Large Hadron Colllider question

Do the scientists working on the LHC know every possible outcome of their tests? What kind of surprises could be waiting for them? If there are any black holes created, even if infinitesimal, what would they be sucking into themselves and how long would they exist?

Yes, physicists have thought about it: Black hole evaporation

Of course not; that’s what makes it so exciting. As a rule, whenever any new scientific instrument is developed, there are always surprises that nobody anticipated.

They do, however, know a lot of things that won’t happen, and the world getting destroyed is in that category.

We had a million or so threads on this last year. Do a search for a thorough debunking of any possible threat of black holes eating the earth.

Remember that a black hole is just gravity. A black hole the mass of an amoeba (probably many orders of magnitude beyond anything the LHC could create) would have all the gravitational attraction of a real amoeba and be just as dangerous.

That’s the thing about amoebas. They don’t eat ya - they absorb ya.

(And I can’t for the life of me remember which movie I’m misquoting.)

Look, I’m tired of these doubters who question scientific fact. The Large Hadron Collider is perfectly safe.

There’s only a one in three chance that the Large Hadron Collider will end life as we know it.

I like to break the possible discoveries into three catagories.

  1. They find pretty much what is expected. The Higgs turns up within the energy range expected, and bunch of high energy stuff that fits a tweaking up of current models comes too. Boring.
  2. Some totally unexpected “who ordered that?” thing turns up. Interesting.
  3. Nothing turns up. No Higgs, no other new particles. Just bigger and bigger showers of already known particles. Really interesting.

I know some very eminent theorists who are betting on 3. The evil bastard in me is rooting for 3 too.

I like those odds!

Francis, you’re missing at least one category: We get something that we’re not really expecting, but which was anticipated as a possibility. Black holes, monopoles, and susies all fall into this category. And, of course, there’s a possibility of a mixture of those possibilities: Maybe we do get monopoles, but don’t get Higgses, for instance.

Actually, according to the Walter principle, it’s a one in two chance.

Here’s a link to a live webcam from inside the LHC, it’s really fascinating if you haven’t already seen what it looks like…

OMG!!! Ru

The same sex breeding thing at the end was the perfect comeback to that stupidity.

Is there any possibility that we could find new stable elements?

(During the 1945 Los Alamos test, some wag was making book: 50-1 the atmosphere would ignite; 100-1 it would do so catastrophically.) What is the scenario for LHC devastation? It’s complete destruction of Planet Earth within several hundred milliseconds, right? Let’s be fairer to LHC proponents than some alarmists: hypothetical suffering would be quite brief, indeed grief invisible. (If Earth disappears and no one is alive to know, did it disappear?)

But who are we to judge fine Nobel-prize experts on the poetry of physical existence! Suppose they discover the Higgson, or dark matter, or even build a warp-drive matter/antimatter reactor, with teleportation capabilities? Surely any sensible citizen would agree to strive for such Sublime Truth and Beauty (with perhaps enhanced techology for personal gratification) if the Catastrophe scenario was a longshot, say 500-to-1. After all, the Neocons had their day in the Sun, with success odds much worse than 500-1.

If there really is a one in three chance of ending life as we know, I do hope the LHC’ers consider a later deployment. Please?

… Or are we in some race with the Gargoozies from Andromeda and we need to develop a warp-drive fleet before they do?

As the camera goes “offline”, is it just happening for me or do others see what looks to be a black hole forming and pulling in all the cars in the parking lot? :cool:


  1. LHC Turns on
  3. Exciting results are found
  4. A scientist outside trips and sends a bolt flying to hit a bird during the celebration
  5. The bird goes wildly off course, running into a balloon vendor at the start of his shift.
  6. Said balloon vendor, who always starts his shift with 100 balloons, just sold one to a child, when tragically his remaining balloons are snapped free by the bird.
  7. Panic bells, it’s red alert
    There’s something here from somewhere else
    The war machine springs to life
    Opens up one eager eye
    Focusing it on the sky
    As ninety-nine red balloons go by !!!

And then we’re screwed from nuclear holocaust, what now, smart guy?

You can rest assured, the LHC has already produced collisions exceeding in energy every previous particle accelerator, and the world is still here.

Not that there ever was any real danger to begin with; collisions of far greater energy occur on a daily basis in the upper atmosphere, when cosmic rays collide with atmospheric molecules – if those had the possibility of killing us, we’d be long dead. But headlines reading ‘LHC Absolutely Ordinary Physics Experiment Posing No Danger At All’ just aren’t sexy.

Oh, god. You mean we could get shrimp scampi? :shudder:

Stable? No. Half-lives longer than a few seconds? Possibly.

See Island of Stability.