LHC will destroy the world!!!!!!

  • Imagine you are sipping tea or coffee while discussing various issues with a broad and diverse network of students, colleagues, and friends brought together by the common bond of physics, graduate school, and the physics GRE.

User avatar
al-Haytham
Posts: 29
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2008 4:14 pm

LHC will destroy the world!!!!!!

Postby al-Haytham » Sat Mar 29, 2008 4:38 pm

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/29/scien ... ?th&emc=th

I first heard about this doomsday story last year on some website..but apparently it has finally hit the popular media with ny times coverage....so what do you guys think about this issue...Are these doomsday sayers crackpots or not???

User avatar
will
Posts: 399
Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2007 3:26 pm

Re: LHC will destroy the world!!!!!!

Postby will » Sat Mar 29, 2008 7:42 pm

If it can do what they think it can do, it'd be a crying shame to not turn it on.

User avatar
grae313
Posts: 2297
Joined: Tue May 29, 2007 8:46 pm

Re: LHC will destroy the world!!!!!!

Postby grae313 » Sun Mar 30, 2008 2:13 pm

"But Walter L. Wagner and Luis Sancho contend that scientists at the European Center for Nuclear Research, or CERN, have played down the chances that the collider could produce, among other horrors, a tiny black hole, which, they say, could eat the Earth. Or it could spit out something called a “strangelet” that would convert our planet to a shrunken dense dead lump of something called “strange matter.” Their suit also says CERN has failed to provide an environmental impact statement as required under the National Environmental Policy Act."

*** hilarious. thanks

User avatar
jdhooghe
Posts: 204
Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2007 9:28 pm

Re: LHC will destroy the world!!!!!!

Postby jdhooghe » Tue Apr 08, 2008 10:50 am

We're all dewmed, dewmed I tell ya!

User avatar
quizivex
Posts: 1029
Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2007 6:13 am

Re: LHC will destroy the world!!!!!!

Postby quizivex » Tue Apr 08, 2008 11:47 pm

As silly as the article sounds, I think the whole debate is fascinating. It's like a philosophy argument. Basically, this collider is going to make "things" that have never before existed on Earth and possibly do not exist naturally in the universe today. The possibility of Earth being swallowed up still sounds silly, but I don't think it's too unreasonable to claim that something bad could happen when you're dealing with such extreme, unfamiliar things.

I mean for instance, if you took a paper clip and squeezed it down small enough it would become a black hole, right? Then the Earth's gravity will pull it in and the black hole would start sucking matter in constantly, as it oscillates back and forth through the center of the Earth until all of Earth was sucked in, right?

Is there any flaw in what I said above? I don't know but it's still cool to think about. When you create weird things, you never know what can happen.

User avatar
zxcv
Posts: 402
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2007 11:08 pm

Re: LHC will destroy the world!!!!!!

Postby zxcv » Wed Apr 09, 2008 1:23 am

Exercise: determine the radius of the event horizon of a 14 TeV black hole. Supposing it oscillates through the Earth due to the force of gravity, that length scales shorter than the Planck length are meaningful, that anything that goes beyond its event horizon is trapped in and that it does not lose mass due to Hawking radiation, calculate the time it would take to consume the Earth.

Hint: the answer is at least 30 orders of magnitude longer than the life time of the universe.

User avatar
fermiboy
Posts: 437
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2007 7:41 pm

Re: LHC will destroy the world!!!!!!

Postby fermiboy » Wed Apr 09, 2008 5:38 pm

...creation of a black hole is "effectively ruled out by the persistence of the Moon."

http://bobpark.physics.umd.edu/

There are cosmic ray events in the upper atmosphere and on the surface of the moon that are orders of magnitude higher energy than the collisions at the LHC. We're safe.

The LHC doomsday people are crackpots. There was the same hoopla when they turned on the RHIC at Brookhaven.

User avatar
quizivex
Posts: 1029
Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2007 6:13 am

Re: LHC will destroy the world!!!!!!

Postby quizivex » Wed Apr 09, 2008 7:21 pm

ok kewl, that's good enough evidence for me.

Yeah that's just criminal that the LHC and BNL even has to defend against such frivolous lawsuits... reminds me of when we learned about Galileo and the Catholic church...

forecast8
Posts: 20
Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2008 9:55 pm

Re: LHC will destroy the world!!!!!!

Postby forecast8 » Thu Apr 10, 2008 6:33 pm

What I can't understand is why this guy in Hawaii isn't concerned about all the Bose-Einstein condensates being made. You and I may know a BEC may contain a billionth the matter of a minimum black hole, but if believes LHC could make a black hole why isn't he concerned about terrorists killing us all with laser cooling?

User avatar
metric
Posts: 64
Joined: Thu Apr 17, 2008 5:17 pm

Re: LHC will destroy the world!!!!!!

Postby metric » Thu Apr 17, 2008 5:35 pm

lol, too many drinks in a coconut perhaps? if you take a look at the cosmic ray spectrum there are more than 10^12 particles/km2 arriving at the top of the atmosphere with kinetic energies higher than 1 TeV every year. We should be gone by now! lmao

trupti
Posts: 42
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2008 1:40 pm

Re: LHC will destroy the world!!!!!!

Postby trupti » Sat Jun 21, 2008 12:59 am

Here's a comic on LHC :-)
http://xkcd.com/401/




Return to “Physics Lounge”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest