Creating "Sparks"

Discussion of the end of the world brought about by ultra high energy colliders.
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Re: Creating "Sparks"

Post by chelle » Thu Jan 28, 2010 8:17 am

ORION111 wrote:Having said that, I will not be arguing with you at all.
I don't mind, you haven't brought any value to the discussion despite your claim of "having a huge understanding of the universe". If you could answer my other questions with facts, than you are more than welcome.
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Re: Creating "Sparks"

Post by Stephen » Thu Jan 28, 2010 12:04 pm

Orion, I have a few questions for you.
1. Is Chelle's theory about a chain reaction is possible in any way?
2. Since we have never observed the formation of a black hole, is it possible that it could have a rapid growth rate at the beginning of it's life?
3. How can we be sure a stable black hole formed will have a steady growth rate that won't be dangerous for millions of years?
4. Can a rotating black hole change the needed safety calculations?
5. Where did the giant black holes at the center of the galaxies came from?

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Re: Creating "Sparks"

Post by chriwi » Thu Jan 28, 2010 1:20 pm

First of all we cannot be 100% sure of anything what we never tryed before.

But Chelle forgets to take in account 2 things:

1. whatever we do to a proton the energy comming out of the proton should not be more than

restmass of the proton times c squared plus the energy we put in

since tevatron already collided protons and antiprotons there at least the energy of the restmass of 2 protons was completely released and nochting happened.

2. the energy carryed by protons already in older accelerators like Tevatron was a multiple of the energy contained in the restmass of a proton

Keep alsoin mind that a chainreaction only works as long as the energy produced by the destruction of an proton is at least as big as the energy which caused this distruction.

that means since all the resting protons contain only energys which are much smaller than the energys of many events already observed in accelerators here on earth a proton destroyed by whatever amount of energy cannot add so much enery to this to destroy mor than one other proton, since the energy cannot be doubbled or more since it is not contained in the resting proton or any other resting particle here on eartht. So even in the unlikely case that there was a chainreaction it would be lets say one dimensional (meaning one destroyed proton can trigger one next proton in the worst case). If we also take in account the conservation of impuls this chainreaction should advance in one direction like a ray. So in the worst case we would get a ray of exploding Protons going strait to the earth and the other side athmosphere and vanish in space. Even susch an highly unlikely event would not do any harm to anything on this planet at least not any bigger harm tha cosmic rays do to astronauts and passangers of jetplanes everyday (maybe some destroyed DNA of the beings the ray directly passesthroug with a result of cancer in the worst case (the number of beings hit by the onedimensional ray should be rather small guess not more than 100)). I think even in the worst case there was no noticable effect.

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Re: Creating "Sparks"

Post by chelle » Thu Jan 28, 2010 2:50 pm

chriwi wrote:Chelle forgets to take in account 2 things:

1. whatever we do to a proton the energy coming out of the proton should not be more than rest-mass of the proton times c squared plus the energy we put in since tevatron already collided protons and antiprotons there at least the energy of the rest-mass of 2 protons was completely released and nothing happened.
This is what happened in one experiment:

Image

Image
Source: http://ed.fnal.gov/samplers/hsphys/acti ... quark.html

So in this specific setting 2 Top Quarks where generated, what happens at higher speeds/energy we don't know, that's why we test. One type of test is a likely reference for an other but at specific points there can be a leap forward instead of an other little step. Think of this guy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BlK62rjQWLk
chriwi wrote:2. ... Keep also in mind that a chain reaction only works as long as the energy produced by the destruction of an proton is at least as big as the energy which caused this destruction.
A chain reaction isn't only dependent on the amount of energy, but sometimes more on the form. You can squeeze a balloon pretty hard, but a simple prick can make it loose it's composure.

