Posted by giagia on Friday, July 6, 2007 · 24 Comments
Category: Cern, Dr. Who, Video · Tags:
Most excellent! :)
Why were hardhats being worn during the visit? Isn’t all the fabrication work done elsewhere in clean rooms, etc? I wouldn’t think there would be anything substantial in that area that could get loose and fall on one’s head–or, at least, nothing for which a hardhat would be protective.
Health and Safety :roll:
“It’s like something out of Stargate!” ^^ Bless him, but with a schedule like his… when does this guy sleep?
It’s all bloody scary. This insouciant talk of “mini big bangs” and the like. Your Brian is going to blow up the universe, isn’t he?
Yeah – Brian isn’t going to be accidentally creating ‘strangelets’ is he ?
Zeno, there’s no universe destruction that’s going to happen at CERN. That’s just a story the media concocted because they didn’t understand stuff and they’ve just kept running with it. It’s kind of like Person A asking Person B: ‘So is there a chance that aliens will land on the White House lawn this year?’ and Person B answering:’It’s extremely unlikely, a 1 in 4 billion chance, but theoretically it’s possible.’… then Person A endlessly goes on how ‘Aliens are going to land on the White House lawn this year!!!!’
Flufybuny – well, I’m not sure about strangelets, to be honest. I know they’re a candidate for Dark Matter and that at CERN there’s a definite chance of discovering Dark Matter… so… maybe…
Actually, there may be a very large silver lining to the creation of mini-black holes by the LHC, should such an event occur. There is an article on physorg.com which talks about a recent paper in Phys Rev. that proposes a theoretical method for validating certain versions of string theory by analyzing the decay spectrum of these mini-black holes (quote from article follows):
“Hewett, Lillie and Rizzo found that if so called micro-black holes, which are smaller than the nucleus of an atom, exist, they can be used to determine the number of extra dimensions. If scientists were to smash two high energy protons together they could theoretically make such a micro-black hole. Such a collision could happen at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC), which will become operational next year. Once created, the micro-black hole decays quickly and emits over a dozen different kinds of particles such as electrons, neutrinos and photons, which are easy to detect. Using the predicted decay properties of the black hole into neutrinos, Hewett, Lillie and Rizzo solved complex equations to determine if our universe has 10, 11, or more dimensions — perhaps too many dimensions to be explained by critical string theory.”
The actual paper by Hewett et al. is WAY over my head, but I’d be interested to understand the details of how this decay process would confim the existence of the extra dimensions posited by string theory. The news article’s explanation was very hand-waving and did not go into specifics.
Just watched Biran’s talk at Lift’07. Apparantly the mini-black hole-string theory connection has been known for some time. Don’t know what the Hewett paper adds to the mix.
Am being very overactive RE blogging right now, if you can’t tell. My husband is at his parents’ house in TX, and everybody else is on vacation.
I am very lonely in consequence.
Yea, it’ll be v exciting if they create mini-black holes! Mindblowing actually… ‘The Universe is made of *strings*?! The Universe actually has 11 dimensions?!! Holy shit.’
Unfortunately, I think when most people hear ‘mini black hole’ they think of something with an event horizon the diameter of a basketball. And if you looked into it, you’d just see endless blackness, before you, and everything else, were sucked in… “Mini”, however, is actually really bloody tiny and would evaporate away as quickly as they were created…
We just don’t have access to the sort of energy that would be required to generate a dangerous black hole. Also, anything we make in the LHC will probably be travelling at a good fraction of the speed of light, so even if we did make a black hole that would last long enough to be scary, it’s going to be projected at a tangent to the surface of the earth and fly off at some ridiculous rate of clip.
The scariest thing about the LHC is the sheer quantity of information it’ll produce; where will we keep it all?
Jasmine said: “The scariest thing about the LHC is the sheer quantity of information it’ll produce; where will we keep it all?”
I wouldn’t be surprised if Google aren’t developing this tech in one of their labs. Come on Jasmine, spill the beans.
Sending you some love: http://www.badastronomy.com/bablog/2007/07/10/torchwood-collides-with-science/
>>Bless him, but with a schedule like his… when does this guy sleep?
Mareike, he explains in one of the first episodes of Torchwood that he never sleeps. Just like he never dies. Bless him indeed. ;)
I just saw the video that appeared in the CERN podcast subscription – “CERN in 3 minutes”….
I’ve a quick question about something that was said in there, if you’d be kind enough to pass it on to Brian…..
The narrator said (and I’m paraphrasing here) that at the very first moments after the big bang, matter triumphed over anti-matter, allowing life to exist.
What’s to say that we wouldn’t have existed made out of anti-matter, and it be what we call matter that is the ultimate destructor (if that’s a reasonable description) that anti-matter is to us?
I don’t know if you’ve ever read the SF book “Cities in Flight”, by James Blish, but the last section of that book involves (look away now if you don’t want any spoilers) them seeing the edge of the universe encroaching in, as an anti-matter universe grows on the other side of it. In his book, the anti-matter universe was said to be travelling backwards in time, so what was actually happening was the destruction of two universes, both going different directions in time….
Would it be possible for a universe to be made of anti-matter? Is it not (and this is me as an utter lay-man talking here) just the inverse of what we see as matter? And therefore able to have the same properties, as long as it doesn’t come into contact with matter?
