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20 September 2008

I Just Checked! We're Still here!

This all started with the "Why are American's so afraid of Science" post. Not 24 hours later, some dimwit in my local paper starts talking about the end of the world. Needless to say I got hot under the collar. I decided to correct this retard, but just to raise the irony, I was going to do it AFTER the LHC had spun up. Anyway, here is my reply to that fucktard.

Even that website says we're all still here! Hmm, it's on the internets, so it must be true, right? Okay, here is my attempted layman's explanation for why we are still here, and why we will continue to be here, no matter what they do at LHC.

FIRST OF ALL, no particles collided in this test. All the protons that were injected into the LHC were all going the same way. This is just a test. Had it been the end of the world, the above website would have let you know.

Now, assuming that particles are smashed together, which will happen in the future, I bet the above website will continue to display "Nope" for a long time coming. Why? Well, there are three (well really two, but snoopygirl mentioned one that was just too hilarious to ignore) primary concerns, and I hope to address them.

Black Holes: Black holes are naturally formed by gargantuan stellar masses collapsing in on themselves and overcoming all nuclear forces through gravity. In the case of the LHC, there is math that gives the possibility of subatomic particles colliding with enough ENERGY to create subatomic particle sized black holes. HOWEVER, given the amount of mass involved, these black holes would be so small that Hawking Radiation would cause them to nearly instantaneously evaporate. The neat trick here is that the math that predicts the possibility of their appearance, is the same math that assures their evaporation. Kinda neat that! Furthermore, these black holes are sooooo small, that they have only an infinitesimal chance to even react with anything! As I once said, an atom is 99.999999999999999% empty space. So even IF said black hole encountered a particle, gobbled it up, and somehow grew, it would still be so small that Hawking Radiation would have it evaporate nearly instantaneously anyway. (But wait, it just gained mass and is near an atom! It's going to get more particles! Actually no, the resulting surrounding charge would drive the black hole away from the source of said matter, driving it towards another area of the atom, thus giving it time to evaporate.)

Strangelets: Okay, these are a bit more tricky. There are theories on the fringe of particle physics that thinks that if enough "strange" quarks are bound together, it creates a state of matter that is highly energetic and unstable. Now, the problem here is that anything with a strange quark decays rather quickly (in particle physics scales) via weak interaction. In order for them to be stable, some rather fantastic events need to occur. Delving into the math of all this, the energies from the LHC AND Cosmic rays are relatively equal. So, if the LHC is about to create strangelets, then cosmic rays can also create strangelets. Well, since the planet has been around for billions of years, the safe bet is to say that these energy levels have no chance to produce strangelets, and we'll continue to be around. Just to be sure, check the website!

I do find it funny that you'll accept a strangelet, which has no empirical evidence, but evolution, with mountains of evidence is continually denied... Just a curiosity!

Other Dimensions: Okay, this one cracked me up. What particle physicists are talking about here are higher order dimensions. Not alternate planes of existence. According to theory (which we're trying to empirically test), these dimensions are small. So frightfully small that they are unobservable without the LHC. If anything were "living" in those dimensions, they would most likely be killed by the nearest passing electron (comedy if you can get it). Since these dimensions are already here (according to theory) all around us, seeing evidence of them should have no effect what so ever on them after we know they are there as opposed to before when we didn't know they were there.

If you are actually interested in REAL science, I am always available to talk about it. If you want to read up more about things, I suggest the Bad Astronomy blog. Dr Phil Plait is a funny and engaging writer.


James Jr said...

Hello Major Larion,

I flew a Black Hawk simulator in Germany once many years ago, absolutely awesome, I'm curious what you fly.

You accurately repeat CERN's safety arguments. Unfortunately CERN's theories are credibly disputed[1][2][3][4][5][6] and some (including I) question if CERN is open, honest and unbiased in their risk assessments.[9][10][11]

One fallacious argument you cite is that the same theory that predicts micro black holes also predicts their evaporation. Its not the same theory (string theory's multi-dimensions predicts micro black holes. Anti-matter being anti-energy rather than the energy it is and time reversal predict black hole radiation, debunked conjecture and pseudo science[2][5][6]).

As you state math and most scientists agree that high energy collisions at the Large Hadron Collider might create slow moving micro black holes[12].

Nature does not create slow moving micro black holes on Earth[13] but CERN theorizes these would evaporate extremely quickly or grow extremely slowly and thus not pose a danger[10].

Other scientists believe micro black holes might eventually cause a catastrophe on Earth and propose CERN slow down[1] and conduct additional safety reviews[2][3].

CERN's plan is to reach high energy collisions as quickly as possible.[10]

Another fallacious argument debunked by former cosmic ray researcher Walter L. Wagner is that the existence of Earth proves safety. In the Large Hadron Collider protons (and later lead nucleon) collide head on (similar to head-on car collissions) some of the resulting particles will travel too slowly to escape Earth.