For example in Nuclear fission only 0.7% of the matter is transformed into energy.
chriwi wrote:So even in the unlikely case that there was a chain reaction it would be lets say one dimensional (meaning one destroyed proton can trigger one next proton in the worst case). If we also take in account the conservation of impulse this chain reaction should advance in one direction like a ray.
What if it's N-dimensional than you could have a problem.
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Re: Creating "Sparks"

Post by chriwi » Thu Jan 28, 2010 3:06 pm

Number one is no problem at all to me, most of the energy to produce the top quarks was not from the restmass of the proton and the antiproton but from the much higher motion energy of the 2 particles, that is exactly the same for the LHC and exactly what I stated above.

Number2 cannot completely ruled out, but cannot for anything never tryed or observed before. Does that mean we better not try anything new anymore? Nevertheless that woud only work when at first the LHC would trigger such an explosion of a proton or any other common particle and second that the outcom of such an explotion would also trigger the same thing evenso it usesmuch less energy than the LHC inthe first place to start it.
That is about the same as the idea that the first nuclear explosion could have triggered some unknown chemical or physicaleffec in the athmosphere what would have burned the wohle athmosphere ore even the whole earth.
Why should exactlythe LHC do that and not perhaps any carless movement of a man or animal never anyone did before?
There are a lot of possibilities which cannot be completely ruled out, but most of them are so unlikely that this possibility still lets me sleep well.

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Re: Creating "Sparks"

Post by Stephen » Thu Jan 28, 2010 3:10 pm

ORION111 wrote: 1. It depends on what exactly you mean by the word chain reaction.

2, 3, and 4 depend on the type of the black holes you mean.

Black holes do exist. (As predicted by General Relativity)
Micro black holes are theoretical and should be able to exist under right conditions. (As predicted by General Relativity)
Extra-dimensional micro black holes are hypothetical and can only exist if there are extra-dimensions. (Not predicted by and not part of General Relativity)

2. We have observed black hole formation in space.
5. Black holes are produced when a star collapses under its own gravity, due to the energy from nuclear fusion reactions no longer holding.
1. That the energy triggered by the collisions could somehow start a chain reaction which would lead to many protons to be destroyed (I think that's what he meant).

2. When have we seen the formation of a black hole? Astronomers see black holes, by have they really seen a star collapse on itself for example after a Supernova?

I'm referring to the black holes which could possibly be created by the LHC. How do we know the accretion rate will be steady, and not be more rapid at the first few moments after it's formation?

The black hole at the center of the galaxy - how did it get there?

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Re: Creating "Sparks"

Post by chriwi » Thu Jan 28, 2010 3:14 pm

All about hte micri black holes or even magnetic holes mentioned in other threads cannot completely ruled out but is dicussed there, Chelle I thougth wanted to make another point here and I try to only explain the very high improbability of such a chainreaction, I am not talking about the holes stuff here.
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Re: Creating "Sparks"

Post by chelle » Thu Jan 28, 2010 3:42 pm

chriwi wrote: most of the energy to produce the top quarks was not from the restmass of the proton and the antiproton but from the much higher motion energy of the 2 particles
That's why I said:
what happens at higher speeds/energy we don't know, that's why we test."
chriwi wrote: That is about the same as the idea that the first nuclear explosion could have triggered some unknown chemical or physical effect in the atmosphere what would have burned the whole atmosphere ore even the whole earth.
I believe that's what Atom bombs do; trigger a reaction at a nuclear level, that can destroy a quite impressive area, and here we are talking about sub-atomic level.

chriwi wrote: Why should exactly the LHC do that and not perhaps any carless movement of a man or animal never anyone did before?
Because we put almost as much energy as the whole district of Geneva uses into one tiny proton beam, to get the effects we want. I can only guess how many horses we need to generate such an amount of power, anyhow this isn't relevant.
chriwi wrote: There are a lot of possibilities which cannot be completely ruled out, but most of them are so unlikely that this possibility still lets me sleep well.
Every disaster is unlikely.

btw Origin of disaster: late 16th cent.: from Italian disastro ‘ill-starred event,’ from dis- (expressing negation) + astro ‘star’ (from Latin astrum).
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Re: Creating "Sparks"

Post by chelle » Thu Jan 28, 2010 4:00 pm

chriwi wrote: Chelle I thougth wanted to make another point here and I try to only explain the very high improbability of such a chainreaction, I am not talking about the holes stuff here.
You are probably right about a chain-reaction it 's just a crazy idea and i don't think I can put in any more arguments without repeating myself. None the less every argument should be taken seriously by the scientific community and evaluated to the best of their abilities.

