“There is, I believe, in every disposition a tendency to some particular evil, a natural defect, which not even the best education can overcome.”
“And your defect is a propensity to hate everybody.”
“And yours… is wilfully to misunderstand them.” –
Jane Austen

Every time we go to higher and higher energies in our particle accelerators, we’ve got a chance for new discoveries, a new understanding, and if we’re lucky, some brand new (and unexpected) physics.

Image credit: CERN.

Image credit: CERN.

But — on the downside — the crazies all come out of the woodwork, and it’s time to take on the most regularly-trotted-out, sensational and unscientific claim of all: that the LHC will create a black hole with the potential to destroy the Earth.

Image credit: original source unknown, retrieved from https://oediku.wordpress.com/2010/10/01/black-hole-on-earth/.

Image credit: original source unknown, retrieved from https://oediku.wordpress.com/2010/10/01/black-hole-on-earth/.

No. It won’t. And here’s why.

Comments

  1. #1 Max Millhiser
    March 24, 2015

    That would save us a lot of trouble.

  2. #2 Henry Norman
    Philippines
    March 24, 2015

    To expand a “Planck bit” on Ethan’s illuminating post:

    A “black hole” with a mass M = 5E–23 kg would have a Schwarzschild Radius (calculated as 2GM/c^2, where G is the gravity constant) of ≈ 7.4E–50 m. This is more than 1E15 times less than the “Planck length” (≈ 1.6E–35 m), WAY outside current physics…

    Using Hawking’s “lifetime formula” (5120πG^2M^3/(ћc^4), goo.gl/TdpDlz), this indeed comes out to ≈ 1E–83 s (a staggering 1E39 times LESS than the “Planck time” (≈ 5.4E–44 s)), “no time at all”… Ethan’s 0.0002 g is roughly the “Planck mass,” calculated as (ћc/G)^0.5 kg, the smallest possible “point mass” (look it up: goo.gl/PBISpQ).

    Perspective: Light in free space travels one Planck length unit in one Planck time unit, that is ≈ 1.6E–35 m in 5.4E–44 s, which scales up to 299 792 458 m/s. Fast!

    So rest easy, folks… Our Earth is quite safe: No “black hole” will be created, regardless of what Interstellar-inspired hype-biased media “science reporters” are trying to tell y’all!

    One objection: “Hawking radiation” is not an established scientific fact (as implied in Ethan’s article). So far, it has never been observed. It is an unproven, possibly untestable hypothesis (Hawking has never claimed anything else), relying on an exotic and rather questionable substance called “negative mass” to work. Hardly convincing, still in most of the media and popular science books, this radiation has been upgraded to “fact” over the years. (See Adam Helfer’s 2003 paper “Do Black Holes Radiate?“ (goo.gl/F0muRy), and my “Questioning Hawking Radiation” (goo.gl/uQORm3)).

  3. #3 Wow
    March 25, 2015

    I’ll take issue with one point there, Henry.

    relying on an exotic and rather questionable substance called “negative mass” to work

    Incorrect. It relies on the assumption that the laws of thermodynamics are really universal (outside quantum fluctuations).

    Just like Special Relativity assumed that the order of events were always concordant for ALL observers.

    That assumption leads to the idea of “negative mass” just like the one for SR leads to the idea that the speed of light is invariant.

    That thermodynamics being universal is an axiom is what makes it untestable, unless we discover that black holes do not obey the laws of thermodynamics or a better explanation that explains why that law arises from a different axiomatic principle.

  4. #4 mortimer zilch
    March 25, 2015

    all well and good – except for pinning your hope on the workings of Hawking radiation…which is ‘eh’ a bit like propping an elephant on a skinny cane…the elephant here being the safety of the Earth, and the cane the Hawking radiation which is not proven to exist…. and furthermore,…
    your attempt holds if ONLY ONE black hole is created…but what if a million are created?
    Obviously my point is the project controllers for LHC don’t really give a shit. It’s another example of amoral scientists trying to do what they think they can do, and not caring enough about whether they really SHOULD do it. Lather at the mouth crazed is what it is, with no one to reign you back.
    Your article was a good attempt to allay the unscientific fears, but doesn’t ally the SCIENTIFIC fears, that: a) Hawking radiation isn’t going to do its bit and ‘evaporate’ the black holes; b) black holes turn out to be more stable than predicted; c) you make too many of them and they attract each other and make a large enough black hole to fall down through the chamber and go to the center of the Earth.

