It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Contrary to the somewhat feverish claims laid out in an recent lawsuit, when our favorite particle-smashing, Force-finding Large Hadron Collider is switched on soon it will not result in the destruction of life as we know it. Such claims are "complete nonsense" say the scientists at CERN (and everywhere else,) in response to the suit. They should know: it's their machine, they designed it and they've been telling everyone for a while that their research shows it's safe.
James Gillies, a CERN spokesman, suggests this is rubbish in this response to the New Scientist: "The LHC will start up this year, and it will produce all sorts of exciting new physics and knowledge about the universe." It's no threat at all, he says: "A year from now, the world will still be here." The LHC is actually designed to probe the boundaries of physics, and while a 2003 safety study did conceed that micro black holes or magnetic monopoles may be formed, they would be short-lived and offer no threat.
This was an exhaustive review of all the physics and potential problems, and they have found that the LHC won’t kill us all. I hate to disappoint the doomcriers, but reality has a way of disappointing them time and again. The fact that we’re still here is pretty good evidence of that.
My thanks to Brian Cox — yes, that Brian Cox — for sending me this info. As he pointed out in his email to me:
Please pay particular attention to a key point that is often missed in these “discussions”. The argument based on cosmic ray collisions is not limited only to cosmic rays impacting on the Earth, but on every astronomical body in the observable Universe, including very dense ones such as neutron stars. It is estimated that the Universe conducts of order 10^13 complete lifetime runs of the LHC every second, with no observable consequences at all. This is on top of very sound theoretical arguments that IF micro black holes can be created, then they must also decay. This statement is based not on speculative stuff like extra dimension theories, but on pretty basic quantum mechanics.
Originally posted by Xilvius
I cannot wait for this thing to fire off. I have a feeling its going to jettison humankind into a new era of living. Say goodbye to the information era, say hello to the, time-traveling, space faring, planet terra-forming, anti-grav, quantum era
McPherson went on to explain that ATLAS is one of four detectors that will monitor these collisions, which will re-create conditions similar to those that existed within billionths of a second of the big bang. Experiments at ATLAS will, essentially, take us back in time, close to a point when everything that exists began from an unimaginably small point of infinite energy, when the entire universe was no larger than a sphere one-third of a metre in diameter.
Originally posted by Xilvius
Well worst case scenario, we destroy ourselves. Either way thats one ending no one can avoid, death. On the otherside, we understand certain things, like how matter manifests out of nothing, why nature prefers matter vs antimatter. Ever since I first heard about the LHC i've had nothing but good feelings about it. I guess it's my own personal want for LHC to be a success and help further humankind into its next stage of evolution.
It sounds scary, and it is. Building the LHC in a tunnel was a prudent move. The particle beam could drill a hole in just about anything, although the most likely victim would be the apparatus itself. One minor calamity has already happened: A magnet all but jumped out of its skin during a test in March 2007. Since then 24 magnets have been retrofitted to fix a design flaw. The people running the LHC aren't in a rush to talk about all the things that can go wrong, perhaps because the public has a way of worrying that mad scientists will accidentally create a black hole that devours the Earth.
How does an infinitely dense universe become a vast and spacious one? And how is it filled with matter? In theory, as the early universe expanded, energy should have condensed into equal amounts of matter and antimatter, which would then have annihilated each other on contact, reverting to pure energy. On paper, the universe should be empty. But it's full of stars and planets and charming French villages and so on. The LHC experiments may help physicists understand our good fortune to be in a universe that grew with just enough more matter than antimatter.