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Thread: Large Hadron Collider

  1. #1

    Default Large Hadron Collider

    Has any of the more scientifically-minded ADISC members kept up with this experiment?

    Critics Fear Collider Could Doom Earth - AOL News

    I saw it in the headline news when I brought up AOL this morning. This is the first time I've heard of such a project. All I could think of is, "I sure hope they know what they're getting themselves and the world into!" There's one part of this article that concerns me.

    Quote Originally Posted by aol-news
    The physicist Martin Rees has estimated the chance of an accelerator producing a global catastrophe at one in 50 million - long odds, to be sure, but about the same as winning some lotteries.
    Ummm.....that's one lottery I hope no one wins!

    Quote Originally Posted by aol-news
    By contrast, a CERN team this month issued a report concluding that there is "no conceivable danger" of a cataclysmic event. The report essentially confirmed the findings of a 2003 CERN safety report, and a panel of five prominent scientists not affiliated with CERN, including one Nobel laureate, endorsed its conclusions.
    Now, why does that conclusion by noted scientists NOT give me the "warm and fuzzy" feeling it should?

    Is anyone on ADISC *up* on this experiment who could set my mind more at ease over what could possibly happen in a worse case scenario? I'd certainly appreciate it!


  2. #2


    I read about that yesterday I think...I'm not really worried about it...

  3. #3


    They were worried about the atomic bomb back when I was a kid, but who knows, what will happen.

  4. #4


    I've heard about it, had a little part in my High School's final exam's thesis.

    I remember most experiments are about matter and anti-matter, trying to find and stabilize anti-matter, trying to push atoms to light speed for medical research, trying to reproduce small black holes and studies about the nature of dark matter.

    The last experiment is a bit scary (black holes absorbs everything), but they say that this black holes will be so small that they can't cause damage (micro black holes, from wikipedia <such black holes could "evaporate" by a theoretical process now referred to as Hawking Radiation in which particles of matter would be emitted>.

    I hope this new machine could help to find new energy sources and other thing that could give us a better life.

  5. #5


    Im up on it. People think that it may, for lack of a better word, mess up some things. Its actually perfectly safe, just a large atom-smasher.

  6. #6


    The worst that can happen is a micro black hole....which immediately fades away doing no damage...

  7. #7


    Most scientists agree it's safe.... and I agree. I hope some amazing discoveries come from this. We could actually learn things we didn't even expect to learn!

  8. #8


    Thanks for the encouraging comments! I guess I'm somewhat skeptical when so-called experts say something is impossible to occur when dealing with such a powerful energy source as the atom. I've worked in the nuclear power industry for over 20 years and know of an accident that wasn't supposed to happen. Can't now recall all the events leading up to it, but the Three Mile Island nuclear plant accident was considered an impossibility by experts in the field of nuclear power at the time. So much so, that control room operators were given no training to handle the situation IF the impossible actually would somehow happen. Literally hundreds of modifications were made to our plant alone due to the post-accident report on what happened at TMI. Just hope the people in responsible positions for this project have the training and capability to shut it down should something go gravely wrong.

    I really need to look into this experiment a little more. It does sound interesting from what little I've read on the surface, so long as it is truly safe.


  9. #9

  10. #10


    Chances of anything bad happening are very slim. Although there have been a few safety concerns over what the high-energy particle collisions will bring.

    Micro Black Holes - As the name suggests it's simply a very small black hole. Although the Standard Model of particle physics predicts that LHC energies are far too low to create black holes, some extensions of the Standard Model posit the existence of extra spatial dimensions, in which it would be possible to create micro black holes at the LHC at a rate on the order of one per second. According to the standard calculations these are harmless because they would quickly decay by Hawking radiation.

    Vacuum Bubble - One scenario is that a Particle accelerator, which produces very high energies in a very small area, could create sufficiently high energy density as to penetrate the barrier and stimulate the decay of the false vacuum to the lower energy vacuum. However, it has been determined that because we have observed cosmic ray collisions at much higher energies than those produced in terrestrial particle accelerators, that these experiments will not, at least for the foreseeable future, pose a threat to our vacuum. Particle accelerations have reached energies of only approximately four thousand billion electron volts (4 10^3 GeV). Cosmic ray collisions have been observed at and beyond energies of 10^11 GeV.

    Magnetic Monopole - a hypothetical particle that may be loosely described as "a magnet with only one pole". Magnets exert forces on one another, similar to electric charges. Like poles will repel each other, and unlike poles will attract. When a magnet (an object conventionally described as having magnetic north and south poles) is cut in half across the axis joining those "poles", the resulting pieces are two normal (albeit smaller) magnets. Each has its own north pole and south pole.

    Even atoms have tiny magnetic fields. In the Bohr model of an atom, electrons orbit the nucleus. The constant change in their motion gives rise to a magnetic field. Permanent magnets have measurable magnetic fields because the atoms and molecules in them are arranged in a way that their individual magnetic fields align, combining to form large aggregate fields. In this model, the lack of a single pole makes intuitive sense; cutting a bar magnet in half does nothing to the arrangement of the molecules within. The end result is two magnetic bars whose atoms have the same orientation as before, and therefore generate a magnetic field with the same orientation as the original larger magnet.

    Strangelet - a hypothetical object consisting of a bound state of roughly equal numbers of up, down, and strange quarks. Strangelets have been suggested as a dark matter candidate. It is believed that the higher energy of the lead-lead collisions of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) will produce more strange quarks.

    If the strange matter hypothesis is correct and a strangelet comes in contact with a lump of ordinary matter such as Earth, it could convert the ordinary matter to strange matter. This "ice-nine" disaster scenario is as follows: one strangelet hits a nucleus, catalyzing its immediate conversion to strange matter. This liberates energy, producing a larger, more stable strangelet, which in turn hits another nucleus, catalyzing its conversion to strange matter. In the end, all the nuclei of all the atoms of Earth are converted, and Earth is reduced to a hot, large lump of strange matter.

    [Copied from Wikipedia]

    As far as any perceivable threat goes, the chance of any of the above happening or other unforeseen events is highly unlikely. The energies produced in the LHC still are nowhere near energies produced in stars and galaxies well beyond our system.

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