View Full Version : Doomsday? Perhaps.

Cinnabarr Rivershell
September 9th, 2008, 03:00 AM
I believe that the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) will, this Wednesday, start up their Large Hadron Collider in what is being called the greatest science experiment in history. It will offer scientists a look into what the big bang theory looks like on a miniature scale, looks into dark matter, and possibly potential for advanced fusion research.

However, some scientists are calling the experiment a big mistake. Some believe that by breaking down the atom at such high speeds black holes may develop. According to Stephen Hawking, physicist and foremost expert on black hole theory, once created, black holes simply close on themselves. However, it's important to note that this is simply a theory, leaving many other scientists fearful that the development of black holes from this experiment could trigger the ending of everything we know, possibly resulting in the Earth being sucked in by black holes.

Now, beside my unsuccessful stint in AP Biology, I'm the first to admit that the realm of science is not my forte. I'm hoping Ferahgo will come to the rescue and explain things far better than I have here. Until he makes it by, take a look at this CNN article about the experiment. CNN - Atom Smasher (http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/06/30/doomsdaycollider.ap/index.html)

September 9th, 2008, 07:06 AM
I think the creation of a black hole large enough to swallow everything is extremely unlikely - because in physics, things are rarely (if ever) labelled "impossible"; people just say "extremely unlikely". For example: the next time you knock your mug off your desk, it _could_ defy gravity and hit the ceiling - but that's extremely unlikely. In the same way that all the air molecules (N2,O2,CO2,etc) could suddenly move to the other half of your room (leaving a vacuum in one half), but that's extremely unlikely as well.

I'm pretty excited about it - even if I ultimately get killed by a black hole. For some reason, the prospect of that thrills me.

September 9th, 2008, 09:39 AM
I'm guessing the fear mongers were the understudies of the same scientists who feared the atomic bomb would ignite the Earth's atmosphere.

I hope I live long enough to see what diabolical technology is later developed thanks in some part to this test. Some of the most trivial experiments have ended up being indirectly responsible for the worst inventions imaginable. For instance, the alarm clock.

September 9th, 2008, 02:53 PM
The CERN team made a rap video to tell you how it works. Very informative. :p


I'm excited as well, and I think it's highly unlikely that anything bad will happen.

Ember Nickel
September 9th, 2008, 04:11 PM
It starts tomorrow? Sweet! I'm psyched.

Uh...nothing coherent to say, sorry.

Did you hear about the guy who was suing the USA or somebody completely unrelated because of the fear that this would destroy the world? :lol:

September 9th, 2008, 06:42 PM
I'd think that if it's a small black hole, it wouldn't be able to suck anything big inside... unless it tore the subject's atoms apart in order to get it to fit inside a small space. And I doubt the black hole would expand to suck in bigger objects. That's a big reason why I don't believe the Earth will implode once this black hole gets going. And if anything got sucked into the black hole, where would it go? Would it get torn apart into pieces? Stay in the middle of the black hole? Teleported to space somewhere? It'd be cool if it was a teleporter.

Ferahgo the Assassin
September 9th, 2008, 11:04 PM
There is less chance of the hadron collider producing a dangerous black hole than there is from regular cosmic rays - which bombard our planet all the time - doing the same. That's basically what the collider is doing - recreating the sort of particle collisions that happen in space all the time, at the same velocities. The mere existence of planets, stars, solar systems and galaxies prove that this process is dangerous at only the most impossible odds.

From reading about this issue online for a bit, it appears that the only people getting upset and paranoid about such things are, for the most part, not scientists. In fact, most of the scientists involved in this project seem to think it's amusing and almost kind of cute the way people are freaking out about it. I just find it annoying, myself, especially since someone tried to use legal pressure to shut the project down... just out of baseless paranoia. The fearmongering going on here via mostly the media disgusts me.

As for this business about black holes, yes. It is theorized that the LHC can produce them. But the "black holes" we're familiar with in science fiction and Einsteinian physics are the products of stars - which are almost incomprehensibly large and heavy objects - collapsing on themselves. The black holes that may be produced from these hadron collisions will be the result of subatomic particles collapsing on themselves from proton collisions. Any given of these microscopic black holes would have energy less than that of a mosquito in flight. The current theories in place for the production of black holes at the LHC say that this process, while technically possible, is extremely unlikely and even in the event of one occurring, it would be unstable enough to disintegrate immediately. So there'd be no concern about one of these tiny black holes accreting matter, either.

Seems that black holes are what people are most concerned about here, so I'll just field that question for now. I don't want to bore anyone too much, but feel free to ask me anything else about it if you want.

September 10th, 2008, 11:39 PM

We aren't dead. ;)

September 11th, 2008, 03:08 AM
Well, technically they haven't started colliding particles into one another yet, so the doom loons still have 'till October or so to keep panicking.

Ferahgo the Assassin
September 11th, 2008, 10:28 AM
Keep informed of CERN's progress through this awesome live-feed website.


Refresh for constant updates.