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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by freyar View Post
    To be absolutely fair, about 10-11 years ago there was a model proposed in which you would expect the LHC to create mini-black holes.
    There were also models proposed to explain cold fusion. One can propose models until one is blue in the face. That someone proposed a model doesn't itself mean anything.

 

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    Quote Originally Posted by Umbran View Post
    There were also models proposed to explain cold fusion. One can propose models until one is blue in the face. That someone proposed a model doesn't itself mean anything.
    I think you might misunderstand; this was a very reasonable theory that helped rephrase the problem of the hierarchy between the Planck and weak scales, and it received a huge amount of attention in the scientific literature. And it still has predictive power (even if it's not likely right). It wasn't something proposed to explain questionable experiments or to fulfill someone's ego (as so many wacky theories seem to be). It's a very serious and still somewhat interesting proposal. And the black holes are a consequence, though not one "designed" into the theory (they were discovered later). The thing to emphasize is that even if this unlikely theory were true, the black holes would not be dangerous in any way.

    I think the biggest point, though, which sometimes seems lost in the discussion, is that the LHC, like the Apollo moon program, is one of the great achievements of humanity in the industrial age. These programs are our version of the Egyptian pyramids and will be our legacy to the future.

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    Quote Originally Posted by freyar View Post
    I think you might misunderstand;
    No, I understand. I'm familiar with the models. We discussed some of them when I was in grad school. I think I'm simply not making myself clear, probably because I have a bee in my bonnet about science reporting.

    Whether or not they seemed reasonable at the time it was proposed, these extensions to the Standard Model aren't accepted theory now. The fact that the model was proposed and looked at in the past does in and of itself does not make current thoughts that it'll make black holes reasonable.

    I am not sure why it is "fair" to bring up discarded models. I am somehow being "unfair" to discard them when folks more current on the thinking than I have discarded them? How much discarded theory do we lug around to be "fair"?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Treebore View Post
    Losing control of one, that remains in existence after control is lost, would be the end of our planet and solar system.
    Black holes don't really work that way - they don't eat everything up in their vicinity, at least not more than a mass-equivalent planet.

    Cheers, LT.
    Formerly known as "Lord Tirian"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Umbran View Post
    No, I understand. I'm familiar with the models. We discussed some of them when I was in grad school. I think I'm simply not making myself clear, probably because I have a bee in my bonnet about science reporting.
    That's reasonable. I certainly get frustrated with science reporting, too.

    Whether or not they seemed reasonable at the time it was proposed, these extensions to the Standard Model aren't accepted theory now. The fact that the model was proposed and looked at in the past does in and of itself does not make current thoughts that it'll make black holes reasonable.

    I am not sure why it is "fair" to bring up discarded models. I am somehow being "unfair" to discard them when folks more current on the thinking than I have discarded them? How much discarded theory do we lug around to be "fair"?
    Well, I think I am trying to make 2 points. First, I'm not sure there's such a clear line between accepted and discarded theories in this case. Certainly, in terms of experimental evidence, these theories haven't been ruled out (which is one thing the LHC should help with). If you put things to a vote, I think most particle physicists to find a 30-year old theory, but there's still interest in theories of the last decade. The second thing is just that I can see how the general public heard about mini black holes --- they didn't just make them up; there was a fair amount of scientific excitement about them over several years (though the excitement was more about how big the pay off could be if this actually happened). Where I see the problem is in the premature reporting of this work and the consequent belief of a few people that they actually know better than the experts. Sounds like we agree there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Tirian View Post
    Black holes don't really work that way - they don't eat everything up in their vicinity, at least not more than a mass-equivalent planet.

    Cheers, LT.
    Black Holes are not nearly understood, or even catalogued extensively enough to say that with any solid accuracy.

    Still, even with what you say, they could consume/swallow/destroy our planet.

    As for the collider, no, it is not built/designed to create black holes, but it is possible it will do them by accident, and they will be looking for them.

    Plus, if it does accidentally create them, we then have to hope they are right that the holes will be tiny and only last moments. If they are wrong, which is totally possible because we know very little about Black Holes, and they could self stabilize as soon as created due to their very own nature, that is the risk "fanatics" are afraid of.

    No scientist can say with absolute certainty that if the collider does create a black hole that it is not capable of stabilizing and staying in existence. Black Holes are far from understood, and to talk otherwise is completely false. Fanaticism in the other direction.
    It is the spirit of the game, not the letter of the rules, which is important. NEVER hold to the letter written, nor allow some barracks room lawyer to force quotations from the rule book upon you, IF it goes against the obvious intent of the game. As you hew the line with respect to conformity to major systems and uniformity of play in general, also be certain the game is mastered by you and not by your players. Within the broad parameters give in the Advanced Dungeons and Dragons Volumes, YOU are creator and final arbiter. By ordering things as they should be, the game as a WHOLE first, your CAMPAIGN next, and your participants thereafter, you will be playing Advanced Dungeons and Dragons as it was meant to be. May you find as much pleasure in so doing as the rest of us do.

