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Show ALL Forums  > Science/philosophy  > CERN/LHC starting up soon      Home login  
Joined: 12/25/2007
Msg: 45
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CERN/LHC starting up soonPage 6 of 6    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
And its up and going!
Joined: 7/5/2006
Msg: 46
CERN/LHC starting up soon
Posted: 4/2/2010 5:36:29 AM

Mr Cole, who was wearing a bow tie and rather too much tweed for his age,

Bowtie and tweed...? It's a shame that he didn't identify himself merely as 'The Doctor'...
Joined: 12/13/2008
Msg: 47
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CERN/LHC starting up soon
Posted: 4/3/2010 1:39:16 PM

Breaking news !!!

The LHC has exploded and destroyed most of Eastern France and all of Switzerland ..

Well at least something good has come out of it. When they rebuild it lets see if they can take out the rest of France.
Joined: 1/16/2008
Msg: 48
CERN/LHC starting up soon
Posted: 4/3/2010 6:47:19 PM

Who says mad scientists are only in fiction? The Frankenstein complex is alive and well, at the LHC.

Clearly, when people cite cartoon caricatures in the guise of cautionary warnings, reasoned and intellectual debate is pretty much done. Yup, wild-eyed Colin Clive (or Gene Wilder or Kenneth Branaugh) throwing the big switch and shouting "It's alive! IT'S ALIVE!" is App's vision of how science is actually done.
Joined: 4/4/2008
Msg: 49
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CERN/LHC starting up soon
Posted: 4/6/2010 12:16:11 PM
I applaud you on your brave assault on woo-dom, Cheshire. And by the way, the Earth has already been destroyed, so you're all wrong.
Joined: 1/16/2008
Msg: 50
CERN/LHC starting up soon
Posted: 4/18/2010 3:27:36 PM

The universe's own particle smashers easily exceed the smashing capabilities of the LHC.

Or even the synchrotron radiation from the magnetic field of a neutron star? Or even collisions within the relativistic jets that are emitted from these same neutron stars? Or the atmospheres of supermassive stars? All prime locations for the development of microscopic black holes through particle interactions. And yet, nothing. Interesting.
Joined: 1/16/2008
Msg: 51
CERN/LHC starting up soon
Posted: 4/23/2010 1:42:32 PM
So now Professor Stargazer is saying that there are LHC-energy head on collisions occurring in the atmospheres of supermassive stars? I'd heard that some stars were hot, but who would have guessed... :-)

Love how you get that little tone of condescension in there. Okay, I'll explain it slowly for you again....

Some stars are hot. Some are really hot and some are super duper hot. See? Two can play at the condescension came. Now, let's try something a little more mature and productive. Think you can stretch yourself a bit there, app?

You see, supermassive stars are exactly that. They produce prodigious amounts of heat, magnetic fields and hard radiation. A single university first-year astronomy text would have that information. So heat in the "infrared" spectrum is irrelevant to this discussion. However, it makes a nice diversion from the point at hand. So good avoidance there, apps.

Car-chaser, though the jets may be relativistic, that doesn't mean that there are relativistic head on collisions within the jets :-)

Car chaser? So basically, you don't have an answer to that one. Sure. Got it. But are you saying that relativistic collisions within the jets are impossible? Please do explain that exclusionary principle.

That sounds like speculation. If you're saying that head-on collisions with LHC energy occur around neutron stars, could you show your calculations by which you determined that, or the sources where you read of it?

Why should I show you anything. You've actually yet to produce anything resembling a meaningful objection beyond the usual "because I said so." But do please explain for the rest of us how your speculations are any more relevant or exclusionary than anyone else's.
Joined: 1/16/2008
Msg: 52
CERN/LHC starting up soon
Posted: 4/26/2010 5:08:38 PM

Are you saying that some are so hot that their particles possess the energy of an LHC proton? I wasn't aware that stars interiors got that hot, but we learn things like that by listening to Professor Stargazer.

Ah, I see deliberate obtuseness and belittling is still App's modis operandi.

