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LHC Flips On Tomorrow 526

Posted by Soulskill
from the nice-knowing-you-all dept.
BTJunkie writes "The Large Hadron Collider, the worlds most expensive science experiment, is set to be turned on tomorrow. We've discussed this multiple times already. A small group of people believe our world will be sucked into extinction (some have even sent death threats). The majority of us, however, won't be losing any sleep tonight." Reader WillRobinson notes that CERN researchers declared the final synchronization test a success and says, "The first attempt to circulate a beam in the LHC will be made this Wednesday, Sept. 10 at the injection energy of 450 GeV (0.45 TeV). The start up time will be between (9:00 to 18:00 Zurich Time) (2:00 to 10:00 CDT) with live webcasts provided at webcast.cern.ch."
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LHC Flips On Tomorrow

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  • Re:Death threats (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 09, 2008 @06:18PM (#24938625)
    Because they're dumb.
  • by fermion (181285) on Tuesday September 09, 2008 @06:48PM (#24939017) Homepage Journal
    The naysayers retort is that no one ever has seen Hawking radiation. My retort is that we are afraid that a black hole, which is only a theoretical construct that requires that certain constructs go to infinity, is not being evaporated by Hawking radiation, which coincidentally is another theoretical construct which requires theoretical virtual particles to theoretically become real. If one fanciful theoretical object cannot be eliminated by another fanciful theoretical object, then all my education through bad science fiction is for naught. In the end, right before we are destroyed, we can take solace in knowing two things. First, that black holes are real. Second, that Hawking radiation is not. Sometimes scientific proof comes at a great price.
  • Re:Death threats (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sexconker (1179573) on Tuesday September 09, 2008 @06:59PM (#24939159)

    Insightful?

    Logical fallacy is fallacious.

    A threatens B because A believes B's experiments will destroy the world. B believes this is not the case.

    There is no indication that B does not fear death.
    B most likely falls in line with the general stance on death - B probably doesn't want to die.

  • Fermi Paradox? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gumpish (682245) on Tuesday September 09, 2008 @07:01PM (#24939177) Journal

    Is this the answer to the Fermi paradox? [wikipedia.org]

    If, given the expected number of star systems with planets capable of supporting life (which although may be a low percentage of stars still isn't nil), and given that evolution eventually results in intelligence (or at least there's a decent probability it does), then there should be plenty of other intelligent civilizations (certainly including post-Singularity civilizations). But there (apparently) aren't.

    So either we're first, out of all those star systems...

    Or just perhaps intelligent civilizations all eventually delve into the field of particle physics and build colliders... then wink out of existence in spontaneous black holes.

  • by skuzzlebutt (177224) <jdb@@@jeremydbrooks...com> on Tuesday September 09, 2008 @07:31PM (#24939535) Homepage

    Thankfully, there is an RSS feed so you know in real-time if the Earth has been destroyed:

    http://www.hasthelhcdestroyedtheearth.com/rss.xml [hasthelhcd...eearth.com]

    But, what if the end of the world affects my DSL? Is there an option for SMS?

  • by TheDauthi (219285) on Tuesday September 09, 2008 @08:56PM (#24940637)
    It would take an absurdly long time for it to get to a macroscopic scale. Just because it's a black hole doesn't mean it's going to just suck everything up. In fact, if it were a charged, stable, non-massive black hole, it can go for quite some time without absorbing matter, simply because of how weak gravity is compared to the other forces. The gravity of a single proton is still going very weak compared to that of its charge.
  • by fishbowl (7759) on Tuesday September 09, 2008 @09:29PM (#24940995)

    I always ask for the CV of whoever calls Sen. Obama "inexperienced."
    They always make excuses, rather than disclose their own position from which they criticize.

  • by hardburn (141468) <hardburn@wumpu[ ]ave.net ['s-c' in gap]> on Tuesday September 09, 2008 @10:12PM (#24941441)

    Don't say that. Just keep quiet and when we're all still alive on Thursday, the naysayers will just go away.

  • by extrasolar (28341) on Tuesday September 09, 2008 @11:46PM (#24942241) Homepage Journal

    Are you willing to gamble the existence of the universe on that untested hypothesis? Yes?

    Sure, you could reply to this post thinking that nothing will go wrong; but are you really willing to gamble the existence of the universe on this untested hypothesis?

    See, that's the problem with this whole line of reasoning: the idea that as the conception of danger increases, the less risk we are allowed to afford. And since everything has some risk, there is, afterall, all kinds of things we don't know anything about; and for all you know responding to this very post may bring about the end of the universe.

    But the problem is that any actual risk doesn't need to be demonstrated, and apologists are left with the burden of proving a negative: that running the LHC won't bring about the end of the universe. That's why this is a fallacy, but it works in the same way all scare campaigns work: it affects the primitive part of the brain.

  • by darkmeridian (119044) <william.chuang@NOsPam.gmail.com> on Wednesday September 10, 2008 @12:27AM (#24942643) Homepage

    This is really the big problem here: we like to imagine black holes as object that suck everything in, but that's only true of black holes that have star-level masses. A black hole sounds impressive until you realize it could weigh as much as a proton. At that scale, it's gravitational pull isn't really going to be big enough to be a big deal on the femtoscale. And at that collapsed size, there is no reason that it will go and contact anything it can suck in.

"Pull the trigger and you're garbage." -- Lady Blue

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