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  • #17
    That is one hell of a summoning circle.
    Quote Originally Posted by Treebore
    No scientist can say with absolute certainty that if the collider does create a black hole that it is not capable of stabilizing and staying in existence. Black Holes are far from understood, and to talk otherwise is completely false. Fanaticism in the other direction.
    Yep. I think at least one boffin has gone on record claiming a one in 50 million chance of world obliteration is acceptable risk [puts on tinfoil hat}It took scientists only 10 years to go from A-bomb to H-bomb. This thing sounds like they are trying to make up for lost time.{takes off tinfoil hat]

    I like this comic...
    http://www.thepaincomics.com/Large%2...20Collider.jpg

    This article is very funny, but some foul language.
    http://www.cracked.com/article_16583...end-world.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by Treebore View Post
    Still, even with what you say, they could consume/swallow/destroy our planet.
    Not really. Here's the thing...

    A black hole's size is determined by its mass. In the case of the collider, the mass is determined by how much energy is in the particles that collide. In terms of mass, that energy is very small.

    Let us assume, for the moment, that the LHC does create a stable black hole. That hole would have very small mass, and thus very, very small size. A size on the order of a sub-atomic particle, if I recall the calculations correctly. It is tiny.

    Black holes that come from stars "suck in" other matter in space not because they are black holes, but because they typically have have the mass of one or more (or many more) stars. This little guy has the mass of a few atoms. Not much gravity, so it doesn't suck.

    Thus, the only way it eats up the matter of the planet is if it collides with it. But colliding with it is unlikely, because it is so very, very small. It will basically pass through normal matter without really noticing. It may collide with something, on occasion, as it floats around in an orbit around the planet's core.

    In theory, such a thing might eat the planet, eventually. However, if collisions with normal atoms are so infrequent that it takes longer to do that than it takes our Sun to burn out, it really isn't much of an issue for us.

    Plus, if it does accidentally create them, we then have to hope they are right that the holes will be tiny and only last moments. If they are wrong, which is totally possible because we know very little about Black Holes, and they could self stabilize as soon as created due to their very own nature, that is the risk "fanatics" are afraid of.
    They will only be tiny. Even the theory that the fanatics point to says that. There is not enough energy in the beam to make a big hole. You don't create mass (energy) out of nothing.

    No scientist can say with absolute certainty that if the collider does create a black hole that it is not capable of stabilizing and staying in existence.
    Yes, and no scientist can say "with absolute certainty" that you won't collapse into a pile of your constituent atoms after the next time you watch The Simpsons. That doesn't mean you actually treat that as a likely event.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Umbran View Post
    This little guy has the mass of a few atoms. Not much gravity, so it doesn't suck.
    Not to mention that gravity is a ludicrously small force compared to... well everything else. To showcase that with some more concrete numbers: Lift your arm.

    Congratulations - you just beat the gravity of the entire earth. Now, considering that even 12g of carbon dust (i.e. coal) contains ~6.023 x 10^23 atoms, consider how many atoms the earth consists of.

    Now, the biggest black hole the LHC could ever produce would have a mass of some atoms at best. Do you see how unbelievable weak the pull of that would be?

    Wanting to cite Brian Cox, LT.
    Formerly known as "Lord Tirian"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Umbran View Post
    Yes, and no scientist can say "with absolute certainty" that you won't collapse into a pile of your constituent atoms after the next time you watch The Simpsons. That doesn't mean you actually treat that as a likely event.
    I do think we should, when we don't know 99% of what there is to know about black holes. No one has gone out and confirmed the "mass" of a black hole. Its all inferred. Done to the best of our knowledge, and likely correct. However when the absolute destruction of our planet and existence will result on the small chance we are wrong, I think we shouldn't do it until we are as safe as we know how to be.

    We do not get a second chance if they are wrong. We are irrevocably destroyed. Every last one of us.

    Its one thing to risk .0001% chance of death when it involves a replaceable number of human beings, its foolish when being proven wrong means 100% annihilation of every living creature of your species and planet. Especially when just being patient and waiting until it can be done completely safely assures continued existence.
    It is the spirit of the game, not the letter of the rules, which is important. NEVER hold to the letter written, nor allow some barracks room lawyer to force quotations from the rule book upon you, IF it goes against the obvious intent of the game. As you hew the line with respect to conformity to major systems and uniformity of play in general, also be certain the game is mastered by you and not by your players. Within the broad parameters give in the Advanced Dungeons and Dragons Volumes, YOU are creator and final arbiter. By ordering things as they should be, the game as a WHOLE first, your CAMPAIGN next, and your participants thereafter, you will be playing Advanced Dungeons and Dragons as it was meant to be. May you find as much pleasure in so doing as the rest of us do.

    -1E DMG, page 230

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