Interested to find out how much of this is in my mind from reading too many books, and how much is actually something that James Blish, writing in the 1970′s, understood the current thinking about…
I have to add that the part the broke on the LHC that delayed start-up was an American-made part, ha ha. >:(
Phil Plait has just blogged about NASA’s recent string of fuck-ups. According to the latest news flash, NASA does the following:
–Let’s astronauts fly drunk: http://www.space.com/news/070727_nasa_drunkastronaut.html
–Embezzles money from the govt: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/space/5000072.html
–Employs questionable contractors to build critical components for spacecraft: http://www.thestar.com/News/article/240490
They plan on launching that equipment in two weeks.
At this rate, we’ll be lucky to even HAVE a manned space program by the end of the year! After all of this, I just find it *bitterly* ironic that 5 out of 8 of the protagonists in ‘Sunshine’ are American.
Hugh, Brian’s in the States at the moment, so I’ll have to wait til he’s back in a week or so to ask him.
The Large Hadron Collider [LHC] at CERN might create numerous different particles that heretofore have only been theorized. Numerous peer-reviewed science articles have been published on each of these, and if you google on the term “LHC” and then the particular particle, you will find hundreds of such articles, including:
1) Higgs boson
2) Magnetic Monopole
4) Miniature Black Hole [aka nano black hole]
In 1987 I first theorized that colliders might create miniature black holes, and expressed those concerns to a few individuals. However, Hawking’s formula showed that such a miniature black hole, with a mass of under 10,000,000 a.m.u., would “evaporate” in about 1 E-23 seconds, and thus would not move from its point of creation to the walls of the vacuum chamber [taking about 1 E-11 seconds travelling at 0.9999c] in time to cannibalize matter and grow larger.
In 1999, I was uncertain whether Hawking radiation would work as he proposed. If not, and if a mini black hole were created, it could potentially be disastrous. I wrote a Letter to the Editor to Scientific American [July, 1999] about that issue, and they had Frank Wilczek, who later received a Nobel Prize for his work on quarks, write a response. In the response, Frank wrote that it was not a credible scenario to believe that minature black holes could be created.
Well, since then, numerous theorists have asserted to the contrary. Google on “LHC Black Hole” for a plethora of articles on how the LHC might create miniature black holes, which those theorists believe will be harmless because of their faith in Hawking’s theory of evaporation via quantum tunneling.
The idea that rare ultra-high-energy cosmic rays striking the moon [or other astronomical body] create natural miniature black holes — and therefore it is safe to do so in the laboratory — ignores one very fundamental difference.
In nature, if they are created, they are travelling at about 0.9999c relative to the planet that was struck, and would for example zip through the moon in about 0.1 seconds, very neutrino-like because of their ultra-tiny Schwartzschild radius, and high speed. They would likely not interact at all, or if they did, glom on to perhaps a quark or two, barely decreasing their transit momentum.
At the LHC, however, any such novel particle created would be relatively ‘at rest’, and be captured by Earth’s gravitational field, and would repeatedly orbit through Earth, if stable and not prone to decay. If such miniature black holes don’t rapidly evaporate and are produced in copious abundance [1/second by some theories], there is a much greater probability that they will interact and grow larger, compared to what occurs in nature.
There are a host of other problems with the “cosmic ray argument” posited by those who believe it is safe to create miniature black holes. This continuous oversight of obvious flaws in reasoning certaily should give one pause to consider what other oversights might be present in the theories they seek to test.
I am not without some experience in science.
In 1975 I discovered the tracks of a novel particle on a balloon-borne cosmic ray detector. “Evidence for Detection of a Moving Magnetic Monopole”, Price et al., Physical Review Letters, August 25, 1975, Volume 35, Number 8. A magnetic monopole was first theorized in 1931 by Paul A.M. Dirac, Proceedings of the Royal Society (London), Series A 133, 60 (1931), and again in Physics Review 74, 817 (1948). While some pundits claimed that the tracks represented a doubly-fragmenting normal nucleus, the data was so far removed from that possibility that it would have been only a one-in-one-billion chance, compared to a novel particle of unknown type. The data fit perfectly with a Dirac monopole.
While I would very much love to see whether we can create a magnetic monopole in a collider, ethically I cannot currently support such because of the risks involved.
For more information, go to: http://www.LHCdefense.org
Walter L. Wagner (Dr.)
Gia, I’ve been meaning to ask: Is this Dr. Wagner guy (see comment above) really filing a lawsuit to stop LHC startup? The guy’s website implies that this is the case.
The fact that this guy was a guest on Art Bell’s show tells you something… Also, the fact that his biog doesn’t really say anything about what his PhD is in makes me wonder if he’s one of those Gillian McKeith type doctors… Also, he majored in biology, minored in physics…
I’m not doubting he’s an idiot. ;) I’m just wondering if he has the clout to actually cause trouble, or is he simply full of hot air.
I don’t think anyone who’s ever been a guest on Art Bell could be seen as having ‘clout’ ;)
Hi I’m a Canadian and I feel your research will kill this planet why are you all not thinking. I feel this experiment should be done around the time where we have another planet to escape to please rethink what you’re doing. The public and the people of the planet haven’t even heard of this device before. I was told about this machine only yesterday and you already have it cold and are aligning the beams. I feel that it’s a good idea to learn more about the building blocks of life but it’s not a good idea when you could be destroying all walks of life on this planet.
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