Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Large Hadron Collider Stupidity

A girl in India killed herself today, because the LHC was being turned on and hailed the end of the world.

This needs to stop. The mass media coverage of this thing is blowing things completely out of proportion with zero counter-point. Anyone mildly informed about this thing will know how ridiculous all of this uproar is.

The LHC turned on today, but there was zero collisions. Protons were only run in one direction at a time for callibration purposes. There will be no collisions until late October when they actually start colliding particles.

There is little fundamentally different about the LHC other than that it's larger than anything else. Yes, there is the possibility of creating subatomic black holes. Black holes in the sense that there is an event horizon, not in the sense that it's what laymen think of as a black hole. This is like someone fearing that if you turn on a light bulb, it will never turn off again and explode into a giant fireball, destroying the Earth. The effect is the same, but it isn't sustainable. There isn't a couple (3-4) Sols worth of matter backing up the black hole to sustain itself, the event horizon will just disappear.

Edit: So apparently this last statment was based on my understanding of a rather dated model for black holes. According to the newer micro black hole theorys, any black hole smaller than the moon will be sufficiently hot (>2.7K) to evaporate. In less than a second. Like, in 1/1088 of a second, for a mass similar to a human.

Either way, all of these people are looking like complete idiots. And the part that blows my mind: American scientists sued to have the LHC project shut down. Complete idiots, all of them.

With no exception for myself, we all need to stop talking about stuff we don't understand.

2 comments:

  1. i want to say "QFE" here.

    people are idiots and the media is worse a lot of the time.

    reminds me of the one bash.org quote I saw about the girl who stood in the middle of the street against an oncoming car claiming "The Lord will protect me". Tried to find the quote but bash.org is down right now =(

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  2. Wow, bash is down hard, too... damn. I couldn't believe it yesterday. The news had a 4 minute story on it, but not once mentioned that there wasn't going to be a collision until late October.

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