My stance

Discussion of the end of the world brought about by ultra high energy colliders.
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Xymox
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My stance

Post by Xymox » Wed Nov 11, 2009 4:31 pm

I believe the LHC is not going to destroy the planet/universe.

The odds of this happening are very slim indeed. I am open minded however and enjoy a lively discussion. In life I have learned to never say never. So is it possible that some unforeseen set of events might lead up to a unpredicted event at the LHC ? EXCEPTIONALLY unlikely, but not zero. Am I worried ? NOT AT ALL.


What amazes me about this whole controversial debate on LHC safety is that we fundamentally do not fully understand physics. Leading physicists have trouble admitting they might not understand everything. We do not fully understand gravity or mass. So I feel that people who believe that the world will end for sure because of the LHC are a bit wacky, But I also think its wacky for a scientist to say without doubt that it wont. I think its important to be open minded.

One of the primary purposes of the LHC is to confirm or deny the existence of the Higgs Boson. Its a particle that is theoretical. If it exists and the LHC proves it then our understanding of physics is mostly correct. If we cannot find it then our understanding of gravity and mass is flawed and the "Standard model" of physics is wrong.

So far tests at other high energy colliders have failed to turn up evidence of the Higgs at energies that theoretically might have proved it. It might really not exist. Our best guess current theories of gravity and mass are unproven. We cannot reconcile everything into a grand unified theory that we know must exist. There is a very real possibility that other dimensions exist that we know nothing about.

Keep in mind that we currently do not understand what 96% of the universe is made of, we know it exists as "dark Matter" and "Dark energy". 96% of you and me and everything, is a complete unknown. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_matter http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_energy

The big argument that the LHC is safe, is that cosmic rays exist in nature at similar energies and do not cause the end of the world when they collide with things. This is a very sound argument.

The LHC safety studies are theoretical safety studies based on current theories however.

The real danger here is not the LHC. I think its quite safe.

The problem in my mind is that there is nothing that will stop this trend of using theoretical assumptions to predict safety in future particle accelerators combined with MUCH higher energies then seen in nature being used with future colliders.. The only thing that would really stop a steady increase in collision energy would be a accident. I think THIS is the real danger. NOT today, or next year, but 10-20 years from now with future generations of colliders that reach energies not observed in nature.

So I believe there is reasonable cause to be concerned. Not with the LHC, but there are planned upgrades for it and they have a new accelerator type in testing that will make for a possible 1000 TIMES increase in power. At some point in the future something bad could really happen.

Maybe we might create a big bang. Maybe some ancient advanced race made the same mistake and created our big bang.

This is a fun debate. I love it. Does it really worry me ? not at all. Well not yet at least. I think its a important discussion however.

I think this sums up my feelings perfectly
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfQtzmp1fmE

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Texanguy
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Re: My stance

Post by Texanguy » Sun Nov 15, 2009 8:09 pm

Xymox,

I completely agree with everything you say. I don't believe (anymore) that the LHC will cause some doomsday scenario, due to several relatively basic facts; One such fact being that the RHIC and Tevatron have both conducted nearly identical experiments,fundamentally so, with no doomsday scenario. These colliders have been in operation for years now. Also, partical colliders have been in operation since the 1950's, from what i've read. same experiment, fundamentally; just higher energies.

I personally don't believe that doing the same thing again..for the fourth time (referencing the LEPC, Tevatron, RHIC, and now the LHC) will produce any doomsday scenario, although i used to believe so..until i did the research and saw that the majority of physicists (who have the knowledge to deem it safe), do deem it safe due to years and years of experimental data..not just a drop-in-the-hat kind of thing that many people are painting it out to be. So, as a former LHC-fearing layman, I suggest to those that are afraid, consider the following..
1.RHIC,Tevatron,and the LEPC have all done this experiment with no doomsday scenario
2.Particle colliders have been around for 50 years, if not more than that..
3.My mind was blinded by fear, but i convinced myself to do the research, and open my mind..and i saw that the same things that are being said about Doomsday Scenarios at the LHC, have been said about each and every single particle collider before it..(Surprise! no doomsday scenario!)
4.This experiment is being conducted by people from many nations around the world..and not just any people, these are physicists and engineers who have dedicated their lives to this area of knowledge..and they wouldnt want to put their own families on the line for something they werent confident in.

Finally, I point you to this, as proof that the same things that are being said about the LHC (the doomsday scenarios which didn't occur..and will not) were said about the RHIC..back in good ol' '99. (yeah..ten years ago..and no doomsday scenario.)
http://www.phenix.bnl.gov/WWW/lists/phe ... 00583.html
Don't believe the fearmongers. Research the facts. Hopefully it will comfort you just as it did for me. Thanks all

doggod
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Re: My stance

Post by doggod » Tue Nov 24, 2009 1:48 pm

I fail to understand why people worry about this. If the LHC causes the universe to implode (or whatever), we'll never know it. The only knowable outcome is for nothing bad to happen, so why not forget about the doomsday scenario and enjoy life as we know it!

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Xymox
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Re: My stance

Post by Xymox » Tue Nov 24, 2009 2:46 pm

EXACTLY

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Texanguy
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Re: My stance

Post by Texanguy » Tue Nov 24, 2009 7:37 pm

absolutely. life's a blessing, so enjoy it every day. dont spend it wallowing in fear. life rocks. :D

muttvette
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Re: My stance

Post by muttvette » Fri Dec 11, 2009 6:15 am

I just hope we produce the end product being stable wormholes to travel through before we get big bang

Danny252
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Re: My stance

Post by Danny252 » Fri Dec 11, 2009 7:36 pm

Just think - 150 years ago, it was believed a speed of 30mph would kill any person by some critics of rail travel. And yet humans have reached far higher speeds because someone dared to try.

Anyway, whatcha gonna do if the LHC does destroy the world? Call ghostbusters? :D

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DCWhitworth
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Re: My stance

Post by DCWhitworth » Fri Dec 11, 2009 11:04 pm

The issues in the press about the LHC have been caused because scientists have said "We don't know what is going to happen" and journalists have heard "Anything could happen". The two are very different things.
DC

The LHC - One ring to rule them all !

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