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Hadron Collider, Destroyer of Worlds? 6 days

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Scientists could generate a black hole as often as every second when the world's most powerful particle accelerator comes online in 2008.

This potential "black hole factory" has raised fears that a stray black hole could devour our planet whole. The Lifeboat Foundation, a nonprofit organization devoted to safeguarding humanity from what it considers threats to our existence, has stated that artificial black holes could "threaten all life on Earth" and so it proposes to set up "self-sustaining colonies elsewhere."

But the chance of planetary annihilation by this means "is totally miniscule," experimental physicist Greg Landsberg at Brown University in Providence, R.I., told LiveScience.

Black holes possible

The accelerator, known as the Large Hadron Collider, is under construction in an underground circular tunnel nearly 17 miles long at the world's largest physics laboratory, CERN, near Geneva.

At its maximum, each particle beam the collider fires will pack as much energy as a 400-ton train traveling at 120 mph. By smashing particles together and investigating the debris, scientists hope to help solve mysteries such as the origin of mass and why there is more matter than antimatter in the universe.

If theories about the universe containing extra dimensions other than those of space and time are correct, the accelerator might also generate black holes, Landsberg and his colleague Savas Dimopoulos at Stanford University in California calculated in 2001. Physicists Steve Giddings at the University of California, Santa Barbara and Scott Thomas at Stanford University in California reached similar conclusions.

Black holes possess gravitational fields so strong that nothing can escape them, not even light. They normally form when the remains of a dead star collapse under their own gravity, squeezing their mass together. Although black holes can't be seen, astronomers infer their existence by the gravitational effects they have on gas and stars around them.

Making black holes

A number of models of the universe suggest extra dimensions of reality exist that are each folded up into sizes ranging from as tiny as a proton, or roughly a millionth of a billionth of a meter, to as big as a fraction of a millimeter. At distances comparable to the size of these extra dimensions, gravity becomes far stronger, these models suggest. If this is true, the collider will cram enough energy together to initiate gravitational collapses that produce black holes.

If any of the models are right, the accelerator should create a black hole anywhere from every second to every day, each roughly possessing 5,000 times the mass of a proton and each a thousandth of a proton in size or smaller, Landsberg said.

Still, any fears that such black holes will consume the Earth are groundless, Landsberg said.

For one thing, theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking calculated all black holes should emit radiation, and that tiny black holes should lose more mass than they absorb, evaporating within a billionth of a trillionth of a trillionth of a second, "before they could gobble up any significant amount of matter," Landsberg said.

Not destroyed yet

CERN spokesman and former research physicist James Gillies also pointed out that Earth is bathed with cosmic rays powerful enough to create black holes all the time, and the planet hasn't been destroyed yet.

"Still, let's assume that even if Hawking is a genius, he's wrong, and that such black holes are more stable," Landsberg said. Nearly all of the black holes will be traveling fast enough from the accelerator to escape Earth's gravity. "Even if you produced 10 million black holes a year, only 10 would basically get trapped, orbiting around its center," Landsberg said.

However, such trapped black holes are so tiny, they could pass through a block of iron the distance from the Earth to the Moon and not hit anything. They would each take about 100 hours to gobble up one proton.

At that rate, even if one did not take into account the fact that each black hole would slow down every time it gobbled up a proton, and thus suck down matter at an even slower rate, "about 100 protons would be destroyed every year by such a black hole, so it would take much more than the age of universe to destroy even one milligram of Earth material," Landsberg concluded. "It's quite hard to destroy the Earth."

If the Large Hadron Collider does create black holes, not only will it prove that extra dimensions of the universe exist, but the radiation that decaying black holes emit could yield clues that help finally unite all the current ideas about the forces of nature under a "theory of everything."
 
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*yawn*



And because ppl are gonna smart arses about black holes: (btw: the offer of a scan no longer stands. No scanner at home D: )
 
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*yawn*



And because ppl are gonna smart arses about black holes: (btw: the offer of a scan no longer stands. No scanner at home D: )

I know there's been a thread on this before, I was bringing to light that it's 6 days away.
 
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hmm
this might be scary
but what is the real direct benefits of this process?
btw is there any official site that allow non american ppl to discuss physical theories and offer ones
 
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so we all going die after 6days?
if so damn :( i wanted to last till year 2012 to see world end :(
 
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Please don't focus most of your attention on the suggested destruction, that's just something media pick up and leech at it, because '6 days til the end of thr world' looks more interesting than 'scientists near their particle accelerator'.

If you've watched the videos, you mgiht find interest in some of the questions they propose such as the origin of mass.
 
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Oh wow didn't even realize how close this was. I've been excited for this for a while, but totally lost track of any news on it recently. It'll be an exciting day.
 
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Scares like this happen all the time. A comet was supposed to hit us back in 1994, but it missed the milky way altogether.

Not going to happen, about as likely as the scientist in that video getting laid.
 
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Very interesting.
Hope this answers everyone's questions...I mean, with a possibility of creating blackholes... it better as hell answer something.

Wonder how this will change the view of many religious people.

Also solpreto, the chance of creating blackholes is as likely as you winning a lottery ticket, so while not likely, it's possible.
 
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so if they do open a black hole should they not start making a way to close one?
 
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Why should we close black holes? Last time i checked they didn't do anything to us.
Lol. Because and you just know that's gonna cause tensions in the surrounding population. :p
 
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Lol. Because and you just know that's gonna cause tensions in the surrounding population. :p

lmfao. Well that changes everything. Actually it'd be pretty cool to have the power to close black holes. And it'd possibly be useful if a black hole ever popped up too close to us.
 
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Scares like this happen all the time. A comet was supposed to hit us back in 1994, but it missed the milky way altogether.

Not going to happen, about as likely as the scientist in that video getting laid.

Seriously, you must've got that news from the Daily Mail or something, because that's completely perpostrous.

I've never heard of a comet escaping the gravity of it's host celestial body (i.e, stars).

So either that's BS or you got it from an extremely unreliable source.

I mean even if there were comets flying around in deep space, I don't think we have the technology to see is so far away from our solar system, and I don't think we would have mis-calculated that much as to predict it hitting Earth (not our solar system, but Earth itself). Then the comet would have to be travelling amazing speeds; impossible speeds.
 
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lmfao. Well that changes everything. Actually it'd be pretty cool to have the power to close black holes. And it'd possibly be useful if a black hole ever popped up too close to us.
But Konrow! That's not how black holes work!
 
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Seriously, you must've got that news from the Daily Mail or something, because that's completely perpostrous.

I've never heard of a comet escaping the gravity of it's host celestial body (i.e, stars).

So either that's BS or you got it from an extremely unreliable source.

I mean even if there were comets flying around in deep space, I don't think we have the technology to see is so far away from our solar system, and I don't think we would have mis-calculated that much as to predict it hitting Earth (not our solar system, but Earth itself). Then the comet would have to be travelling amazing speeds; impossible speeds.

On the contrary, if a comet passes close to a large object, it can be drawn closer to it than usual. This will then increase the velocity of the object throwing it out of it's usual path.

This event is actually fairly likely to happen, as nothing in space is static. If such an event happened to Earth, it could also throw us out of the solar system and into the orbit of another star.

Also, to whomever said it, I did not say that it was an impossibility, I just said it was not very likely to happen.

EDIT:

And yeah, if a black hole popped up close to use, it would rip apart the milky way, and everything would be sucked into it, including us. But I suppose lulz will ensue when that black hole and the black hole at the center of the milky way get sucked into each other.
 
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