Who’s Afraid Of The Large Hadron Collider?
Posted by Job on June 30, 2008
I must admit: I am not. One of the things that fascinated me was how this potential doomsday device only cost $5.8 billion to build. That is like what George W. Bush’s corporate buddies steal in Iraq and Afghanistan in a typical week.
David Francis, a physicist on the collider’s huge ATLAS particle detector, smiled when asked whether he worried about black holes and hypothetical killer particles known as strangelets.
In rebutting doomsday scenarios, CERN scientists point out that cosmic rays have been bombarding the earth, and triggering collisions similar to those planned for the collider, since the solar system formed 4.5 billion years ago. And so far, Earth has survived. “The LHC is only going to reproduce what nature does every second, what it has been doing for billions of years,” said John Ellis, a British theoretical physicist at CERN.
The physicist Martin Rees has estimated the chance of an accelerator producing a global catastrophe at one in 50 million — long odds, to be sure, but about the same as winning some lotteries. (But what about, you know, a catastrophe that is not GLOBAL but just, well, citywide? Or what about a few inner city blocks like that terrible Keanu Reeves/Morgan Freeman movie “Cold Fusion”? Does that knock the odds down a bit from 1 in 50 million to 1 in 500,000? 1 in 50,000? Just kidding …)
Both may produce micro black holes, subatomic versions of cosmic black holes — collapsed stars whose gravity fields are so powerful that they can suck in planets and other stars. But micro black holes produced by cosmic ray collisions would likely be traveling so fast they would pass harmlessly through the earth. Micro black holes produced by a collider, the skeptics theorize, would move more slowly and might be trapped inside the earth’s gravitational field — and eventually threaten the planet. (I would be more concerned about the threat posed by slow moving manmade micro black holes if ever any evidence were produced that the FAST MOVING NATURAL micro black holes existed.)
As for strangelets, CERN scientists point out that they have never been proven to exist. (Like the theory of evolution?) They said that even if these particles formed inside the Collider they would quickly break down. (Like the theory of evolution breaks down? Another issue for another day.)
I have to admit: I have no problem building supercolliders. I am a 100% pro – basic science guy. I would rather spend $5.8 billion on basic science than on wars and “destroy the low income family structure” social programs. I know that supporting such is harmful to my libertarian principles, but I propose that had George H. W. Bush not killed a similar supercollider project because of a budget crunch THAT HE CREATED WHEN WE INVADED IRAQ THE FIRST TIME AND THE MONEY THAT WE USED TO PROP UP SADDAM HUSSEIN’S REGIME TO FIGHT A WAR WITH IRAN THAT KILLED ALMOST A MILLION PEOPLE (I suppose it isn’t very nice to talk about things like that!) we would be a lot further along in things like, oh, I don’t know, alternative and renewable energy technology, not to mention medical research.
Each year the detectors will generate 15 petabytes of data, the equivalent of a stack of CDs 12 miles tall. The data will require a high speed global network of computers for analysis. Now THAT strikes me as more frightening than the large hadron collider. These subatomic particles that have never been proven to exist do not concern me. Global computer networks capable of tracking your every move do.
Wagner and others filed a lawsuit to halt operation of the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider, or RHIC, at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York state in 1999. The courts dismissed the suit. So … these fellows have cried wolf in the past, eh? Just like the media to use the “threat” of bosons, gluons, strange quarks, etc. to scare people while just making the REAL issue … the potential of global monitoring your movements, conversations, financial transactions, etc. a sidebar. Please note that Barack Obama has come out in support of new world order globalists that back FISA, which would allow the government to spy on your phone conversations (sorry for the ACLU link, but all of the “Christian” links that I found on FISA were from people who just loves themselves some “all Christians worship the same God” George W. Bush).
So I say “yes” to the large hadron collider but NO to FISA and the Patriot Act in general. After all, it won’t be the large hadron collider used to prevent those who refuse to worship the anti – Christ from buying and selling …