Case in point:

Did I say anything about infrared? Though some stars are very hot, are you sure that they're so hot that their particles have as much energy as an LHC particle?

Did I just mention infrared? We're talking supermassive fusion reactors producing prodigious energies across the electromagnetic spectrum.

If a jet leaves the vicinity of a neutron star at relativistic speeds, that doesn't mean that material within the jet is experiencing internal collisions at relativistic speeds. Saying that you don't know that there are or aren't relativistic collisions within the jets isn't enough. To show that fast moving black holes can't hurt a neutron star, you'd have to show that they're being formed and enter the star, and the star is still there.

And, in this jet relativistically leaving the neutron star, what makes you think that a collision-formed black hole in that jet is going to come back in the other direction and enter the star?

Who says the collisions occuring within the jet alone. Cannot cosmic rays intersect relativistic jets? Is it then impossible for them to then enter orbit and even intersect the neutron star?

I'm not saying that there shouldn't be any physics experiements, or that we should return to prehistoric technology. I'm only quoting people, who know more about the subject than you or I do, who have questioned the Earth's safety if the LHC generates black holes.

And yet, there are even more people who, as you point out, know more about the subject you or I do who aren't concerned. Why do you selectively listen to only one group of experts and not to the other?

That sounds like speculation. If you're saying that head-on collisions with LHC energy occur around neutron stars, could you show your calculations by which you determined that, or the sources where you read of it?

My sources are varied over the past 30 years. And nothing I've stated is anything more or less speculative than anything you've offered.

As I said, the technological benefits of the LHC are down the road anyway. So the delay of waiting till we can build it in space isn't so important.

Really!? I didn't know Professor App could predict the future of technological development. Who's engaging in speculation now?
Joined: 1/12/2008
Msg: 53
CERN/LHC starting up soon
Posted: 4/26/2010 5:25:57 PM
The safety claims depend on certain theories being correct.

On the one hand, you believe in black holes, but on the other, you don't believe what the same theory tells you about black holes.

As I said, if you want the knowledge that the LHC could bring, that knowledtge can't be accessible to anyone other than a physicist. What does the public get?

Quite a lot, actually. The first people to mass manufacture superconducting magnets did so because it was needed for the (never built) supercollider. The public received the benefit of the research done on superconducting wire and mass manufacture of the cryostats. There are lots of commercial uses for superconducting magnets. Then there is the rf system. The drift tubes require very high power rf that isn't available in commercially built power supplies. Although there are lots of potential commercial applications (like ion implantation) for such power supplies, private industry doesn't do much in the way of research. Processes like Plasma Source Immersion Ion Implantation can be used to produce things like very high precision bearings and medical prostheses wihich are very corrosion and wear resistant in much greater quantities than current deposition processes are able to do. PSIII can also be used to produce diamond-like carbon films. The detectors developed for use in nuclear and high energy physics made it possible to build things like PET scanners, used in medicine.

Simplified descriptive articles. The public doesn't get the benefit then, only the risk.

The first problem is a red herring. You can read the non-simplified articles for free at The second problem is your own problem. You don't actually know what the public gets. As a rather obvious example, the world wide web itself was conceived at CERN for the purpose of easily looking at data from experiments.
(Other than the technical benefit that would take a long time anyway, and which therefore won't be significantly delayed if we wait till we can build an LHC in space).

It costs a half-billion dollars for each shuttle lift-off, so it's unlikely that an accelerator will be built in space. On the other hand, if a real space station ever gets built, building it as part of an accelerator lab may be the only way it ever gets done. Private industry will never spend the money to do it.
Joined: 1/16/2008
Msg: 54
CERN/LHC starting up soon
Posted: 4/27/2010 1:05:02 PM
We hear that cosmic ray collisions can exceed the LHC's collision-energy, but (so far as I've heard) no one but you has ever suggested that star interiors are hot enough to have such collisions

So you're dismissing it as a possibility? Or that a cosmic ray in the lifetime of the universe cannot collide with atoms accelerated in the magnetic field of a supermassive star? Who said anything about their interiors?