  5. #5 G
    March 25, 2015

    What to do about this:

    Someone says “black hole doom!”, reply approximately as follows:

    “No, according to physics, that isn’t possible. But there’s something else that’s much more scary, because unlike death by black hole, which would be nearly instantaneous, it’s slow and lingering and agonizing. It’s climate change. If we keep burning fossil fuels, particularly coal, we’ll crash the Earth’s carrying capacity and then we’ll die of starvation, wars, and horrible new diseases. Are you registered to vote?”

    Hypothesis: Scary “Sci-Fi Doom” scenarios are a displacement of anxiety from bad things that are far more probable.

    The biggest one we face today is climate change, followed by (for most people in the US today) personal financial catastrophe such as sudden unemployment. Both of those are a direct outcome of the policies of the Republican party. Anyone here who isn’t registered to vote yet, go out and register, ASAP.

    Yoo-hoo, Mortimer: We can’t create even one black hole, much less gazillions, and this doesn’t depend on Hawking being right. I’d seriously suggest that if you’re worried about the world going to hell in a handbasket, you should bug everyone you know to register to vote, and then make sure they all vote for whoever the Democrats run in 2016. Because that’ll do a lot more to alleviate the things that are actually likely to harm you.

  6. #6 dean
    March 25, 2015

    It’s another example of amoral scientists trying to do what they think they can do, and not caring enough about whether they really SHOULD do it.

    That’s some seriously loony stuff, that is.

  7. #7 Wow
    March 25, 2015

    except for pinning your hope on the workings of Hawking radiation

    A masterful observation, but one with two flaws: First, the conclusion doesn’t depend on Hawking radiation, and secondly the conclusion doesn’t depend on Hawking radiation.

    I realise that’s the same problem stated twice, but it was such a humdinger that I felt I needed to say it twice.

  8. #8 Wow
    March 25, 2015

    Mort, I realise that if this had been done by Texas instead of all those commie europeans, there would be little problem with the collider. But the plain fact of the matter is that the same process happens frequently in the space the earth occupies and it would certainly have destroyed the earth if the scenario was remotely possible in its 4.5 billion year existence.

  9. #9 Sinisa Lazarek
    March 25, 2015

    @ Mortimer
    “Obviously my point is the project controllers for LHC don’t really give a shit.”

    obviously your point is to be taken as a piece of sh***

  10. #10 Rick
    March 25, 2015

    As a layman, I must concede to the scientists on this subject. But which ones? Those who say “it’s all good. We got this.” or those who sued to stop it?

    I know, you’re an expert. I’m an expert in another field so I know how sure you must feel. But I’ve been proven wrong by someone’s hunch. What did I get out of it? Humility. Something most “ya ya… it’s ok” closed minded experts still need to learn.

    I have a gut feeling I know the answer to Fermi’s paradox.

    — Lexx
    “The collider will reach the energy level required to determine the mass of the Higgs-Boson. Achieving this energy level will of course also destroy this planet by collapsing it into an ultra dense particle about the size of a pea. But you will die knowing the true mass of the final building block of nature.”

  11. #11 Wow
    March 25, 2015

    If the only information you have is “one side is doing it” and “one side is suing to stop it”, then you’re not informed enough to pick a side, Rick.

    Find out what the argument is and the actual qualifications of the scientists who are suing to stop this. Because science isn’t done in court, so that’s a big ticked there for a scientist to explain: sue to stop an experiment?!?!?

  12. #12 Wow
    March 25, 2015

    closed minded experts still need to learn.

    But not so open your brain falls out. Which is where you seem to want them to go.

    You CANNOT just claim that someone must be wrong because they’re saying “we got it right”, you need more to your argument than that.

    Otherwise you’re merely coding up that no answer can be claimed, that every time you make a decision, you must change it.

