Cause for ConCERN?
Have you heard about our potential annihilation?
France is building a “doomsday machine” according to Internet Whistle-blowers. For an overview of these fears, refer to Misunderstood Universe website.
CERN, or European Center for Nuclear Research (which makes no sense, unless the name was Center, European, of Research, Nuclear…but whatever) is the home of the most powerful particle accelerator…with the ability to create (though minuscule) black holes. The fearful public say that a created black hole could gravitate to center of the earth, and swallow us up in a matter of years.
There are always questionable sources for information. Two, perhaps would be Nostradamus and Yahoo Answers.
From answers.yahoo, which I normally find to be a completely useless resource, since anyone can answer whether they are qualified or not, nonetheless, this is an answer and requires some investigation, and some insight from qualified persons:
“Is it safe for CERN to create a black hole on earth? I have heard recent news about CERN creating a black hole on earth to explain how the universe began. As in accordance with what we knmow about black holes does creation of a black hole on earth pose potential threat to mankind?
Best Answer – Chosen by Voters
(I hope these aren’t the same voters who will be going to the poles in November).
No danger at all. Black holes are not dangerous as such, its is massive black holes that could pause a threat, those with a mass that would be at least that of a mountain. Any micro black hole produced experimentally would have a mass comparable to that of an atom, and could not even have enough gravity to move another atom in close proximity. Further, it would be highly unstable and would stop be in a black hole in a period of time that is so short, you can’t measure accurately, billionth of a second. Even if it could attract something — and again it can’t — that something would not have had time to move before the black hole stops being a black hole.”
And as far as Nostradamus is concerned, someone, of course, found a reference to this in one of his quatrains, and notes that as the population of the world reached 6.66 billion, CERN went online, and this event coincides (maybe) with not only the ominous numbner 666, but with a Nostradamus prophesy:
9:44–“All should leave Geneva. Saturn turns from gold to iron. The contrary Positive ray (RAYPOZ) will exterminate everything, there will be signs in the sky before this.”
Which caused rumblings about that Mayan Calender thing, of time as we know it, ending on December 22, 2012.
Posted on Tech Target, is this article:
“Are storage vendors going to help send us down a black hole?
February 6th, 2008 by Beth Pariseau
I’m sure any number of you can come up with witty figurative responses to that, but I actually mean it literally.
Back in August I did a case study on CERN, the world’s largest physics laboratory, in Switzerland, and the petabytes of data storage that are going to support research on its Large Hadron Collider (LHC). LHC is a 12-story-high, 10-mile-wide underground system of tunnels, magnets and sensors that’s designed to do no less than recreate atomic conditions at the creation of the universe and capture particles that until now have been only theoretical.
Having spoken with CERN about their research and the way the whole system is set up, I was surprised when I logged in to my personal email this morning and got a friend request from a profile titled STOP CERN. According to the profile:
This space has been set up to spread awareness of the risks a project due to be launched at CERN next year poses to our planet. For the first time in many decades someone has built a machine that exceeds all our powers of prediction, and although they estimate the possibility of accidentally destroying the planet as extremely low, the LHC propaganda machine that “everything is safe” is well funded by your tax dollars, paying large salaries to thousands of people who have much to lose financially should the LHC be unable to prove its safety. As most of them perceive the risk to be small, they are willing to take that “small risk” at our expense. The actual risk cannot presently be calculated, and a Large Hadron Collider [LHC] legal defense fund has even been set up to challenge CERN on the project.
I don’t have any kind of physics background, so I don’t know if the criticisms are legit, but I was doubly surprised to find that the MySpace profile is only the tip of the iceberg of people questioning CERN. In addition to some other critical websites, an LHC Legal Defense Fund has been started with the goal of legally intervening to stop CERN from turning on LHC this May, creating a black hole within the collider and accidentally destroying the planet.
By the way, isn’t that really every geek’s dream? To be working on a machine that even theoretically could accidentally destroy the planet?
