Plentyoffish dating forums are a place to meet singles and get dating advice or share dating experiences etc. Hopefully you will all have fun meeting singles and try out this online dating thing... Remember that we are the largest free online dating service, so you will never have to pay a dime to meet your soulmate.
Show ALL Forums  > Science/philosophy  > New legal challenge for the Hadron Collider...      Home login  
Joined: 1/16/2008
Msg: 26
New legal challenge for the Hadron Collider...Page 2 of 9    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
Or maybe a recognizable standardly-programmed BS emitter.

Cute. In other words, the typical "media bad" response. Puh-leeze! Yawn!

You see, in journalism school, they teach students the importance of setting aside one's own personal bias and preconceptions and to use critical thinking to assess whether something is likely to be true or not. That means, you don't just jump to standard little ditties like "They should take the money they spend on that and spend it on fixing problems." Instead, you get a whiff of what a knee-jerk reaction like that really is.

A journalist will ask "okay, first of all, how much money is being spent already? Why isn't that enough? How is the money really being spent? What constitutes "better spending?" Are we looking at a situation where taking money from one thing and putting it to another will really result in an improvement or is it a case of diminishing returns?

You see how that works? Requires a little more critical thought and intelligence than "We need to take money away from one thing and put it towards helping the poor."

[quotes]I bet you didn't object to throwing money at the Hadsron Collider, did you.
Oh, excuse me, it isn't "throwing money at..." unless it's an expenditure-purpose that you don't like, such as helping people or saving lives.


such as helping people or saving lives.

Define "helping people and saving lives."

I mean, hey. Clearly no investment in science and technology for research sake has ever lead to subsequent applications that have resulted in benefits to the population in general has it.

Well, they do say 'ignorance is bliss.'
Joined: 10/8/2009
Msg: 27
New legal challenge for the Hadron Collider...
Posted: 1/24/2010 5:55:59 PM
Hi Lecutter,

It's not inappropriate that people fear scientists. Science has been used harmfully and purposely in the past. But overall science and technology have generally been applied positively and I believe that is the case here.

Coincidentally I just read something on this yesterday. Two things were clarified:

1. The chances of a black hold forming at around 1Tev rely on gravitational loop theories that gravity exists in multiple dimensions > 4. If they don't energy will be required at about the Planck scale which will make formation of the hole impossible in any experiment we will carry out. So let's hope we find one and it confirms quantum gravity theories of more dimensions that the 4 we usually deal with.
2. Black holes won't be directly detected. They can be derived by superposition of of the shock waves produced by the scattering particles. In fact the best we can hope to detect is the shock wave from an already disintegrated black hole.

The biggest challenge is in actually detecting anything relevant. These collisions are such a mess and there is a lot of software involved to parse out relevant events from non relevant. My guess is we're going to do a lot of experiments and not detect anything for a while due to a lot of bugs.
Joined: 1/16/2008
Msg: 28
New legal challenge for the Hadron Collider...
Posted: 1/25/2010 10:12:13 AM

I wish you could hear yourself. "Solving immediate urgent problems bad. Other spending good."

Okay, let's see if I can explain this more simply for you.

Which is a better way to address, for instance, third world development? Do we throw a lot of money at a problem and hope some of it goes toward something constructive or do we target the spending toward projects that a) are more likely to produce positive results and b) come with a sufficient amount of oversight and accountability? Additionally, which do you think is the most COST EFFECTIVE means of addressing the needs of those to which the spending is directed?

Actually, one of the programs that operates on that principle is a program offering small "loans" to people who then use it as seed money to start up for creating small businesses. These loans can be as small as a $25 (US) and the businesses can be as small as making something like blankets or any other goods used within the community. Not a lot, but it can have incredibly good benefits in the long run.

And it can be as simple as NOT spending money. Are you aware, for instance, that one of the problems faced by African nations is mosquito net charities that urge you to donate to buy a net. The problem: the nets are made in other countries. It's actually had the effect of putting local net makers out of business.

As a journalist, of course you're familiar with the old trick of answering something that was not said. You should buy a carload of lottery tickets because you're wrong if you said that no one has ever gotten rich by buying lottery tickets.

Utterly non-sequitor.

What I find interesting is you say:

When I talk about black holes, I'm speaking from ignorance. I'm not intimately familiar with their mathematical theory, and I don't have a PhD physicist's understanding of general relativity or the latest theories of particle physics either.