I for myself have got some simulations that I want to work out but it's gonna take some time before I'll get those going, until than I guess that's it for me now.

btw Black holes don't interested me, i think if there is one, you could step on it and it's eliminated :geek:
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Re: Creating "Sparks"

Post by photino » Thu Jan 28, 2010 4:04 pm

Others have basically answered already, but I thought I might add to it a little.

1. To my mind it is irresponsible to throw words with scary associations like "chain reaction" around without having at least the beginnings of a model, because as you can see people get worried. There is no proposed mechanism for a chain reaction to happen here at all. As such there is nothing to respond to.

2. A black hole grows by stuff falling into it. Therefore its growth rate is limited by its area (or cross-section), which is related to its mass via its radius, r=2GM. As an exercise, you might work out the radius of any speculative micro black hole you might be worried about. The mass will be a fraction of the collision energy. It will be tiny. Its gravitational pull will be negligible, because of its tiny mass. Now consider how much, and what, could bump into it and "fall in" before it decayed?

3. What stable black hole? Where are you getting this stuff from? You can't just make these things up. Which actually existing theory of gravitation has 1) black holes and 2) allows them to be stable in the given circumstances?
But for the sake of the argument, it's the same deal as in 2. If you like, you can estimate the growth rate. Take a worst case scenario and have your micro BH move slowly through a block of solid lead: a feeding frenzy! You can look up the density of lead and work out how much mass will be captured by the black hole cross section.

4. The details will differ, the conclusions will not (because the cross-sectional argument still holds).

5. Probably stellar collapse, possibly primordial black holes.

Please. We are venturing into the unknown. That does NOT mean anything goes. It is a very circumscribed, carefully prospected unknown. Otherwise you might as well worry about circulating protons summoning the Lords of Cthulhu from the Unspeakable Depths. ;)

If you really are interested, I would recommend reading a good general-audience book about black holes like for instance "Black holes and time warps, Einstein's outrageous legacy" by Kip Thorne.

Regarding the GZK cutoff, a basic description can be found here (if you don't like wikipedia): http://backreaction.blogspot.com/2007/0 ... utoff.html

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Re: Creating "Sparks"

Post by chelle » Thu Jan 28, 2010 4:27 pm

photino wrote:1. To my mind it is irresponsible to throw words with scary associations like "chain reaction" around without having at least the beginnings of a model, because as you can see people get worried. There is no proposed mechanism for a chain reaction to happen here at all. As such there is nothing to respond to.
Sorry, but the name of this corner of the Forum is "End Of The World" it would be irrelevant to talk about anything else.

What do you understand by "model" or "proposed mechanism" doesn't my first post of this threat apply to that?
photino wrote:Regarding the GZK cutoff, a basic description can be found here (if you don't like wikipedia): http://backreaction.blogspot.com/2007/0 ... utoff.html
note: I posted this link already where I mentioned GZK cutoff.
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Re: Creating "Sparks"

Post by photino » Thu Jan 28, 2010 5:20 pm

Of course you're right about this being the end of the world forum... was just concerned as people seemed to be a bit worried.
Chelle wrote:What do you understand by "model" or "proposed mechanism" doesn't my first post of this threat apply to that?
Well as you know e.g. for a nuclear chain reaction, you have that a neutron of a certain energy hits a nucleus, which causes a particular nuclear reaction, in which more neutrons are emitted. If these then hit other nuclei of the right kind, you get a chain reaction. If not, you don't (hence the concept of critical mass).