    Since you don’t obey that exhortation yourself in every day life, you MUST afford more reason than just “Keep an open mind”.

    After all, you don’t know that the mind of the scientists saying “We got this” have closed minds. They may be entirely open.

  13. #13 AlainCo (@alain_co)
    France
    March 25, 2015

    The best defence agains this theory is that nature is sending particles (gamma) whose energy is much bigger that what LHC can produce…
    and this everyday since millenia.
    This is what Auger observatory is observing.

    there are some rape particle going up to EeV…

    CERN is wise enough not to bet the fate of our planet and inhabitant on a theory.

    they prefer to bet on long experience of survival tested by Planet Earth, with much bigger stimulus.

  14. #14 Doug Little
    United States
    March 25, 2015

    Rick,

    Your gut is wrong.

  15. #15 Sean T
    March 25, 2015

    I agree Doug; Rick’s gut is wrong. I think it’s much more likely that climate change gives us more insight into Fermi’s paradox. It’s entirely possible that any “intelligent” species that achieves the technology to communicate with other species on other planets will necessarily do so at the cost of destroying their own planet.

    I’m not claiming that I’m definitively correct here; it certainly is still possible that we are the unique instance of intelligent life in the universe. Further, we have observed a sample size of one “intelligent” species. Obviously, other species might do better than we are doing (if they exist).

  16. #16 Russell Seitz
    March 25, 2015

    Dark Matter is so unbiquitous that it has washed over into the Climate Wars.

  17. #17 MandoZink
    Louisville, KY
    March 25, 2015

    When I hear misunderstood notions of black holes (and the LHC), I inevitably recall the scene from “Star Trek Into Darkness”, where the Romulan vessel transforms into a black hole and immediately starts to suck in everything around it, even though it’s mass has not changed. A mini-black hole, if it doesn’t immediately evaporate, would be too miniscule to ever interact with anything.

    What I don’t have a good handle on are the fears expressed of another object that was talked about – strange quarks. It was posed that in the unlikely event that a strange quark WAS created, it would start a cascade of adjacent up-down quarks permanently reverting to strange quarks, rapidly subverting every molecule around, and turning the planet into in uninhabitable strange-quark world.

  18. #18 Michael Kelsey
    SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
    March 25, 2015

    @MandoZink #17: The object in question isn’t just “a strange quark.” We make those all the time, usually in pairs (strange-antistrange). Look up the “DAPHNE” detector at the “KLOE” accelerator in Italy, for example.

    The bogeyman you mention is a “strangelet” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strangelet), which is a bound state of a large number of admixed up, down and strange quarks. “Bare” strange quarks (for example, in K mesons or hyperons), decay via the weak interaction in about 10^-12 s.

    The idea is that the binding energy of a larger system could be enough to stabilize the strange quarks (just as being bound into a nucleus stabilizes neutrons against their natural decay). In such a case, a strangelet would be more stable than a nucleus (made just of up and down quarks) with the same total number of quarks. If so, collisions between strangelets and normal nuclei could cause the latter to be “absorbed” or “converted” to strangelets themselves.

    Since strangelets have never been observed (and indeed no multiquark systems of any kind!), this all remains in the realm of idle speculation.

  19. #19 MandoZink
    Louisville, KY
    March 25, 2015

    Thanks Michael. It is the “strangelet” I was referring to. I believe it might have been discussed somewhat competently in a column by Matt Strassler, but all I recall was not really understanding if the strangelet, and the havoc it could wreak, were actualities. There were a few sensationalist strangelet doomsday stories in the less-than-accurate mainstream press.

  20. #20 Wiehan Rudolph
    Johannesburg, Gauteng, ZA
    March 26, 2015

    “Since strangelets have never been observed (and indeed no multiquark systems of any kind!), this all remains in the realm of idle speculation” (Kelsey M.,2015).

    On further speculation, would it be possible for a multiquark system to exist inside a neutron star which can be punctured by a ‘strangelet’? This could create a situation in which a ‘strangelet’ can cause catalysed conversions to quark matter.