But just because the jets are relativistic doesn't mean that they're as fast or as energetic per particle as a cosmic ray or LHC proton.

Hence the phrase "relativistic" meaning "approaching the speed of light." So yes, plenty powerful enough. Meaning that, given the likelihood of such events occurring i.e. the generation of a "black hole" from energetic collisions between energetic particles, then surely we should have far fewer pulsars and neutron stars than we currently do. Indeed, collisions with the neutron star itself could conceivably be more than energetic enough to produce even microscopic black holes. By the way, that is one of the proofs used by the risk assessment groups in determining the safety of the LHC.

The experiment would need proof beyond a shadow of a doubt that the black hole disaster can't happen. The safety-assuring theories are contested.

It's been pointed out that you reject the safety assurances of those who were involved in the planning of the LHC and the science behind it yet you insist on using the same physics as justification for your fear mongering. As Cheshire has already pointed out, the standards of safety have all been met. Where's the discussion.

If you're looking for a mathematical 100 per cent assurance that the thing is safe, you're not going to get it. However, from all indications, the chances of disastrous outcomes is so remote, it might as well be zero. So again, where is the discussion?

You're missing this point: The burden of proof is on the person who wants to take the risk of big disaster. If you're saying the LHC experiment should proceed, then "maybe" won't do as reassurance.

Who said anything about "maybe." See above.

Anyone can precict that. Technology has been advancing steadily, exponentially. The capability of building an LHC in space is hardly a bold prediction.

Not the question. You were talking about the benefits that accrue from the discoveries at LHC. You attempted to argue that discoveries are too far away to justify the perceived "risk." I pointed out that you were presuming to predict future discoveries. Did you have some precognitive ability we weren't aware of?
Joined: 1/12/2008
Msg: 55
CERN/LHC starting up soon
Posted: 4/28/2010 8:55:52 AM
As I understand it, there isn't just one theory about what will happen with a mini black hole. That's the problem, isn't it.

Well, actually, there is. Once you accept black holes, quantum field theory predicts the radiation. In order to predict otherwise, you have to speculate using a model with zero evidence to support it.

The things gotten from spinoffs could have been gotten more reliably, efficiently and cheaply by more practically-dedicated resesarch and developement. That makes sense, doesn't it.

It would make more sense only if someone was willing to pay for the dedicated research and development. However, if someone was willing to pay for that, accelerator labs wouldn't have to do the R&D they apparently have to do. I'm also not sure that dedicated research would be less expensive or efficient (at least not if left up to private industry.) The world wibe web is an obvious example to which anyone could relate. It was built on open standards that didn't constrain further development. If you'll recall, microsoft tried to avoid even seriously supporting internet network protocols, instead trying to push non-routable protocols like NetBEUI on people. Companies like Novell were not much better. R&D was limited to people who paid those companies for licenses which restricted what they could do. In the end, the world wide web appeared as a spinoff from CERN and it took microsoft until 1994 to see reality. However, their plunge into web browsing has not been much of a benefit. That only moved the spread of viruses from floppy disks and local networks to world wide networks. So, I can't really see that dedicated R&D is better (at least in the hands of private enterprise.) In the hands of private enterprise, R&D depends on factors other doing something well, like the possibilty for market lock-in.

The public that is paying for these experiments and sharing the black hole risk can't share the knowledge from the experiments, because that knowledge is understandable only to physicists.

If the public has an issue with that, they should not pay for physics research. Nobody from CERN held a gun to anyone's head to make them pay for the LHC. Furthermore, I seriously doubt that those who made the public appeals to sell it to the public did so by extolling any scientific merits in terms any more sophisticate than the types articles you mention as bing accessible to the general public. If they were happy with the articles that sold them on the LHC, they will be happy with the articles about the physics that coms from the LHC. Large projects like that get sold by appealing to things like national pride in having the world's number 1 high energy physics lab or whatever. If people buy it on that sort of a sales pitch, they do (and apparently did). I personally am rather skeptical that much in the way of new physics is going to come out of it, but nobody asked for my opinion.

