Little Black Holes.

Discussion in 'CycleChat Cafe' started by Andy in Sig, 5 Jun 2008.

  1. Andy in Sig

    Andy in Sig Vice President in Exile

    I saw an alarming thing on the German Telly last night. Apparently there is a seriously good chance that the CERN particle accelerator could generate a sub-microscopic black hole as a by product of atomic collisions. The problem with black holes is that they can only grow.

    A professor of chaos theory was wheeled on who said that such a thing would inevitably gobble up the planet but it was impossible to calculate whether it would take five or a thousand years to do it.

    I find this possibility to be a seriously alarming one but I'm not enough of a physicist to be able to comment knowledgeably on it. If it is possible shouldn't these experiments be stopped right away? I don't think the tax payer should be funding the even theoretically possible vanishing of the planet.
     
  2. Haitch

    Haitch Flim Flormally

    Location:
    Netherlands
    Take a look at this, Andy.
     
  3. Night Train

    Night Train Maker of Things

    Location:
    Greater Manchester
    I think it would be extremely unlikely that a black hole would be formed. The Large Hadron Collider isn't quite big enough and not enough energy is being put in.

    This has been talked about in the tabloid press for over a year now. Would be interesting if it did happen though.
     
  4. Smeggers

    Smeggers New Member

    I heard there was a group challenging it in court. Albeit headed by some crack pot 'scientist'.
     
  5. GaryA

    GaryA Subversive Sage

    Location:
    High Shields
    Dont worry andy, if it does appear it will only exist for a nanosecond or such and join the long list of other nanosecond mathematical constructs maskerading as sub-atomic particles :biggrin:
     
  6. wafflycat

    wafflycat New Member

    Location:
    middle of Norfolk
    No, there isn't a seriously good chance, there is a potential tiny risk.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sn/tvradio/programmes/horizon/broadband/tx/universe/

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sn/tvradio/programmes/horizon/broadband/tx/universe/vote/

    It's about a 1 in 50,000,000 chance apparently, which is hardly classified as a 'seriously good chance'

    And

    http://public.web.cern.ch/Public/en/LHC/Safety-en.html

    But it would make for a seriously fun Hollywood blockbuster where we could all be saved from being sucked into a black hole by Bruce Willis and a team of itinerent oil-drilling has-beens. :biggrin:
     
  7. Melvil

    Melvil Standard nerd

    From what I read, they're going to make a tiny black hole partly to demonstrate the existence of hawking radiation (where black holes lose matter through quantum effects, despite light not getting out of them) - so a black hole that small would evaporate almost instantly.

    Now they're reasonably certain that hawking radiation exists but, well, if it doesn't........................there goes the planet.
     
  8. And

    And Too gobby by half

    "A professor of chaos theory was wheeled on who said that such a thing would inevitably gobble up the planet...."

    as long as it starts with Liverpool, I'll be OK with that
     
  9. Dayvo

    Dayvo Just passin' through

    Location:
    Nogland
    These are the buggers to look out for: Neutrinos

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4862112.stm


    They travel through space at thousands of km a second, and penetrate anything in its way, the earth included!
     
  10. OP
    OP
    Andy in Sig

    Andy in Sig Vice President in Exile

    But given the possible consequences, I think that those are far too short odds to take the chance. I think I prefer the hysterical alarmist approach.
     
  11. twentysix by twentyfive

    twentysix by twentyfive Clinging on tightly

    Location:
    Over the Hill

    Don't Panic, Mr Mainwaring .... Don't Panic
     
  12. marinyork

    marinyork Resting in suspended Animation

    Location:
    Logopolis
    Andy, you seem to have gotten completely the wrong end of the stick. A few people actually really hope that mini black holes are created at LHC. The idea crudely is that of a shower head where there are lots of extra dimensions but gravity (the hierarchy problem) is only really strong right next to the shower head and gets diluted out rapidly. If this theory is correct and you hit the sweet spot, the extra gravity would be able to make these mini black holes (that would then just radiate themselves out of existence).
     
  13. simonali

    simonali Guru

    That's about the same odds as winning the Euro lottery isn't it? I assume no-one's ever won that? :biggrin:
     
  14. rich p

    rich p ridiculous old lush

    Location:
    Brighton
    I'm just hoping Smokin Joe doesn't see the thread title and get the wrong end of the stick!
     
  15. OP
    OP
    Andy in Sig

    Andy in Sig Vice President in Exile

    I do hope I have got the wrong end of the stick. I still notice that you say "If the theory is correct ..."

    What if the layman's view of it turns out to be correct i.e. an incredibly dense little blob sucks in all the less dense blobs around it, then CERN, then Switzerland and so on.

    I think I would like to see a serious outbreak of Luddite thinking on this matter.
     
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