Anyway, the debate seems to be whether or not something called ‘Hawking evaporation’ (presumably named after physicist Stephen Hawking) will neutralize the microscopic black holes that could be created by the particle collisions in LHC, or if they’ll continue to grow and, well, eat France.
According to another anti-CERN site:
If MBH’s [microscopic black holes] are created, there is a likelyhood [sic] that some could fall unimpeded to the centre of the Earth under gravity. Scientists have estimated that a stable black hole at the center of the earth could consume not only France but the whole planet in the very short time span of between 4 minutes and 30 seconds and 7 minutes.
I’m a little more inclined to believe the multiple accredited physics organizations around the world involved in the LHC project know what they’re doing than I am to believe some people I’ve never heard of from the Internet, but what do I know? The criticism has at least been strong enough to prompt CERN to post a kind of FAQ page about black holes, strangelets, and all manner of interesting potential doomsday scenarios that have been envisioned for LHC.
Despite the impressive power of the LHC in comparison with other accelerators, the energies produced in its collisions are greatly exceeded by those found in some cosmic rays. Since the much higher-energy collisions provided by Nature for billions of years have not harmed the Earth, there is no reason to think that any phenomenon produced by the LHC will do so.
Wouldn’t it just be something, though, if after centuries of war and pollution and all the other things mankind has done to compromise the planet, Armageddon was actually brought about by a bunch of guys in a physics lab?”
But According to MSNBC there is no cause for concern.
Good news! Black hole won’t destroy Earth
Fears raised collider would create black holes that could swallow planet
By Charles Q. Choi
updated 12:42 p.m. CT, Wed., Sept. 20, 2006
Scientists could generate a black hole as often as every second when the world’s most powerful particle accelerator comes online in 2007.
This potential “black hole factory” has raised fears that a stray black hole could devour our planet whole. The Lifeboat Foundation, a nonprofit organization devoted to safeguarding humanity from what it considers threats to our existence, has stated that artificial black holes could “threaten all life on Earth” and so it proposes to set up “self-sustaining colonies elsewhere.”
But the chance of planetary annihilation by this means “is totally miniscule,” experimental physicist Greg Landsberg at Brown University in Providence, R.I., told LiveScience.
The accelerator, known as the Large Hadron Collider, is under construction in an underground circular tunnel nearly 17 miles long at the world’s largest physics laboratory, CERN, near Geneva.
At its maximum, each particle beam the collider fires will pack as much energy as a 400-ton train traveling at 120 mph. By smashing particles together and investigating the debris, scientists hope to help solve mysteries such as the origin of mass and why there is more matter than antimatter in the universe.
If theories about the universe containing extra dimensions other than those of space and time are correct, the accelerator might also generate black holes, Landsberg and his colleague Savas Dimopoulos at Stanford University in California calculated in 2001. Physicists Steve Giddings at the University of California, Santa Barbara and Scott Thomas at Stanford University in California reached similar conclusions.
Black holes possess gravitational fields so strong that nothing can escape them, not even light. They normally form when the remains of a dead star collapse under their own gravity, squeezing their mass together. Although black holes can’t be seen, astronomers infer their existence by the gravitational effects they have on gas and stars around them.
Making black holes
A number of models of the universe suggest extra dimensions of reality exist that are each folded up into sizes ranging from as tiny as a proton, or roughly a millionth of a billionth of a meter, to as big as a fraction of a millimeter. At distances comparable to the size of these extra dimensions, gravity becomes far stronger, these models suggest. If this is true, the collider will cram enough energy together to initiate gravitational collapses that produce black holes.
If any of the models are right, the accelerator should create a black hole anywhere from every second to every day, each roughly possessing 5,000 times the mass of a proton and each a thousandth of a proton in size or smaller, Landsberg said.
Still, any fears that such black holes will consume the Earth are groundless, Landsberg said.