And then, you go on to question the safety of the experiment. Interesting. So you admit your lack of qualification and yet go on question the safety assertions of those who actually do have the qualification. Let me ask you. Assuming for a second that you're not actually a doctor or an airline pilot, do you demand to supervise your surgeon's work when you go under the knife or sit over the shoulder of the captain of the airliner you're on?

Okay, let's address this:

We sometimes hear that the cosmic rays that arrive in our upper atmosphere collide more energetically than will the particles in the new collider. Now, I could be mistaken, but it seems to me that I read somewhere that the actual cosmic ray collisions are in the upper atmosphere, and what we get down here at sea level are only the collision fragments resulting from those collisions. I make no claim to knowing whether that's so

Exactly so. However, in the same token, if the fear is "black hole production" (and again, we're talking about a black hole smaller than the smallest sub-atomic particle) then it really doesn't make a difference since Earth's gravity should be strong enough to pull this putative little piece of condensed spacetime toward it. And yet, we're here.


And these have been going on throughout the history of the solar system. Hey, if Earth is a target, the atmosphere of Jupiter is an even bigger target. So why isn't Jupiter a big black hole? Or Neptune since it's even further out and so protected by less of the sun's magnetosphere.
Joined: 1/16/2008
Msg: 29
New legal challenge for the Hadron Collider...
Posted: 1/25/2010 12:27:48 PM

As I said, the arguments about cost-effective money-throwing just repeats an argument tediously familiar in the media. Anyway, it hasn't addressed the matter of vital material urgency vs expensive longterm speculation. But how about laying the money-allocation topic to rest now?

Your question was whether or not the money spent on CERN and the science it will derive could have been better spent. I'm answering that question. But hey, if you want to look for a source of colossal waste of money and resources that could be better spent, I'm sure there's innumerable examples that could be cited.

Quite frankly, the idea that the "money spent on CERN could be better spent elsewhere" is faulty logic. Given that it is already built and ready to go would be a waste of the money spent to build it. Additionally, it assumes the current funding is insufficient, as opposed to not being spent efficiently. Which is an entirely different questions.

Well, my lottery advice demonstrates exactly the same fallacy as your quoted comments. And I wanted to make the point that I hadn't said that scientific experiments have never brought material benefits. As I said, your reply exemplified the old journalist trick of answering an argument that was not made.

No, it was simply non-sequitor. You're assuming that the "old journalist trick" is something that really is an "old journalist trick." In other words, an example of "I say it's true, so it's true" reasoning. As someone who actually worked in the field, I think I'm far more qualified to comment on the tools that are employed. You're starting from the premise that all journalists are bent on a particular, presumably dark agenda as opposed to what they truly are. People trying to do a job of informing an apparently ungrateful public.

You catch on fast. But the fact that I don't claim to have a fully reliable prediction of the safety outcome doesn't mean that someone else does. I was giving reasons why we might have some reason to question whether anyone can be sure that the collider is safe.

Do you want absolute assurances? Well, the very nature of how science works precludes that from happening. However, there is sufficient evidence that such is not the case. But, if we do all get sucked down into a black hole, you can tell me "I told you so."

But continue to be dismissive and superior, if that's what you need to do.

One poster put it succinctly when he reminded us that the whole point of an experiement is that we don't know what will happen. We do the experiment to find out what will happen. Somehow that doesn't reassure me a whole lot. :-)

So what are we supposed to do? Stop all avenues of investigation that you don't deem as beneficial because you can't see the benefits now? So what happens if the LHC returns results that lead to a more fundamental understanding of physics that lead technology that proves to solve a variety of problems. How do you determine what is worthwhile and what isn't?

But airless worlds have less mass, and could gravitationally trap only a slower moving black hole. Whether that destroys the reassurance in the previous paragraph depends on the range of possible black hole speeds, depending on the relative mass of the cosmic ray particle with the nucleus that it collides with, etc. I admit that I don't know. Maybe someone can reassure us about that.

You're assuming a lot for someone who proclaims not to know a lot about physics. But to the scale of the blackhole, it could develop in a lightyear size block of lead, it wouldnt' make much difference. The scale of the aperture of the supposed black hole would again be smaller than the smallest sub-atomic particle. And most of matter is empty space. It's a little like comparing the height of a tree (width of the black hole) to the size of the solar system (atom).
Joined: 1/16/2008
Msg: 30
New legal challenge for the Hadron Collider...
Posted: 1/25/2010 7:56:38 PM
So you may believe. But, then, you also believed that you could spell "non sequitur".