Nothing approaching what physicists get, becaue the public doesn't have the necessary background to understand the knowledge gained from the experiments.

I'd also wager that greater than 99% of the people who use computers can't write the basic ``Hello World'' program in `c' (or any other programming language) much less understand how a computer executes instructions. That hasn't stopped people from getting any benefit from computers. I don't really know many people who care about understanding basic physics.

As for tecnical benefits, I already answered about that. As Krebby said, they tend to be some way down the line,

That is simply not true and I know this from personal experience. When I wanted information on building a pulsed high voltage-high current power supply (100 kV, 100 A, 20 us square pulses) to use for doing plasma source immersion ion implantation (for commercial use), guess where I found the most up to date information? CERN and SLAC. They were doing the research for the accelerators. When I was in graduate school, MD Anderson used to drive patients to the lab every week to use the cyclotron to treat cancer patients. Thet didn't want to build their own until they had some assurance that doing so would be useful.

Besides, putting the LHC in space won't solve the hypothetical issue you've brought up. The scenario you've posed only requires a mini black hole to be captured by the Earth's gravitational field. It doesn't matter where that black hole is actually produced.

So you don't deny that it could probably eventually be done.

I'm sure it could be done, even now if there was public support to fund it. However, there isn't public support for it now and I really doubt that ther ever would be as long as building it in space is more expensive than building it on Earth.
Joined: 1/12/2008
Msg: 56
CERN/LHC starting up soon
Posted: 5/3/2010 12:41:25 PM

So you're saying that that theory that predicts the radiation.

Well, quantum field theory is the ONLY theory known to give the correct answers to real experiments. To that extent, it's the most precise theory of anything ever proposed. QFT agrees with the experimentally measured electron magnetic moment to 13 decimal places. Quantum field theory also correctly predicts the running of the electromagnetic coupling constant which sets the upper limit of the electron radius to be smaller than 10^-17 meters. That means quantum field theory works at distances at least that small.

Are you also saying that that theory's correctness is certain, that no alternatives to it are possible?

At some level, quantum field theory is probably wrong. On the other hand, since quantum field theory is correct at the distance scales given above, any althernative will have to reduce to quantum field theory at those distance scales.

You see, that's the problem.

No, I don't see. Newton's theory of gravity is not precisely correct and general relativity might not be correct, so I can make up a theory that predicts the destruction of the Earth by some hypothetical scenario that is coneniently just out of reach of an experient. That doesn't mean what I made up should be given any credibility just because it was created specifically to explain some hypothetical phenomenon that hasn't been ruled out by an experiment.

As for observational supporting evidence, I heard that the rapid decay of mini black holes hasn't been observed.

However, the standard model of particle physics and general relativity have been extensively tested, to the extent that every experiment ever done agrees with the theoretical predictions. That beats theories which were created specifically to deviate from the predictions of the standard model of particle physics and general relativity for an energy regime that (conveniantly) happens to coincide with the capabilities of the lhc. Last I heard, no one has ever dropped an elephant from a balloon at an altitude of 100,000 feet, but, based on the same theories, I'm pretty sure that the elephant will fall and also that it won't destroy the Earth.

You say or imply that there is just one theory about what will happen with a mini black hole.

Do you know of any other theories for which there exists any experimental evidence?

That would be news to the physicists who contest the theories that say that it will evaporate before it can do anything, or that it won't grow fast enough to be a danger any time soon.

I don't think it would be a surprise. Unfortunately, the standard model has been way too successful. Every attempt to find an experiement that disagrees with it has failed and particle physics has gotten boring over the last 25 years. There's not one shred of evidence that suggests a departure from the standard model is necessary or that such a departure will be found by the lhc. One could therefore make up anything and call it a possibility. Maybe the lhc will produce leprechauns. Hard to say, since the lhc was built to look for things that no one has observed yet. Call the world court. We don't know if those leprechauns will be friendly and they could destroy the world with magic shamrocks.
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