  21. #21 eric
    March 26, 2015

    Since strangelets have never been observed (and indeed no multiquark systems of any kind!), this all remains in the realm of idle speculation.

    I think we can probably make a stronger statement than that. Since the universe is full of high-energy subatomic particle collisions, the fact that we observe no growing mass of strangelet matter anywhere in the universe is fairly good evidence that the runaway reaction doesn’t actually occur. If it could happen, it would’ve happened already. It didn’t, so it can’t.

    Note I’m not saying strangelets can’t form, only that based on observation it is highly unlikely that they have the self-catalyzing property needed for an Earth-enveloping chain reaction.

  22. #22 DJ
    March 26, 2015

    I have to contest this one point, which I will confess I’ve seen made by countless astrophysicists.

    “We like to think of black holes as “sucking” in matter, but the truth of the matter is, they can only interact with it gravitationally.”

    My objection is that I have never, ever, met someone who thinks that black holes work by anything other than gravity. No one was particularly surprised to find out, in the movie Interstellar, that planets could orbit a black hole and weren’t just “sucked in”. I mean, there’s a LOT of misinformation about black holes and gravity out there, but on this ONE count, I think the experts are wrong about how lay people are wrong. Where did this idea come from, I wonder? Maybe the part of the picture I’m missing is a look at your inbox, wherein some mulletted people with black velvet unicorn pictures on their trailer wall regularly ask why black holes haven’t “etted up everything yet”, but that’s not been my experience at least.

  23. #23 Wow
    March 26, 2015

    My objection is that I have never, ever, met someone who thinks that black holes work by anything other than gravity.

    And they think that gravity sucks things in. You may never had noticed this but this could either be

    a) because you have never argued with people who worried about a black hole could be created by the LHC or other black hole catastrophe.
    b) because you agree with them but don’t know why

    Where did this idea come from, I wonder?

    Who knows. Where do you get the idea that the LHC could possibly destroy the earth from? If you don’t, then why do those who do think that think it can happen?

    One problem is Disney’s “The Black Hole”, where the space station has to offer its engine power to stop it being sucked into the black hole, as happens at the end of the movie when the heroes baulk the bad guys’ scheme.

  24. #24 Michael Kelsey
    SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
    March 26, 2015

    @Wiehan Rudolph #20: Your question about neutron stars directly treats the larger question of what the NS equation of state is. It is quite likely that the core region consists of a quark-gluon plasma (a large system of unbound quarks and gluons). At the energies involved, there will likely be quark-antiquark pairs of all flavors present.

    But this isn’t really what a “strangelet” is supposed to be. Rather, a strangelet is supposedly a “small” cluster of quarks (no antiquarks) analogous to a whole atomic nucleus without the nuclear level structure of proton and neutron “shells” we observe.

    @eric #21: The problem with an argument like yours, about “not observing” strangelet interactions in the universe, is that I’m not sure there would be anything _to_ observe. It may be more like Russell’s Teapot argument than an actual demonstration of non-existence. One could argue that the transition to a lower-energy strangelet state (as hypothesized) would release gamma rays, but would they be gammas, or X-rays, or visible light? Would there be enough to observe? Would there be a characteristic spectrum, or just some continuum production?

  25. #25 eric
    March 26, 2015

    Michael @24:
    The argument seems to be that if strangelet matter contacts regular matter, it transforms it on and on forever. Earth’s atoms come from probably thousands of different supernovae, which (among other things) are bigger and better particle accelerators than anything we could ever build or even hope to ever build. So either the strangelet cascade doesn’t happen, or it decays back into normal matter quickly enough that not one single particle of it reaches earth from any celestial body..

  26. #26 Michael Kelsey
    SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
    March 26, 2015

    @eric #25: Ah! I guess I misunderstood your argument — I thought you were using the fact that we hadn’t observed astronomical evidence of strangelet cascades as evidence they don’t exist.
    Rather, you’re saying that we should have already been impacted by (at least) one over the Earth’s lifetime. I think you’re right, in that we can use this argument to set a limit on the local strangelet density. Without doing a detailed calculation, I’m not sure how tight a limit you’ll get from that, though I think I’d expect something close to the limit we have for local antimatter.