Oh, bravo! Way to go. You got me there. *yawn*

Oh, but I don't think you quite have the meaning of non sequitur correct. It's a latin phrase meaning "does not follow." defines it as the following:

non se·qui·tur [non sek-wi-ter, -toor; Lat. nohn se-kwi-toor]
1. Logic. an inference or a conclusion that does not follow from the premises.
2. a statement containing an illogical conclusion.

And you know I didn't say anything about all journalists being on a dark agenda. (But, then, maybe the gentleman doeth protest too much). If pressed, I might have to admit that they all sound much the same, but I didn't say it's a dark agenda.

Excuse me, but this thread isn't an evaluation of journalists. Get back on topic.

I know this because the inference was barely concealed. However, I'm quite prepared to leave it there since you clearly know nothing of what journalists do for a living, beyond the populist belief.

Now let's get back to the topic of discussion:

Not quite sure what assumption you're referring to. I made it clear that I don't have the answers.

Nor does it seem you're particularly interested in answers, just your own fears of what "could" happen, even though the probabilities of such occurrences are so low as to be next to impossible. Of course, I have given you information, easily researched and verified, that I presume you are quite capable of looking up yourself.

I don't claim any official qualification. Just an enthusiastic consumer of all things astronomy, physics and astrophysics for over 30 years ago. I simply convey the current understanding. Accept it or not. But please offer something other than "it might create a black hole that could eat the whole planet" and "the media won't tell us the truth."

What's that relevant to? I didn't say anything about the scale of the black hole. I did mention the ratio of the masses of the particles involved in the collision, as part of what influences the speed of the resulting black hole's motion after the collision, as a percentage of the cosmic ray particle's initial speed.

The scale of the aperture of the supposed black hole would again be smaller than the smallest sub-atomic particle. And most of matter is empty space. It's a little like comparing the height of a tree (width of the black hole) to the size of the solar system (atom).

None of which has any relevance to anything that I said. I made no mention of the black hole's size.

If the collider uses head-on collisions, those can result in low speeds for the resulting black hole, making it easier for it to be gravitationally trapped by the Earth--another difference between the collider and cosmic ray collisions.

Reads like you're drawing hypothetical conclusions to me. But yes, the scale of the supposed black hole has everything to do with it. So let me get this straight. A black hole created by a collider is going to be "different" from a black hole created by natural processes only 80 kms above your head, which is roughly where these interactions take place? It's going to somehow be better able to "eat" the Earth?

Of course, if you don't believe me, research it for yourself. There's plenty of physics sites that deal with this. Or do you prefer to stick to your weak "money better spent elsewhere" stand, no matter how unsupported it is?
Joined: 7/10/2006
Msg: 31
New legal challenge for the Hadron Collider...
Posted: 1/26/2010 8:14:29 AM
Well, to be pedantic about it, there is something called the precautionary principle in environmental law, with various formulations.

The part where I'm being pedantic is where I point out that that 'rough' formulation is not one of them.

'The precautionary principle states that if an action or policy has suspected risk of causing harm to the public or to the environment, in the absence of a scientific consensus that harm would not ensue, the burden of proof falls on those who would advocate taking the action.'

That's closer to the mark.

The point being made by the pedantry, however, is that the criterion of "scientific information and understanding seeming to be conflicted" is not met in the case of the collider. The people who want to turn it on, and understand how it is supposed to work, are reasonably certain they're not going to black-hole us into armageddon. The people opposing it have the scientific credentials of Pat Robertson and the legal credibility of Lionel Hutz.

The former point, by the way, is also the epistemic argument that there is no meaningful risk of serious and irreversible environmental damage in the case of the operation of the collider. Unlike the operation of our cars.

Besides, Will Smith has yet to be seen or heard from on this issue, so you can be reliably certain that global scale disaster is not in the cards.

Oh, and on the subject of Robertson, and speaking of non sequiturs, I'm really not certain what the relationship between the collider and foreign aid is supposed to be. Everyone who has taken a serious look at the issue knows why foreign aid doesn't work. Properly placed members of the governments of the recipient countries steal it, that's so patently obvious it's impolite to discuss it. Especially in the presence of the AK-47 toting backup for said members.
Joined: 11/30/2007
Msg: 32
view profile
New legal challenge for the Hadron Collider...
Posted: 1/26/2010 2:42:44 PM

Without having done calclulations, I'm guessing that we'd be killed by our weight increase as the Earth's radius decreases, before we fall into the black hole. I'll let you decide if that's merciful.

