Large Hadron Collider

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Pramrider

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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.

aol-news said:
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!

aol-news said:
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!

~Pramrider
 

Pojo

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

ballucanb

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

Target

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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.
 

Boogeyman

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

ShippoFox

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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!
 

Pramrider

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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.

~Pramrider
 
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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.
 

d4l

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I saw a thread on the temple about this, oh ,about 3 months ago and people went through and explained why it was safe.
 

Vaultin

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Don't worry about strangelets, they probably don't even exist. The micro black holes would be sweet, but would also nearly instantaneously evaporate (Hawking radiation). The thing they're looking for is the Higg's Boson (if they don't find it, the Standard Model is in deep shit), and if maybe extra spacial dimensions become visible at ultra-high energies.
 

Point

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I'm not worried about it, mostly because my religion says how the world will end :laugh:

Less reason to worry!
 

itsme

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Don't worry about strangelets, they probably don't even exist. The micro black holes would be sweet, but would also nearly instantaneously evaporate (Hawking radiation). The thing they're looking for is the Higg's Boson (if they don't find it, the Standard Model is in deep shit), and if maybe extra spacial dimensions become visible at ultra-high energies.
The standard model has held for so long, but I don't think they will find the Higg's Boson. Not there at least (although they were damn close last summer out at Fermi).

I call no danger from the LHC other than draining most of Europe's electricity.
 
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If the world ends I'll just die, laugh at noobs at my school, and ask God what happened.

IMO of course.

Read about it a few times.
 
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Don't worry about strangelets, they probably don't even exist. The micro black holes would be sweet, but would also nearly instantaneously evaporate (Hawking radiation). The thing they're looking for is the Higg's Boson (if they don't find it, the Standard Model is in deep shit), and if maybe extra spacial dimensions become visible at ultra-high energies.
The Higg's Boson is what I'm curious to get information on. The whole concept of mass is something I have a bit of trouble getting my head around.

But, just for being impressive, finding any extra spatial dimensions would just blow everything else out of the water... or rather, space. :D


I'm not worried about it, mostly because my religion says how the world will end :laugh:

Less reason to worry!
You're religious? The more you know!
 

Charlie

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aol-news said:
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!
Wouldn't that be one person winning one lottery? So it wouldn't be if anyone won the lottery, it would be the odds of one particular person winning.
And it also says "some lotteries", so really it's the odds of the same person winning the lottery at least twice. :D
 

the0silent0alchemist

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if you dont seek, you will never find out, and if the world ends... well who are we to stop it and i dobt well care once its happened...
 

Darkfinn

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You gotta love the possibility.... however remote... that we might discover parallel universes.
 

recovery

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Just hope the people in responsible positions for this project have the training and capability to shut it down should something go gravely wrong.
// ~#~
// - A little Nuclear fission Lesson (Whoops!)
// ~#~

With a nuclear fission reactor, if it starts getting too hot, there is a point where you can't really do anything except run. As for every atom decay, neutrons are emitted to cause another decay to happen. There are things in the middle you could consider, but for simplicity. The number of neutrons flying around the core (and at the right Kinetic Energy) have to be controlled by moderators and Control rods. The control rods simply Absorb the neutrons, preventing a possible nuclear decay. So if by fine tuning the control rods you can keep the number of neutrons flying around at a constant rate and thus, a constant reaction rate.

You might see the problem of a possible Nuclear core meltdown now. Because if there is slightly too many neutrons, The reaction rate would increase, which in turn would produce more thermal nucleons. So the rate is now accelerating to a faster rate. The control Rods can only absorb so much. So even if you put all the rods in, it might not be enough to reduce the number of the nucleons flying about. So the core will just get hotter and hotter till it blows a hole in the roof.

I do not know how they go around about preventing this, but i would image there to be dedicated and sophesticated computers to predict if a core melt down will happen and intevene before it is too late.


But For the LHC, The energies used is very little, I doubte anything life threating can come from that. Lukie pasted a value of 4.0GeV. Sounds big right? Well, it is for the size of the particals, However, let me put it into a bit of perspective for you.

4.0GeV = 0.64nJ - Yes nano Joules!

To boil 300cm^3 for a cuppa would need more than 100KJ. That is over 1.6*10^15 times more engery. Thats a 1.6 thousand, million, million times more.

So what are you woried about? :p
 
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