Thus, a model would at least give the particular subnuclear reaction one is worried out.
Otherwise, no answer is possible beyond "no, no chain reactions are known". That's what I meant by not being able to respond. It's not a matter of not taking concerns seriously.

The historical example given above of the fears about nuclear bomb explosions igniting the atmosphere is an excellent one. This wasn't just a vague idea. The model here was (as far as I recall) a fusion reaction between nitrogen atoms that make up the atmosphere. In response one could calculate the likelihood of this reaction, given the conditions of a nuclear blast.

Just saying "the Higgs field might ignite" is not something one can respond to, since I certainly have no idea how or why the Higgs field might ignite and you haven't proposed a mechanism. If arguments like "similar processes happen in nature all the time without any untoward effects" don't convince you (and many people have given examples earlier in the thread), there doesn't seem to be anything one can sensibly add. But if the Higgs field (should it exist) were the subnuclear equivalent of dynamite we would not be around to discuss this.

By the way there are various theories (e.g. technicolor) that have been proposed as alternatives to the standard Higgs but again there is no runaway process there.

Your initial question about runaway/avalanche breakdown is interesting, but again I can't think of an analogous subnuclear process. As you know, in the atmosphere, it is a mechanism by which cosmic rays can trigger lightning. But, there has to be an atmosphere, AND a thunderstorm (for there to be the electric fields that actually cause the acceleration of the electrons)! There is no "atmosphere" or "thunderstorm" analogue in the LHC vacuum pipe.
Chelle wrote:I posted this link already where I mentioned GZK cutoff.
Sorry, I missed that. Just trying to help ;)

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Re: Creating "Sparks"

Post by chelle » Thu Jan 28, 2010 6:59 pm

photino wrote:Your initial question about runaway/avalanche breakdown is interesting, but again I can't think of an analogous subnuclear process ...
You are right that there need to be a highly charged field to set something off, like in the case of nuclear fission there is the need for a heap of very reactive material to cause such an event, as it is the case for any other explosive situation you need to build up some tension.

Question is for example, is crystalized concrete a tense field of condensed gas?

How did protons came to be, they don't decay so they must have a great inner-strength or some sort of tension to sustain there composure. If they could have been fabricated naturally then the opposite must also be true, what if this happens what is the energy released etc.

I actually had also a second initial question (it was just below where I mentioned the GZK cutoff on the 3th page of this threat):
I guess it might come down to the question; do protons have a weak spot? That when being hit with enough force at the right angle, makes them release all their inbound energy. Thus making them appear as Ultra-high energy cosmic rays, while they are actually just regular cosmic-ray-particles? And if the LHC might be able to hit this spot, than isn't there the possibility of a chain reaction ...

referring to :
... as stated on the wiki page: Unsolved problems in physics: Why is it that some cosmic rays appear to possess energies that are theoretically too high?
These are really my final questions if you could also clear the air for these that would be great.

thx,

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Re: Creating "Sparks"

Post by photino » Thu Jan 28, 2010 7:45 pm

Chelle wrote:Question is for example, is crystalized concrete a tense field of condensed gas?
Not sure what you mean by tense field, I suspect you mean that there is a binding energy.
I don't think concrete is a crystal (that would mean that the atoms are arranged in an ordered lattice), but it is certainly a solid. I suppose you could call a solid a condensed gas, but concrete is quite a complicated substance. In general, to turn a solid into a gas (without any chemical reactions being involved) requires adding energy (e.g. as when you boil water), it does not release it.
Explosions happen if there is a rapid reaction that takes your initial state to some final state with much lower energy. The difference is released during the reaction in some form or another.
How did protons came to be, they don't decay so they must have a great inner-strength or some sort of tension to sustain there composure. If they could have been fabricated naturally then the opposite must also be true, what if this happens what is the energy released etc.
Protons don't decay, as far as we know, because there is no lower-energy state that its constituents can assemble into. A proton is made up of three quarks and a soup of gluons. They are held together by the strong force, which means that if you try to pull a quark away from the others you need to act against the force, which is takes energy. That doesn't mean there is an "inner strength" though, it is more like a ball sitting at the bottom of a glass bowl - it sits there because it's the lowest energy place for it to be. If you put the ball elsewhere (by acting against the gravitational force) its position will decay - it will roll back down.