Uhhhh... calculations based on WHAT? You're just engaging in open speculation with no calculations to be MADE. Without even worrying about calculations of non-entities, I'd say with a very little thought, you could determine that death would most likely come from the massive earthquakes such an event would cause, or some of their sequelae, such as tsunami.

As for all the other idle speculation, you can again toss it all out by a very simple thought: What happens when the cosmic ray impact leaves you with momentum TOWARDS the planet or body in question? Especially a very big body like Jupiter, with a very dense core? If it was ABLE to happen, it WOULD HAVE HAPPENED. Jupiter would no longer be there. The Sun would no longer be there.

Scientists miscalculated the yield of a nuclear bomb that they were going to test, resulting in several people being killed.

One presumes this proceeds from an actual event, therefore a citation would be appropriate and appreciated.

You want to take their word for it that they know what they're doing? Good luck!

Rather than the word of ... I hesitate to even say "rank amateurs," because that implies at least SOME work in the field in question. Rather than the word of a bunch of completely uninvolved non-scientists, driven solely by paranoia and fear-mongering? Sure. :rolleyes:

Edit: This:

Or at least _you_ saw it. "The guilty run when none pursueth". Or, as I said earlier, "The gentleman doeth protest too much".

is the most disingenuous piece of carp I've read recently. The implication was CLEARLY there, from an outside observer's viewpoint. It's extremely childish, at best, to then start crowing about protesting too much. One can almost hear the smarmy, sarcastic tone from here.
Joined: 1/16/2008
Msg: 33
New legal challenge for the Hadron Collider...
Posted: 1/26/2010 7:11:18 PM
Okay appreciative, let's see if I have your position well summarized here: "I'm going to impune your personal and professional integrity, but it's YOUR fault if you take offence." Sure. Gotcha.

Now, let's see if I have some of the other attitudes expressed here well summarized. Based on mere and wild speculation of what we think MIGHT happen, based on physics we neither have a complete understanding nor any professional qualification in, we think our position should hold greater weight than those who are actual physicists.

Additionally, these same physicists are so eager to get their science results that will skyrocket their professional careers, they're prepared to put the planet they too live on in jeopardy. I presume these physicists and their loved ones are immune to black holes and their careers will continue, regardless of the lack of a planet under their feet.

Meanwhile, we think the money spent on this project could be "better spent." On what, we don't actually have any practical recommendations or even specifics on failings in the current funding regime and how it might be improved.

Close? Or can we look forward to more rhetorical gymnastics?
Joined: 1/16/2008
Msg: 34
New legal challenge for the Hadron Collider...
Posted: 1/27/2010 4:11:02 PM
Appy, I love your pretzel logic.

I never said anything about how good a journalist _you_ are. I merely agreed with your statements about how much people respect journalists and how much people respect what journalists say. And I admitted that journalists tend to sound pretty much all the same. And I confess that, for many or most people, the high journalistic ideals you spoke of--earnest search for truth, etc.--are considered a joke.

Yup...and since I'm a journalist, I shouldn't be insulted by someone clearly questioning my personal and professional integrity because, hey, it's just how you, speaking for the rest of the world, see it. There's a response to that, but in the interest of not getting booted off the boards, I'll leave it to your imagination. Think sex and travel.

However, I make the following observations:

I find it interesting that you accuse me of an excess of emotion and yet fail to see the irony of the statement since your whole position is one based solely on fear. You've heard that it's possible that a "black hole" could be produced and have offered all manner of wild speculation about "scenarios" in which said black hole could consume the planet.

You've been offered serious flaws of that scenario. However, since the logic of it does not suit your fears, you persist in rejecting said points, falling back on your statements that something bad "might" happen.

You insist you do not have sufficient knowledge in physics to ascertain the likelihood of your "black hole" scenario and yet you insist that it is a viable hypothesis of what "might" go wrong. And rather than go on the assessment of those who do have the qualifications, you again reject it because it's something you feel "might" happen.

Not only that, you proceed to question THEIR personal and professional integrity, stating that they are so blinded by their desire to get data - that they can just "taste it" - that they haven't sufficiently assessed the risks, regardless of your perceived peril to the planet and despite the fact that if there was a risk, they would be as exposed to it as the rest of the world's population.

Finally, you've repeatedly said there are people with concerns. And yet you have not cited one source, giving me the impression that you are only forwarding your own fears as facts.

So show us what you've got.
Joined: 11/30/2007
Msg: 35
view profile
New legal challenge for the Hadron Collider...
Posted: 1/27/2010 4:53:43 PM

Rhino, calm down. Your posting is full of anger and bile.

