrophe.”[8]

    The fact is some credible scientists have credible concerns about a potentially credible danger. Senior Astrophysicist Dr. Plaga refutes safety conclusions of particle physicists who conjecture safety based on disputed properties of dense stars (astrophysics) and proposes feasible risk mitigation measures[1]. Dr. Rössler is a an award winning former visiting Professor of Physics famous for inventing Chaos theory’s Rössler attractor and founding the field of Endophysics[2], he calculates that micro black holes could be catastrophic to Earth in years or decades. Former University of Berkeley cosmic ray researcher and Nuclear Safety Officer Walter L. Wagner originally discovered fundamental flaws with CERN’s safety arguments and filed a US Federal law suit to require reasonable proof of safety[3]. Other physicists, theoretical scientists and risk experts have also expressed concerns both publicly and privately[4].

    Of the independent scientists who created detailed safety reviews and rebuttals not employed by CERN or asked to comment as a favor to CERN[9], a common theme is concluded, safety is unknown. Some scientists are very concerned, and that is not misinformation or propaganda.[10]

    [1] arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/0808/0808.1415v1.pdf On the potential catastrophic risk from metastable quantum-black holes produced at particle colliders – Rainer Plaga Rebuttal (2008)

    [2] http://www.wissensnavigator.com/documents/OTTOROESSLERMINIBLACKHOLE.pdf Abraham-Solution to Schwarzschild Metric Implies That CERN Miniblack Holes Pose a Planetary Risk, Prof. Dr. Otto Rossler (2008)

    [3] http://www.lhcdefense.org/lhc_legal.php US Federal Lawsuit Filings – Walter L. Wagner (2008)

    [4] http://www.lhcdefense.org/lhc_expertssay.php What the Experts Say (2008)

    [5] xxx.lanl.gov/abs/gr-qc/0304042 Do black holes radiate?. Dr. Adam Helfer (2003)

    [6] arxiv.org/abs/gr-qc/0607137, On the existence of black hole evaporationyet again, Prof. VA Belinski (2006)

    [7] http://www.lhcdefense.org/pdf/Sancho%20v%20Doe%20-%20Affidavit%20of%20Luis%20Sancho.pdf AFFIDAVIT OF LUIS SANCHO IN UPPORT OF TRO AND PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION

    [8] http://www.reason.com/news/show/128492.html A 1-in-1,000 Chance of Götterdämmerung, Will European physicists destroy the world? Ronald Bailey | September 2, 2008

    [9] http://www.lhcfacts.org/?p=72 CERN?s Dr. Ellis tells only half of the story – LHCFacts.org (2008)

    [10] http://www.lhcfacts.com An agument for caution, risk mitigation and an open independent and credible safety conference before high energy collisions begin.

    [11] http://www.cambridgeblog.org/tag/shahn-majid/ Particle Accelerators, CERN, and Doomsday. Prof Shahn Majid (2008)

    [12] twomosquitoes.blogspot.com/2008/09/cern-wins-battle-at-wikipedia-lhc.html CERN wins battle at Wikipedia, LHC history scrubbed, TWO MOSQUITOES

  2. ralfcis Says:

    Danger Will Robinson Danger. That dang thing would riccochet around like buckshot in a howitzer. It would be less like PacMan (swallowing up the earth) and more like brickbreaker blasting off into space on its own plasma lauchpad. Yeehaw, I wisht it could stick around though, hell of an energy source.

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