When a cosmic ray strikes Earth atmosphere (similar to rear-ending a stopped car) any stable neutral black holes created would have relativistic velocities they would all travel through Earth and safely into space.[13]

Scientists views differ[14], but opposition scientists include senior German astrophysicist Dr. Habil. Rainer Plaga who refutes CERN's safety assumptions and proposes CERN slow down[1].

Endophysics founder and Chaos Theory contributor Prof. Dr. Otto E. Rössler calculates micro black holes would grow quickly and seeks a safety conference[2].

Former Nuclear Safety Officer and cosmic ray researcher Walter L. Wagner originally discovered flaws in CERN's safety arguments and sued for proof of safety[3].

Other scientists have written papers refuting aspects of CERN's safety arguments[4][5][6], given lectures questioning risk assessments[7][8] and written articles alleging bias and censorship in CERN's handling of safety information[9][10][11].

Others have called for scientific oversight.[15][16]
James Tankersley Jr.
(Armor 1st Lieutenant in the early 1990s)

[1] On the potential catastrophic risk from metastable quantum-black holes produced at particle colliders - Rainer Plaga Rebuttal (2008)

[2] Abraham-Solution to Schwarzschild Metric Implies That CERN Miniblack Holes Pose a Planetary Risk, Prof. Dr. Otto Rossler (2008)

[3] US Federal Lawsuit Filings - Walter L. Wagner (2008)

[4] On the Stability of Black Holes at the LHC, M. D. Maia, E. M. Monte (19 Aug 2008)

[5] Do black holes radiate?. Dr. Adam Helfer (2003)

[6], On the existence of black hole evaporation yet again, Prof. VA Belinski (2006)

[7] A 1-in-1,000 Chance of Götterdämmerung, Will European physicists destroy the world? Ronald Bailey | September 2, 2008

[8] Particle Accelerators, CERN, and Doomsday. Prof Shahn Majid (2008)


[10] CERN?s Dr. Ellis tells only half of the story - (2008)

[11] CERN wins battle at Wikipedia, LHC history scrubbed, TWO MOSQUITOES

[12] The case for mini black holes, CERN Courier (2004)

[13] LHC Safety Assessment Group, 16 Mar 2008

[14] Peter Higgs launches attack against Nobel rival Stephen Hawking, TimesOnLine, Sep 11, 2008

[15], We must be wary of scientific research, Gerald Warner, (10 Sep 2008)

[16] Stop CERN Euro Court Action Slips And Slides Forward, Alan Gillis, 1 Sep 2008

Larian LeQuella said...

Hey James. Thanks for the comment. First of all, that was a "layman's description" as I said. I was going for the back woods rubes that live up here in Florida, so any of the links you used to support would easilly have lost them.

While I appreciate your links, they are pretty much identical to the arguments used when Brookhaven LHIC went online. That bad boy has been going for 8+ years now, and none of THOSE fears have materialized. I know that LHC is of an order of magnitude greater, but the same math holds up.

Saying that anti-matter and anti-energy are the roots to black hole evaporation is not at all what I was getting at. We're talking Hawkings radiation, which is a quantum fluctuation in string theory. Granted, ti's not exactly the same (again, layman's terms) but for the sake of the energy levels, masses, and basic underlying theory, they tie in with each other nicely.

As for what I flew, it's all over my web page. :) KC-135RT and C-21A.

James Jr said...

Sorry for the slow response:

You state "Saying that anti-matter and anti-energy are the roots to black hole evaporation is not at all what I was getting at. We're talking Hawkings radiation, which is a quantum fluctuation in string theory."

Actually Dr. Hawkings 1975 paper explaining Hawking Radiation includes this quote:

"Just outside the event horizon there will be virtual pairs of particles, one with negative
energy and one with positive energy.

Matter is energy, Anti-matter is energy... Negative energy?

Dr. Hawking's theory requires that dark energy does not exist to feed black holes and he includes other equally weird alternate conjecture that the anti-matter particle would travel back in time "one could regard them as positive energy particles crossing the horizon on past directed world-lines and then being scattered on to future-directed world-lines by the gravitational field."

CERN's Dr. Ellis recently defended Hawking Radiation with a slide containing "time reversal" as an argument defending Hawking Radiation.[2]

Scary, this theory has been called poorly reasoned logic and CERN does not feel the need for proper vetting of their safety theories?

I'm concerned.

[1], Particle Creation by Black Holes, S. W. Hawking (12 Apr 1975)

[2] CERN?s Dr. Ellis tells only half of the story - (2008)

James Jr said...

By the way, nice Learjet!

Larian LeQuella said...

Yeah, the learjet was a great plane to fly! Enjoyed it tremendously.

Anti-matter versus anti-particles. Tricky distinction I grant you, and as I have siad, it's a layman's explanation.

As for reverse time, there actually are no laws of physics that prevent it. We're just stuck in our temporal dimension the way we are, and as such have a rather skewed view on it.

I guess we need to wait a couple more months though, since they had that mechanical malfunction.

At least look at it this way. If I am right, nothing happens, and we may learn something. If you are right, it'll be over so fast no one will feel or notice anything anyway. :) I always contended that humans are probably the worst of what the universe has managed to evolve right now. It may be better off without us!