It's going to be alright.

Pound sand. You have very close to zero insight into my mental, emotional, and physical state while posting. You're seeing things/emotions/motives that are not there. This is something that is often associated with paranoia. Just saying, is all.
Joined: 1/16/2008
Msg: 36
New legal challenge for the Hadron Collider...
Posted: 1/29/2010 7:38:59 AM
You just can't stop using your journalist "slant" technique.

Quite frankly, Appy, you clearly know nothing about real journalism and prefer to go with what "everyone else" thinks about the profession. So have fun. I certainly am not inclined to defend my career choice to you or anyone else. I do find it ironic that you accuse me of "slant" and yet do not see the alternate "slant" you take. One would think, if you expect a certain level of integrity from others, you would hold yourself to the same standard.

I also find it stunning that, in one thread, you actually defend a criticism of Stephen Hawking and yet, here, you question the very science he contributed to. Interesting.

How do I know it won't happen. Well, stunning to you as it is for me to state, I don't. Nothing in science offers absolute assurances. However, I'm confident because a) some of the best minds in the world are working on it and, despite your questioning of their own integrity or sense of self-preservation.

B) Again, it hasn't happened already. You seem to think that the upper atmosphere particle interactions don't count because they're "up there." Never mind simple facts like:

1)Cosmic particles don't just strike upper atmosphere molecules and stop but, instead, impart their momentum to the shower of secondary particles. The same would be true of one of these cosmic particle-created "black holes." Incidentally, secondary particles from cosmic ray interactions should only last a fraction of a second - so should only travel a few feet before disintegrating. And yet, they continue thousands of feet to the ground. Ever heard of time dilation? Wouldn't the effect occur with "black holes."

If that's the case, the black hole should have no trouble making it "to the ground" and beyond. So, if this were a risk, then we should no longer be here. Neither should any other planet in the solar system, after 4.5 billion years of cosmic ray interactions. Don'tcha think?

2) The black holes are predicted by some theories, however, have not been observed. And theory states they should ceases to exist immediately through a process determined by Stephen Hawking whom you have spoken of in tones of great admiration. Or are you saying you know something Prof. Hawking doesn't?

3) Theory predicts these "black holes," if they were created, are going to be so small that they are going to be many times smaller than the smallest sub-atomic particle. In other words, imagine an ant trying to eat the Empire State Building whole.

So should we sit here and cower in fear over something that has about as much chance as you going out and winning the lottery once a week for six months and then getting struck by lightning?

Hey, be alarmist all you like. If fear floats your boat, have at it. But I say let's get the puppy started and start learning something new about the universe.
Joined: 1/16/2008
Msg: 37
New legal challenge for the Hadron Collider...
Posted: 1/30/2010 8:57:32 AM
Bottom line is, why insist in fearing such extremely remote possibilities. Especially if you, by your own admission, do not have a complete and total understanding of it. Do you have a particular citation for a noted physicist who is ringing an alarm? Yes? No? Because he/she would, at the very least, offer something a little bit better than "I've heard a 'black hole' might result and so we shouldn't turn on the machine."

Here's another very remote possibility. You could go out today and a meteorite could fall on your head. Are you going to stay in because of it? You could also be walking in the park and be attacked by an escaped lion from the zoo. Are you going to stay away from the park? Hell, radiation from an exploding supernova could hit us next week. Are you going to not make plans for the summer?

You say my desire to the LHC move forward and for us to learn new things seems odd. How odd is that compared to your Chicken Little-ish "stop everything because X MIGHT happen" doesn't seem a little bit odd and over the top?

This culture of "doomsday" fear and alarmism, quite frankly, is one of the sickest aspects to our society. I refuse to indulge in it.
Joined: 1/16/2008
Msg: 38
New legal challenge for the Hadron Collider...
Posted: 1/30/2010 10:58:07 AM
I asked him to show us the calculations by which he determined the probability, but I guess he forgot to include them in his post.

No, I didn't. I have the assurances of those who actually know what they're talking about to go on.

I see that YOU have repeatedly ignored my challenge to quantify or, at the very least, offer citation from someone who is qualified to assess the risk who says that it is inherently unsafe. Instead, all we've been offered are your vague references and questions of people's personal and professional motives from the scientists themselves to myself based on my profession. Very thinly veiled ad hominems, really.