You're absolutely right about the opposite process to "fabrication of a proton" also existing. However that does not release energy, it requires it! Protons were created shortly after the big bang, when the universe cooled down below a certain critical temperature. Above the temperature, there was a quark-gluon plasma (lots of individual quarks and gluons swirling around). Because the temperature was so high, it could overcome the strong force that would otherwise bind the quarks together. As the universe cooled, this was no longer the case and the quarks and gluons "condensed", making (among other things) protons. Again, this is a bit like the ball rolling down to the bottom of the bowl - you end up in the most stable, lowest energy state.
The LHC will do the opposite - the collision energy allows the quarks inside the protons to move apart.

The "weak spot" idea doesn't really work because we know there are no "hidden reserves" of energy that can be unlocked from a proton, because of Einstein's formula E = m c^2. It implies that we can find out the absolute maximum of the energy that can possibly be released from a proton - simply by weighing it.

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Re: Creating "Sparks"

Post by chelle » Thu Jan 28, 2010 8:24 pm

photino wrote:
Chelle wrote:Question is for example, is crystalized concrete a tense field of condensed gas?
Not sure what you mean by tense field, I suspect you mean that there is a binding energy.
I don't think concrete is a crystal (that would mean that the atoms are arranged in an ordered lattice), but it is certainly a solid. I suppose you could call a solid a condensed gas, but concrete is quite a complicated substance. In general, to turn a solid into a gas (without any chemical reactions being involved) requires adding energy (e.g. as when you boil water), it does not release it.
Explosions happen if there is a rapid reaction that takes your initial state to some final state with much lower energy. The difference is released during the reaction in some form or another.
I was wrong about concrete I meant just plain rocks, that is crystalized gas, as the earth cooled down.

And if you ad a sparky energy like a proton beam, you might start a process where it or any other solid matter, turns again into a gas. And like you describe above; the process of an explosion might happen or even more simple, that of a candle; where heat ignites the cyclic process where the wax is vaporized, speeding up into an other form of mater and so on ...

photino wrote:
How did protons came to be, they don't decay so they must have a great inner-strength or some sort of tension to sustain there composure. If they could have been fabricated naturally then the opposite must also be true, what if this happens what is the energy released etc.
Protons don't decay, as far as we know, because there is no lower-energy state that its constituents can assemble into.

A proton is made up of three quarks and a soup of gluons. They are held together by the strong force, which means that if you try to pull a quark away from the others you need to act against the force, which (is) takes energy. That doesn't mean there is an "inner strength" though, it is more like a ball sitting at the bottom of a glass bowl - it sits there because it's the lowest energy place for it to be. If you put the ball elsewhere (by acting against the gravitational force) its position will decay - it will roll back down.
This I don't understand:
- 3 quarks are held together by a strong force
- if you want to remove one you need to apply force
- it (a quark I assume) will roll back down thx to a (gravitational) force

-->> that doesn't mean there is an "inner strength"

You speak 3 times of forces holding the quarks together but there isn't an inner-strength? and what about the weak force?
photino wrote:the opposite process to "fabrication of a proton" also existing. However that does not release energy, it requires it!
What about the law of conservation of energy, this goes hand in hand with my question about the weak/strong force; if you break the binding that energy has to go somewhere like the ball rolling to the bottom creates energy.

"the mass of an atomic nucleus is less than the total mass of the protons and neutrons that make it up, but this is only true after the energy (work) of binding has been removed"
photino wrote:The LHC will do the opposite - the collision energy allows the quarks inside the protons to move apart.
and thus release the energy of the binding, no?
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