Super Collider Extraordinary, Doomsday Machine?
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Posted: Saturday, March 29, 2008
by Joel Hendon
My limited knowledge of physics causes me to rely greatly on others with much greater knowledge. Studies of atom splitting and atom fusing has been going on for almost a century now. It was such a tedious and complex study that it took years of ingenious mathematical computations to master the theory that such tremendous energy could be released from such a limited amount of matter. All of this study culminated in the development and successful detonation of the first atom bomb at 5:30 a.m., July 16, 1945 in the New Mexico desert. This was only 49 years after the discovery of radioactivity. Many people, including a number of reputable scientists feared the unknowns of the potential energy release. Some ventured that there was a possibility of it starting a chain reaction which would destroy the universe. I can recall the event and, at age 15, I had some uneasy feelings concerning it and was relieved when they exploded the device with safety.
The ISR (Intersecting Storage Rings) was a particle accelerator at CERN . It was the world's first hadron collider , and ran from 1971 to 1984, with a maximum center of mass energy of 62 GeV (gigaelectronvolt..jhh). From its initial startup, the collider itself had the capability to produce particles like the J and the upsilon as well as observable jet structure ; however, the particle detector experiments were not configured to observe events with large momentum transverse to the beamline , leaving these discoveries to be made at other experiments in the mid-1970s. Nevertheless, the construction of the ISR involved many advances in accelerator physics , including the first use of stochastic cooling , and it held the record for luminosity at a hadron collider until surpassed by the Tevatron in 2004.
Scientists yearn for a much larger and capable collider which, they believe will be able to create antimatter and black holes. If, indeed they do such and all is well, they will open up an entirely new method of studying these phenomena. A proposal was made for the construction of a fabulous Super Collider at Waxahachie, Texas during the mid 1980's and the project was awarded to Texas by the Department of Energy in 1988 and major construction started in 1991. But by 1993, the estimated cost of the construction had almost quadrupled plus NASA had contributed about that much towards the International Space Station, congress decided the country could not afford both so construction was cancelled. But now, CERN has constructed a huge Hadron Collider at their location near the border of Switzerland. They expect it to be operable by mid June 2008 and plan their first collisions approximately 2 months later (August). This project is 27 kilometers (17 miles) in circumference. It is the most powerful particle accelerator in the world. As I said in my opening sentence. My knowledge of these amazing energy phenomena is very limited and I have no way of knowing what the results of this massive experimentation will be. So, I'm not arguing one way or the other. I report, you decide.
But, all is not well with this. As with the splitting of the atom and the fusion of the atom, and just about anything else you wish to speak of, there are some who object harshly to these experiments. One physicist in particular, by name of Walter F Wagner, has filed a lawsuit to delay the powerful collisions pending a new safety review.
The plaintiffs in the case state that the defendants seek to create small subatomic particles never before found in the world, which have the potential to destroy the world. One such particle is designated as a "strangelet". "its enhanced stability compared to normal matter would allow it to fuse with normal matter, converting the normal matter into an even larger strangelet. Repeated fusions would result in a runaway fusion reaction, eventually converting all of Earth into a single large "strangelet" of huge size." (excerpt from the lawsuit document).
Another similar possible phenomenon specified by the plaintiffs concerns a black hole. The defendants hope to produce microscopic particles of the strangelet and black holes. Here is what the plaintiffs say regarding this:
"Micro Black Holes: Under this theory, the compression of the two atoms colliding together at nearly light speed will cause an irreversible implosion, forming a miniature version of a giant black hole, the remnant of a collapsed star. Like its much larger cousin, a miniature black hole would not emit light, and any matter coming into contact with it would fall into it and never be able to escape. Eventually, all of earth would fall into such growing micro-black-hole, converting earth into a medium-sized black hole, around which would continue to orbit the moon, satellites, the ISS, etc." (ibid) To read this legal document, Click Here.
There are numerous implications to this scientific endeavor. They may find numerous things which they have never before known. They hope to, so they can gain more insight into how the universe got here and how life started. You may rest assured that whatever they find, they will claim that this proves their theory of the origin of the universe. No matter what they find, they will only find what God created and put in place for specific reasons. They will not find the secret of life. They will not answer the unanswerable, how you make something from nothing. They will not learn to create life.
This Article has been viewed 3,962 times. (Not updated in real-time.)Top-level comments on this article: (3 total)
Interesting article thanks for sharing this information. I've been reading the articles about this CERN LHC starting operation this Wedensday and I've decided to eat all the dessert I want this Tuesday, just in case!Missing LinkThanks for reading and commenting Missing, I doubt we have much to worry about. I don't think they can produce a black hole without lowering their pants. Perhaps they will be able to learn some things though and I do hope they can. If not, there has been an awful lot of money wasted on this thing.I had not heard of their scheduled effort on Wednesday. But they may as well get it over with.
All this talk of doomsday and black holes reminds me of the millenium bug. It makes great sound bites and drums up lots of interest and business for corporate media networks.The scientist leading the hysteria is Professor Otto Rossler. However his recent paper is completely flawed because he bases the math on a non constant speed of light to try and make his case.The speed of light is accepted as being constant and has been for over 50 years (as according to the theory of relativity). In fact your GPS receiver is only accurate because scientists thoroughly understand relativity and can compensate for it. If the speed of light was not constant, GPS would not work.In summary, if you trust your GPS, then the world is safe.Thanks for reading and commenting, Ben. You are over my head with the scientific approach of Global Positioning and even relativity, but I concur with your conclusion.
Some interesting information there.The references at the end of your article to the origin of life seem misplaced though - the LHC is not going to provide any insight into how life got started, nor is it intended do (its main aim is to find out if the Higgs Boson exists or not - and by doing so demonstrating whether the current explanation for why. However, unrelated experiments are bringing us closer to creating life from non-living components. We are certainly living in interesting times!For anyone concerned about the Earth being destroyed by the LHC, its important to remember that collisions far more powerful than those that will take place in the LHC take place naturally in the atmosphere from time to time, and haven't destroyed the Earth!With regard to the strangelets mentioned in the legal challenge to the LHC you quote, here's the explanation from the scientists at CERN:"Strangelet is the term given to a hypothetical microscopic lump of ‘strange matter’ containing almost equal numbers of particles called up, down and strange quarks. According to most theoretical work, strangelets should change to ordinary matter within a thousand-millionth of a second. But could strangelets coalesce with ordinary matter and change it to strange matter? This question was first raised before the start up of the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider, RHIC, in 2000 in the United States. A study at the time showed that there was no cause for concern, and RHIC has now run for eight years, searching for strangelets without detecting any. At times, the LHC will run with beams of heavy nuclei, just as RHIC does. The LHC’s beams will have more energy than RHIC, but this makes it even less likely that strangelets could form. It is difficult for strange matter to stick together in the high temperatures produced by such colliders, rather as ice does not form in hot water. In addition, quarks will be more dilute at the LHC than at RHIC, making it more difficult to assemble strange matter. Strangelet production at the LHC is therefore less likely than at RHIC, and experience there has already validated the arguments that strangelets cannot be produced. "There's no real risk to the Earth from the LHC itself, so we can all sit back safe in the knowledge that we aren't going to be sucked into a black hole or anything similarly unpleasant in the near future. Hopefully the data that will be gathered from the LHC will deepen our understanding of the incredible, beautiful universe we live in.