In the meantime, what you've offered as "explanations" have been based on a very poor understanding of the physics involved, offered despite your admitted poor understanding of the physics involved i.e. the mass and scale of the theorized black holes involved. In other words, you don't understand and you want to show off your lack of understanding with very bad examples.

Now, you want to throw in some ridiculous "examples" such as the risk of smoking versus the risk of the LHC. The risk of smoking is well quantified. What quantification have you offered us of risk of the LHC?

When are you going to finally acknowledge that your fears are based more on ignorance than understanding. And when are you going to seek understanding, rather than continue to dwell in ignorance?
Joined: 1/16/2008
Msg: 39
New legal challenge for the Hadron Collider...
Posted: 1/30/2010 12:29:38 PM

I would like to add to this discussion that if the scientists can't even agree whether global warnming is man made or not, how or why the h*ll should we acept that they have got thier sums right over the risks involved with these experiments?

Two separate questions and the amount of disagreement isn't necessarily as great as some would have you believe. Besides, you take greater risks walking out your door. So do you stay home?

Who are they to play god with our lives and the future of this planet? They haven't got a clue what will happen! Thats why they are doing it!!!!!!

People do realize that this question has been raised before about other particle accelerators. We're still here. Why should this be any different? Perhaps because a few people who know nothing about the physics but have heard that a "black hole" could be created by the process? Perhaps a spectacular story is more exciting than cold hard reality.

It just seems such a ironic that all this will coincide with the predictions of 2012. maybe the Mayans have got it right after all, the end of time is here and it will be of our own making!!!

Invoking 2012 doesn't exactly build credibility.

If all the matter in the universe expanded in an instant from nothingness, whats to say they won't recreate the same thing and they won't be able to stop it expanding at the same rate? do you imagine that this is a likely scenario? Can you cite some actual theory?
Joined: 1/16/2008
Msg: 40
New legal challenge for the Hadron Collider...
Posted: 1/31/2010 5:36:26 PM

Just what we need to help us all out of our ignorance--a reporter.

You do love to bait, don't you. Very telling of the mentality I'm dealing with. Given the weakness of your arguments, however, such tactics are not surprising. Sadly, they're all too common in these forums.

Stargazer, I didn't want to say this, but we should get one thing straight: You, my friend, are not qualifed to judge anyone's understanding of physics. You are not qualified to evaluate my qualification. If you think I've said something incorrect about physics, then I invite you to tell me what it is.

I didn't. You did. This is the part reporters really love, when you catch someone with their own words. To refresh your memory, from post 44....

When I talk about black holes, I'm speaking from ignorance. I'm not intimately familiar with their mathematical theory, and I don't have a PhD physicist's understanding of general relativity or the latest theories of particle physics either.

Kinda says it all, doesn't it? Now, as often as I've tried to counter your arguments, you've come back with the same rehashings. Frankly, this discussion is getting tiresome.

I've already told you that, according to what I've read, in all black holes, the matter occupies zero volume. Mass? I've acknowledged many times that theory says that the very low mass black hole won't last long enough to do anything. I've also told you that the physics is new, and the theories tentative and not entirely agree-upon by physicists.

I've had to correct physics misunderstandings of yours that are not about anything so advanced as black-hole physics. I don't object. I'm glad to help. But show a little gratitude.

My misunderstandings? Funny. See above. You, of course, assume my understanding of the physics is, somehow, less sophisticated than yours. Also funny, given the glaring errors I've found in your posts.

I will look up for you the names of physicists who say that a black hole could be generated by collisions of that energy. Certainly the World Court should hear physicists on all sides of the question. I will search the web and let you know what I find, in the way of credentialled LHC opponents.

Can't wait. Oh, actually, I've been waiting for a while.
Joined: 6/5/2005
Msg: 41
New legal challenge for the Hadron Collider...
Posted: 1/31/2010 7:39:40 PM
WTF is the big worry....if a sizeable BH does form, it will be the kinda mistake in which we will NOT have to deal with in the aftermath!!!......(as we will no longer be in existence).

But in the event that we won't get swallowed up by a BH, what are the odds that we will detect the Higs boson?......Are the speeds sufficient?

And of supersymmetric particles?....the so called "wimps"

I get the feeling that neither will come to light, but that there will be more questions produced than answers!

As someone else said, i believe that we'd need a collider far more powerful than the LHC to elucidate the presence of these theorized particles!
Joined: 1/16/2008
Msg: 42
New legal challenge for the Hadron Collider...
Posted: 1/31/2010 8:11:30 PM
Sum, all very valid questions. In experiments such as this, sometimes a non-detection is as important as an actual detection since it helps to set limitations on certain theories. An example of this is the Laser Interferometric Gravity-wave Observatory (LIGO). They were designed to detect the predicted "waves" of spacetime that result from a variety of phenomenon, not the least of which is the big bang itself.