  27. #27 eric
    March 27, 2015

    Michael,
    Initially I was making the stronger ‘don’t exist’ argument. However you are right, what my argument implies is really an upper bounds on the ‘cross section’ or probability of such a reaction, not that it must be zero. Your analogy to antimatter is very helpful in seeing that.

  28. #28 Wow
    March 27, 2015

    eric, it’s more that your evidence is indicative rather than proof of the nonexistence of it.

    I.e. the fact that I’ve spent 50 years going round the planet looking for blue swans s very good indication that the claim “There is no such thing as a blue swan”. Finding one would be DISPROOF, and not even bothering to look means the lack of evidence is more easily explained by that lack of effort than a genetic disability to concoct such a creature naturally.

    So you’re a lot stronger than you now accept, because Michael is looking for a proof concept not an evidentiary one.

    The difference is one reason why popperian falsifiability has dropped out of favour in science as a proof of a theory.

  29. #29 Michael Kelsey
    SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
    March 27, 2015

    @eric, @Wow: You’re both right!

    Wow, I don’t think Popper’s falsifiability criterion was ever thought of as “proof of a theory.” Rather, it’s part of the definition of whether something _is_ a theory at all. If a hypothesis or model doesn’t make testable predictions, then it’s not useful for science at all. “Testable” can be an in-principle statement, rather than pragmatic: We don’t yet have technology which can detect primordial neutrinos, but that doesn’t mean such technology is impossible.

    Eric, setting limits is what science does best with null results. It’s impossible to “prove” non-existence. The best we can do is look at how long, or over how large a volume, we have been searching, and estimate how much stuff could be there even though we haven’t seen anything. That’s an upper limit (usually quoted as a 90% or 95% confidence level).

  30. #30 Wow
    March 28, 2015

    The definition of popper was that, Michael, but its use was that there had to be falsifiability, and the fact it couldn’t be proven was proof it couldn’t be true.

    Byeseian theory and priors held a different standard and also gave the idea that had been had, even with Popper, that you may not be able to PROVE a theory, but you can still call it proven, in the old meaning of the term of “to test” and shown valid.

    Popperian falsifiability wasn’t supposed to be about logical proof, but the test and success or failure of a theory, and having passed the proof, is proven. Until disproved.

    Just wanted to drive that point out, mostly as help to those who hear “Just a theory” and “your science can only be proven false, whereas my faith cannot be proven false” and wonder why scientists still say “proven” and act like their theories are proven.

    In part because the proper and correct use of proof is “to pass the test”.

  31. #31 LINDOKUHLE PEARL MNISI
    March 28, 2015

    WOW.Scared me there.An interesting mind you to think beyond the beyond.Will be more than happy to follow your page

  32. #32 Deeds
    South Africa
    March 30, 2015

    Hypothetically speaking , if the LHC were to create a microscopic black hole and , could it also be possible to create a microscopic porthole to the theoretical alternative dimensions , otherwise where would a microscopic particle go if swallowed by a black hole ?

  33. #33 Paul Dekous
    France
    March 30, 2015

    What about the density and frequency of the LHC which is 10^9 higher than for cosmic rays, as shown in this graph:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Cosmic-ray_spectrum_with_LHC_luminosity.png

  34. #34 Kishore kelatass
    kaduppassery
    March 31, 2015

    INDIAN SCIENCE

    It is not possible to find the smallest particle by keep on dividing an object.  This is because the smallest particle can still be divided into two.  Still , there is a limit for this division by nature’s law.  This limit is described in Masspith principle.  Everyone knows that we cannot complete the counting process.  In such a case, to what extent counting is possible ? There is a limit to it and this is a universal truth.  This is why we say that mathematics ends before infinite.  

    The essence of this discussion is that even the smallest of the smallest  particle in nature has a mass. There is no state without a mass. Mass is small or big is quite relative.  When the mass of earth in relation to the total mass of the universe is very small, can we say that earth does not have a mass ? The notion that earth is a massless particle compared to universe is quite absurd.  If you are not a fool, you will be able to follow me well.