For one thing, theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking calculated all black holes should emit radiation, and that tiny black holes should lose more mass than they absorb, evaporating within a billionth of a trillionth of a trillionth of a second, “before they could gobble up any significant amount of matter,” Landsberg said.
Not destroyed yet
CERN spokesman and former research physicist James Gillies also pointed out that Earth is bathed with cosmic rays powerful enough to create black holes all the time, and the planet hasn’t been destroyed yet.
“Still, let’s assume that even if Hawking is a genius, he’s wrong, and that such black holes are more stable,” Landsberg said. Nearly all of the black holes will be traveling fast enough from the accelerator to escape Earth’s gravity. “Even if you produced 10 million black holes a year, only 10 would basically get trapped, orbiting around its center,” Landsberg said.
However, such trapped black holes are so tiny, they could pass through a block of iron the distance from the Earth to the Moon and not hit anything. They would each take about 100 hours to gobble up one proton.
At that rate, even if one did not take into account the fact that each black hole would slow down every time it gobbled up a proton, and thus suck down matter at an even slower rate, “about 100 protons would be destroyed every year by such a black hole, so it would take much more than the age of universe to destroy even one milligram of Earth material,” Landsberg concluded. “It’s quite hard to destroy the Earth.”
If the Large Hadron Collider does create black holes, not only will it prove that extra dimensions of the universe exist, but the radiation that decaying black holes emit could yield clues that help finally unite all the current ideas about the forces of nature under a “theory of everything.” ~ 2008 LiveScience.com. All rights reserved. Legal
And in an article on NPR’s website, this excerpt:
A few non-scientists have been worried that physicists are getting a little too close to god for comfort. They’re worried that this experiment could destroy the Earth, because one possibility is that the machine will make miniature black holes. De Rujula describes miniature black holes as particles of extraordinary density compared to usual objects.
He says black holes would certainly be interesting, because they would be evidence for extra tiny dimensions of space-time. But he doesn’t think they are likely to appear. And if they do, they’ll be harmless.
“Those black holes will not be dangerous ones of science fiction that eat up everything,” De Rujula promises. “Being so small they sort of break into pieces.”
More discussion on this can be found on Future Pundit. Fascinating, terrifying, slightly encouraging, confusing, highly technical, highly stupid and partially ambiguous.
A poster named Andrew said,
“Having read these pages, I contacted Professor George Ellis – one of the most eminent physicists who worked on Black Holes theory with Stephen Hawking, as well as a highly reputable philosopher of science and receiver of the Temperton Prize. In his reply, Professor Ellis wrote (E-mail of 22-9-06): “I don’t think there is any risk. The theories quoted are highly speculative and have no experimental basis. And higher energy particles already exist in the universe – they are in cosmic rays. I don’t think it is anything to get worried about.”
I can’t help but notice that the qualified response to this includes the phrase “I don’t think it is anything to get worried about.” You DON’T THINK? Meaning, you’re not sure? Meaning, there is still some risk we don’t know about, or we do know about, but are willing to chance?
It almost seems that we must have some official investigation or interview with some trusted authority who has no conflict of interest in telling us all the truth. I think that ultimately, ANY danger is too much danger in this case. The only situation I can see wherein this would not be true, is if we were insured certain global destruction if we DIDN’T do this. Calculated risk is a sensible method of discerning decisions, but we must always consider worst-case-scenarios. If the worst case scenario is the ultimate annihilation of everything on the planet, then the small risk becomes a moot consideration, and the activities of CERN or any other scientific entity must be prohibited.
I will continue to search for cogent answers to this gargantuan issue. And I welcome anyone who can provide reputable input on it, or direct me toward that in some way.
Here is a link to a pdf document offered by CERN on this topic. I do not, however, trust the word of those who are being accused of doing something dangerous. An obvious conflict of interest.
Also, here’s a list of particle accelerator labs around the world.
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