The observatories have not actually detected any gravity waves. However, rather than declare the experiment a failure, it's actually help to refine current models by eliminating some possible results.

Then there is always the possiblity that the LHC will surprise us with new detections. Of course, there are always those who panic from half-heard ideas and their own ignorance, labouring under the age-old stereotype of the "mad scientist" bent on death and destruction or the search for knowledge at all costs.

I've been accused of unquestioning faith in scientists. Certainly not unquestioning. But I have yet to hear from anyone offering any reasonable concerns based on qualified citation that would justify them halting the LHC from moving forward. So far, nothing. Not terribly surprising.
Joined: 1/16/2008
Msg: 43
New legal challenge for the Hadron Collider...
Posted: 2/1/2010 6:39:44 AM
appy, I have no interest in your constant flame-baiting. Your insults regarding my profession, your assumption of my 'below-high school understanding of physics' and your frequent (and baseless) insistence that MY facts are wrong, not to mention your constant denial of the faults in your logic you've offered. And, of course, the petty pointing out of a misspelling.

You've insisted that black hole creation is enough (unqualified in terms of probabilities, it should be pointed out) of a risk that the experiment shouldn't happen. However, it's been pointed that the scale of these "black holes" is so small (many orders of magnitude smaller than the smallest subatomic particle) that their existence poses virtually no risk due to Hawking evaporation has been side-stepped by you time and again. in Stephen Hawking.

It was also pointed out that high energy interactions in the upper atmosphere occur all the time, higher than the LHC is capable of producing. The result is frequently secondary radiation particles (hint: time dilation) and could include these theoretical "black holes" that make their way to the ground. Your response...'well, that's too high up.' So one kind of secondary product is possible but the one that disproves the logic of your statement that black holes are a risk are not. Gotcha.

It was also pointed out that similar interactions occur on other bodies in the solar system, some of which don't have atmospheres. Not good enough. They're not a problem either. "They're moving too fast." Apparently fast moving particles happening in nature can impart momentum, but fast moving particles in a laboratory can't. And you question my understanding of physics? Hmm.

And yet, to date, you have yet to offer a single citation of professional physicists for significant threat. Read that again...."significant threat." Physicists have assessed the risks posed by this and other particle accelerators. Yes, there are other particle accelerators and similar concerns about black holes, strangelets and other 'world ending' threats have been assessed by people with an intimate understanding of physics far superior to either yours or mine and they don't seem terribly concerned.

Blind faith? No. If there was a number of physicists who were raising an alarm, then I would agree that the risk was too great. And yet, I'm still waiting on those citations you promised.

But you're right. This is getting tiresome. When challenged on your assertions, the best you can come up with is insults and no real discussion.
Joined: 1/16/2008
Msg: 44
New legal challenge for the Hadron Collider...
Posted: 2/1/2010 8:08:13 AM
Okay, app, let me help you out on this one. Scraping someone's writing without an actual citation isn't exactly helpful for your cause so I offer you this little ditty from the New York Times. There's links.

There are actual references to the law suit against the CERN start up. You see, this is what we journalists call "equal time." Or "giving both sides" of the debate.
Joined: 1/16/2008
Msg: 45
New legal challenge for the Hadron Collider...
Posted: 2/1/2010 9:50:44 AM
Wrong. As you've been repeatedly told before, it is the low mass, not the small size, that results, according to theory, in a rapid decay due to Hawking evaporation. Yes, theory says the black hole will evaporate before it can do anything.

Yes, it's a question of mass. But it's also a question of the size of the black hole's "aperture." Remember my ant eating an elephant reference?

...because no one, not even you :-) can give us numerical probability figures, given the current state of physics.

So then, without some level of quantification, does the discussion not become meaningless? After all, if the only standard is that something bad can happen, the same standard of risk assessment can be applied to any number of things, including the possibility of walking outside your door and being struck by a meteorite.

And were they as energetic as the LHC? So you're saying that if a lower-energy accelerator didn't do it, than a more energetic one won't either :-)

Again, same consideration. Since we've not definitively quantified the risk of the LHC, then the risk from other colliders could be argued to be just as high. And yet, here we are.