  35. #35 David L
    April 1, 2015

    “If these miniature black holes exist, the Earth has been getting hit by them for billions of years, and it’s still here.”

    By your own calculation Ethan, that’s not reassuring. Even one on them may have already set the world on a 2.995 trillion year path to destruction, and there may be thousands of them nibbling away!

  36. #36 Wow
    April 1, 2015

    However, Dave, if that catastrophe takes, say, a hundred years to complete, so that it’s not technically possible to leave the planet before we’re almost all destroyed, that would make the chance that we happen to be able to produce them is, EVEN IF we were able to produce the energies of the cosmic rays (we’re several orders of magnitude below the peak there), we’ve got a one hundred in 2.995 trillion chance of being in trouble.

    There’s a better chance of you being killed by a penguin-related accident whilst wearing a badgerskin hat, whistling The Star Spangled Banner.

    If you’re going to worry, DON’T WHISTLE. It’s a far more dangerous activity.

  37. #37 Wow
    April 1, 2015

    What about the density and frequency of the LHC which is 10^9 higher than for cosmic rays, as shown in this graph:

    What about the fact that it’s not 10^9, because it’s over a much smaller area than the entire earth, which IS being bombarded by cosmic rays?

    What about the fact that the LHC energies are several orders of magnitude lower than cosmic rays get to?

    What about a theory that would make it a problem with the LHC and not for the actual rest of the universe? You know, all science-like?

  38. #38 Paul Dekous
    France
    April 1, 2015

    “What about the fact that it’s not 10^9, because it’s over a much smaller area than the entire earth, which IS being bombarded by cosmic rays?”

    That’s relativity, like punching someone on the head with a hammer, or spreading out the energy over a wide blanket in the case of the latter you can’t hardly speak of “bombardment” rather a gentle touche.

    The same for the blanket of cosmic rays over the earth vs the hammer of the LHC which is per mm^3 10^9 times higher.

    The level of concentration has scientifically always been important, n’est pas?

    What would you chose 50 ml of rat poison in you drink today or 0,005 ml everyday for a 10 thousand days? The comparison you make is like saying Homéopathie will cure you.

    Why is density and frequence never addressed?

  39. #39 Wow
    April 2, 2015

    That’s relativity, like punching someone on the head with a hammer, or spreading out the energy over a wide blanket in the case of the latter you can’t hardly speak of “bombardment” rather a gentle touche.

    No it isn’t.

    Know why??

    This:

    What about the fact that the LHC energies are several orders of magnitude lower than cosmic rays get to?

    Is like punching someone on the head with a hammer, or spreading out the energy over a wide blanket.

    What YOU claimed was like that is like poking someone in the arm and pushing just as hard with the entire hand.

  40. #40 Paul Dekous
    France
    April 2, 2015

    Bon, so you are saying that dosage is not important.

    But if you look at the famous picture of a reception:
    http://www2.hesston.edu/Physics/2009/antimatter-tkrehbiel/images/higgsmovement.JPG
    … and how a particle gains mass or Higgs particle is formed, than surely it must come to your attention that ‘dosage’ will start to play a role at a certain point.

    The higher the frequency and density the more agitated the crowd (Higgs Field) will become. Very small ones in one place make one very very big one, bigger than the biggest cosmic rays, no.

  41. #41 Wow
    April 2, 2015

    Bon, so you are saying that dosage is not important.

    Nope, intensity isn’t dosage, either.

    Oh, and the presence of a real Higgs increases exponentially with energy.

    You DO remember that the cosmic rays are many orders of magnitude higher in energy than the LHC is capable of, right?

    Or are you into forgetting that again?

  42. #42 Michael Kelsey
    SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
    April 2, 2015

    @Wow #41: You need to be a bit careful when comparing cosmic rays to colliders. (This comment is aimed more at the other readers than at you; I suspect you know the kinematics
    already.)

    The LHC collides _two_ high energy beams head on; the total energy available in the collision is equal to the sum of the beam energies, because we (the lab) are in the center-of-mass frame of the collision.

