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Thread: Apocalypse Now

  1. #1
    LO Zealot dr_nick22's Avatar
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    Apocalypse Now

    Okay, a while ago I heard about this particle accelerator thing they're building under France and Switzerland (it crosses the border 4 times). It's a 23km long ring that's designed to hurl particles at each other, and watch the result all in the name of physics. The only problem I have with this is that I generally don't like people dicking around with time and space, it can lead to some pretty bad results.

    I thought it could possibly lead to a rift in time and space or something being created, and kill us all, but I didn't worry too much cos I was just guessing. Now, I found this on wikipedia and to my surprise (I have very little knowledge of physics) I found out my concerns were actually founded :

    Large Hadron Collider - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    If you scroll down to 'Safety Concerns', it says-

    "...people both inside and outside of the physics community have voiced concern that the LHC might trigger one of several theoretical disasters capable of destroying the Earth or even the entire Universe. These include:

    * Creation of a stable black hole
    * Creation of strange matter that is more stable than ordinary matter
    * Creation of magnetic monopoles that could catalyze proton decay
    * Triggering a transition into a different quantum mechanical vacuum
    "

    Now, I don't know about you, but with potential dangers as massive as this, why is this thing still going to run? If world leaders are so worried about nuclear war, why don't they care about the universe possibly being destroyed?

    I understand there are some potential benefits from these experiments in the world of physics, but surely the risk outweighs the gain. What are your thoughts on the subject? Is this a good thing/bad thing? Should it be allowed to run? Plus anything else you might want to add. Apparently it's scheduled to run in November this year - 2007 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Apocalypse counting down...7 months to go...

    Last edited by dr_nick22; February 23rd, 2007 at 06:39.
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  3. #2
    Dawn Under Heaven Triumph Of Man's Avatar
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    And the biggest problem? It's so surreal I can't even comprehend it actually coming to pass.

    But still, if those really are possibilities I'm not so sure I want those scientists screwing around with that atom smasher. (


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    LO Zealot dr_nick22's Avatar
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    I know, it just seems so hard to comprehend, but the scary reality is, it's theoretically possible.

    I'd like to ask everyone who cares about the universe remaining un-destroyed, to fill in this complaint form - ABC TV: The Chaser's War on Everything - Dob In Line

    It's an Australian show called 'The Chaser's War on Everything'. It's a really funny show, and I think if we get enough people to fill in the form, stating the 'Large Hadron Collider' as the thing declared war on (and a bit of a reason), we can get them to do a segment on the show about it. It doesn't matter if you're not from Australia, we just need everyone we can get.

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    Well, as scary as it might sound from a sci-fi perspective, I really don't think a huge group of scientists from two countries would randomly decide to work together on a device that could destroy the planet. Sure it's a "particle accelerator", but I don't think too many people here really know what the thing is capable of. Perhaps we've learned a few theories here and there, but I doubt we can fathom the physics involved.

    I'm sure that if the scientists thought that there was a legitimate threat, (ripping a hole in time for example), that they would not have built it.
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  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fat_Badger View Post
    I'm sure that if the scientists thought that there was a legitimate threat, (ripping a hole in time for example), that they would not have built it.
    Heh. I think you have too much faith in scientists. Have you not read Mary Shelley's Frankenstein? We should face reality. Scientists or not, humans often do things just because they can. Act first, think later.

    There's no way of knowing what the real dangers of these massive particle accelerators will be, if any. If scientists knew what was possible, they wouldn't need to build them. I personally believe that the fears are unwarranted, but I have to admit I don't have any evidence for believing that. Just faith, in this case. Faith that the universe is not so fragile as to be vulnerable to a man-made black hole.

    It was the development of the new supercollider that led Gregory Benford to write Cosm, where scientists unwittingly make a new universe. An excellent read I highly recommend to all of you.
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    Before we go down the route of the Luddites I think its important to remember that there are already a number of large particle accelerators in the worlds (I thought there was one that crossed Belgium and France already in operation). The truth is the dangers that have been raised are pure speculation.


    "Perhaps the strongest argument for the safety of colliders such as the LHC comes from the simple fact that cosmic rays of much higher energies than the LHC can produce have been bombarding the Earth, Moon and other objects in the solar system for billions of years with no such effects."
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    Advocatus Diaboli Rork's Avatar
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    It's theoretically possible you walk out of your front door tomorrow and will be killed by a falling meteorite.

    Possible, but not probable (Out of six billion people, you don't hear about that many meteorite kills...).

    So it's not really likely to destroy the universe. Or do anything other than throw one set of particles at another.


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    for good and for awesome! kore's Avatar
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    Yeah, theories are a funny thing. In theory, I could walk through a wall if all the particles in the atoms that form the molecules of my body pass through the spaces between the particles of the atoms that form the molecules of the wall. I know that sentence is a mouthful, but read it slowly. A physics professor said that once in a lecture, he was awesome. In theory, it's possible. Is it probable? Hell no!
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    Quote Originally Posted by kore View Post
    Yeah, theories are a funny thing. In theory, I could walk through a wall if all the particles in the atoms that form the molecules of my body pass through the spaces between the particles of the atoms that form the molecules of the wall. I know that sentence is a mouthful, but read it slowly. A physics professor said that once in a lecture, he was awesome. In theory, it's possible. Is it probable? Hell no!
    I am pretty sure that isn't even theoretically possible because the energy bonds between the particles would block you. (Please correct me If I'm wrong but I always understood that matter wasn't just random particles floating around)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Visitor Q View Post
    I am pretty sure that isn't even theoretically possible because the energy bonds between the particles would block you. (Please correct me If I'm wrong but I always understood that matter wasn't just random particles floating around)
    After watching a documentary on String Theory, that's what I understood as well.


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