But, as for perceptions of reliability of the immediate-evaporation prediction, I'm curious about what's being said right now, by physicists. Are they all united with LHC advocates? Might be interesting to find out. No, I don't have the answer now, about how physicists of various specialties stand on the question, but I'll let you know when I do.

Please do. I'd be most interested in their arguments as well. Their arguments will certainly carry far more weight, as far as I'm concerned.

Sorry, but no. If relativistic black holes arrive at the surface, they'll be harmless due to their high speed. But say the black hole were slow enough to be dangerous. It has to go 50 miles to reach the Earth's solid surface. But your scientists might make black holes about 5 or 10 feet from the Earth's solid surface. Not quite the same thing.

Quite aside from that, however, the cosmic-ray-generated black holes would be too fast-moving to endanger the Earth anyway.

Several assumptions there. Again, scale becomes an issue. We are talking "black holes" at a quantum scale. "Solid" matter becomes a relative term since every atom is mostly empty space. Then there are questions of 'charge.' Of course, the Hawking evaporation phenomenon becomes an issue.

And how do you quantify "slow enough to be dangerous?" What about two cosmic rays that approach Earth at high angles and interact with one another? One could play the speculation game all day and get no further.

You yourself admit to an ignorance of physics at this level and I've got the familiarity of an enthusiastic amateur but that's it. So the fact that actual physicists like Brian Green, Kip Thorne, Stephen Hawking, Ed Witten, et. al. aren't trumpeting from the rooftops about the risk of the LHC should be an indicator of something, shouldn't it? After all, if anybody is going to discover a problem with the maths, I would tend to think it would be them.

Again, that's not blind faith. That's just simply a lack of an opposing view from someone equally qualified.

Neither did Frankenstein, and for the same reason: Zeal

I bet you think that mad scientists only exist in fiction :-)

And if the LHC was built by a single scientist that looked like Peter Cushing or Gene Wilder, I'd agree with you. But scientists are, by necessity, a cautious lot and the LHC was built by international consortium. Besides, this has been a project that has been in the works for years. It's interesting that it's only in the last couple of years when the switch was about to be pulled has it got this kind of attention.

Most certainly not. Not an intimate, complete, reliable, non-tentative understanding of the physics involved in guaranteeing the immediate black hole evaporation. No one has that. Sorry to disillusion you.

A born cynic here. Which is why journalism was a natural career choice. But there are those with a far better understanding of the physics than either you or I have. I've listed a few. Or do you think they're only 'putting us on' as it were?

You also keep talking about the 'newness' of the physics and yet, most of our understanding of physics is relatively new. And yet you don't have a problem deriving benefit from it. Interesting.

But you're right. This is getting tiresome. When challenged on your assertions, the best you can come up with is insults and no real discussion.

Ah yes, the parting shot. *yawn*
Joined: 7/5/2006
Msg: 46
New legal challenge for the Hadron Collider...
Posted: 2/1/2010 5:23:40 PM
The one question that nobody has asked yet is...

What makes you think that quantum black-holes haven't been produced at *other* colliders, and have evaporated before they could even be detected...?
 Rug Doctor
Joined: 11/2/2005
Msg: 47
view profile
New legal challenge for the Hadron Collider...
Posted: 2/1/2010 8:34:03 PM
very nice handling of the argument, Appreciative.
Joined: 1/16/2008
Msg: 48
New legal challenge for the Hadron Collider...
Posted: 2/3/2010 6:20:17 AM
Bottom line is the discussion is moot. The thing is on. The courts have ruled in Cern's favour and several independent reviews have deemed the risk absolutely minimal. Of course, you can sit around, twiddling your fingers and crying that the sky is falling if you prefer. The science is going to get done.

Of course, the nice thing about being on this side of the debate....we have ample opportunities to say I told you so. If we all get sucked down a black hole, well....
 Island home
Joined: 7/5/2009
Msg: 49
New legal challenge for the Hadron Collider...
Posted: 2/3/2010 8:37:54 AM
^^I'm not a betting man
But you have inspired me to take out a million dollar loan and bet on us not going down the black hole

Any takers?
Joined: 1/16/2008
Msg: 50
New legal challenge for the Hadron Collider...
Posted: 2/3/2010 8:55:57 AM
And, to be accurate, I have to say the courts didn't exactly rule "in Cern's favour" as much as the "challenges" were usually out of the court's jurisdiction and purview. However, again, no real threat say the independent experts. Sadly, appy has failed to cite any sources of informed dissent, despite my actually helping him with a link.

Show ALL Forums  > Science/philosophy  > New legal challenge for the Hadron Collider...