    An ultra-high energy cosmic ray (UHECR) enters the Earth’s atmosphere and collides with a nucleus essentially at rest (thermal motion is tiny compared to the UHECR’s energy). In that case, the energy available in the collision is the geometric mean of the beam (UHECR) energy and the target mass. Since the atmosphere is basically light nuclei, with a mass of a few GeV, you can estimate the equivalent collider energy as the square root of the UHECR energy, in GeV.

    The LHC will have (in a few weeks) a collision energy of 13,000 GeV. That’s equivalent to a cosmic ray of 170 PeV (170,000,000 GeV). Cosmic rays of higher energy than that can produce collisions “more powerful” than what we have in the LHC, with one caveat: the cosmic rays are hitting _nuclei_, not single protons, so the collision energy gets distributed across the nucleus, rather than being concentrated as it is at the LHC.

  43. #43 Paul Dekous
    France
    April 2, 2015

    @Wiw #41: The Higgs Field is a Scalar Field, so one could see a particle collision within an otherwise undisturbed field, comme this storm, energy concentration, dot on a weather map:
    http://vgl.serc.iisc.ernet.in/mscomplex/images/isabel_speed29.png

    A UHECR is of course a much bigger energy zone than one collision at the LHC. But if the LHC keeps on increasing the frequency and density of collisions at one specific spot, you get an area that is far more under fire than during those one time collisions. So during a run at the LHC the image of the Higgs Field at the collision area starts to look more white-red, and like a real bombardment, like this image:
    https://feww.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/ts-matthew-ir-nhc-enhancement.jpg

    Colliding bunches generate a multitude of collisions that happen close to each other. The question is how far do these collisions spread out within the Higgs Field … is there the possibility that they reach breach towards each other? Do they effect the matter in the collision area or not? Think of a Laser and how it works through the principle of excitation.

    The Higgs Boson is a Disturbance in the Higgs Field … and Michael Kelsey points out that for a UHECR there’s an energy distribution over the particles … but is there also ‘unmeasurable’ energy spread out through the Higgs Field, even towards surrounding matière? If hypothetically so than doesn’t the number of collisions of particles start to add up?

  44. #44 Wow
    April 3, 2015

    @Wiw #41: The Higgs Field is a Scalar Field

    In what way does that refute or counter the claims in #41? You’re not responding and PRETENDING to be refuting a claim merely by evidence of having responded AND NOT CHANGED YOUR TUNE? Because that doesn’t make a rational argument for your claims, it only makes an irrational one.

    (Michael, other caveat, MOSTLY hitting larger nuclei. Many nuclei are only one proton, however. Then when you consider the Sun…)

  45. #45 Wow
    April 3, 2015

    But if the LHC keeps on increasing the frequency and density of collisions at one specific spot,

    No it doesn’t.

    The earth is moving quite fast. See the end of Monty Python’s “Meaning of life” for quite how fast we’re moving.

    This has been a common error of the moronic types who chicken little about how bad the LHC is because “it kill us awl!!!!”.

    Not to mention the same spot doesn’t exist any more in the LHC if you consider that to be “the same spot”, because the collision particles collide once, never to collide with each other ever again, so even “the target is moving!!!” doesn’t help.

  46. #46 Paul Dekous
    France
    April 3, 2015

    I take that as an answer that you are like everyone of us and cannot know if énergie spreads out via the Higgs Field on to surrounding collisions or matter. We are limited to our knowledge of how or what the Higgs Field is, just like we were more than 100 years ago about the existence radio waves.

  47. #47 Wow
    April 3, 2015

    Paul, you’ve drunk the woonamcer koolaide. You can’t know there ISN’T a flying spaghetti monster who created the universe (and spag bol). Do you act as if the FSM exists? No? Why?

    And yet again you’ve *responded* but not answered anything.

    Your assertions have been flat out wrong. The conclusions have never yet followed from the assertions you’ve made to “support” them.

    And now you’re resorting to the “Well, you don’t KNOW, do you, huh?”.

    Weaksauce.

  48. #48 Wow
    April 3, 2015

    Oh, and 100 years ago we DID know about radio waves.

    The gish gallop is a plethora of unrelated claims made with no attempt to expend effort being correct so as to pretend that somehow authority of another is nonexistent.

    It’s done by people who don’t know why they believe what they do, they just know they don’t believe someone else.

  49. #49 Paul Dekous
    France
    April 3, 2015

    Idem ditto.

    Don’t believe that you are an authority figure on the Higgs Field to know how énergie is distributed through the field. So your noise sounds more like Jim Jones telling us that it’s safe to drink the Cool Aid, while in fact it is like the dosage of rat poison I mentioned earlier, the frequency en density at the LHC is of a magnitude that is 10^9 times higher than cosmic rays, but you do like to include it into the equation.

    Note, I wrote MORE than 100 years. Seems like you prefer to be a théâtre artist with load words instead of a scientist respectable who also listens to other opinions.

  50. #50 Wow
    April 3, 2015

    It doesn’t depend on whether I am an authority, you wish to believe what you already know to be true and will bring up any old nonsense and I will unstick the bullshit meter, therefore you have to bring me down. That is the authority you are trying to destroy.

    You claimed that it supported the LHC intensity being an issue when it doesn’t support that at all, if for no other reason than you don’t explain how it does. It being a scalar field doesn’t make it work, and cartoons don’t display how it can either.

    You claim that the LHC is hitting the same point, when it isn’t. And going “So you don’t know that the Higgs field doesn’t work like that” doesn’t support your claim either.

    And note that it wouldn’t matter if you’d said a billion years: not knowing that radio waves existed doesn’t make your claim that the LHC can cause a problem in the Higgs field a supported claim at all.

    Gish galloping into the sunset, you scream “YOU WILL NEVER TAKE MY VICTORY!!!”, when you’ve never even waved the metaphorical sword in a fight.

    Your claims are merely assertions without a shred of thought or theory to adhere to.

    And you have to bring down anyone who points this out, because the emptyness of your claims cannot withstand the lightest scrutiny or scepticism.

  51. #51 Wow
    April 3, 2015

    the frequency en density at the LHC is of a magnitude that is 10^9 times higher than cosmic rays

    No it isn’t.

    Cosmic rays are more powerful and reach just as far in their collision as the LHC particles do, interacting as they do with the same mechnism.

    And the claim “It’s in a smaller area” only makes it possible to spot the interaction when you look. It doesn’t do shit about the frequency of the event over a wider area.

    Concentrating the events into a small chamber makes it easier to spot in that chamber. The events would still occur in the astronomically vaster unobserved area of the earth and your catastrophe doesn’t require observing to destroy the earth.

  52. #52 E.Ndou
    South Africa
    April 3, 2015

    Practically an LHC created black hole wouldn’t destroy the Earth. On the theoretical side still not possible. We have to consider the size of the formed black hole an it will be relatively small such that it will basically evaporate before it can start indulging on the earth. Bekenstein-hawking radiation woul prove that and the amount of protons that they will collie are small compared to what the universe forms
    15171494

  53. #53 Paul Dekous
    France
    April 3, 2015

    “No it isn’t.”

    That is your ‘Cool Aid’.

    Santé!

    Have a great weekend.

  54. #54 Wow
    April 3, 2015

    That is your ‘Cool Aid’.

    Nope, that’s not it.

    Care to try again?

    This time, over at the correct thread:

    http://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang/2012/09/23/weekend-diversion-you-are-responsible-for-what-you-say/

  55. #55 Flaky
    April 8, 2015

    Seeing this post I immediately though about Lexx and would’ve posted a related joke, but Rick beat me to it!
    Earth is of course type 13 planet, which “are characterized by a headlong rush for scientific knowledge that, without fail, culminates in the catastrophic unraveling of the very fabric of the planet.”

  56. #56 Edward mayfield
    Connecticut
    September 23, 2015

    Have to say u are all out your minds nothing good is going to come from this your messing with supernatural powers that even steven hawking said dont do this your messing shit that is out of your control but who cares cern doesn’t care were all guinea pigs out to kill all of us for your fucked up experiment goodluck in killing us

  57. #57 Ragtag Media
    September 23, 2015

    “steven hawking said dont do this your messing shit that is out of your control ”

    No he didn’t you said it and no it won’t.

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