Concerns about a 'big science machine' destroying the Earth have been around since the steam engine. The LHC is the latest target for such conspiracy theories. Credit: CERN.

Astronomy Without A Telescope – Why The LHC Won’t Destroy The Earth

Article Updated: 24 Dec , 2015
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Surprisingly, rumors still persist in some corners of the Internet that the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is going to destroy the Earth – even though nearly three years have passed since it was first turned on. This may be because it is yet to be ramped up to full power in 2014 – although it seems more likely that this is just a case of moving the goal posts, since the same doomsayers were initially adamant that the Earth would be destroyed the moment the LHC was switched on, in September 2008.

The story goes that the very high energy collisions engineered by the LHC could jam colliding particles together with such force that their mass would be compressed into a volume less than the Schwarzschild radius required for that mass. In other words, a microscopic black hole would form and then grow in size as it sucked in more matter, until it eventually consumed the Earth.

Here’s a brief run-through of why this can’t happen.

1. Microscopic black holes are implausible.
While a teaspoon of neutron star material might weigh several million tons, if you extract a teaspoon of neutron star material from a neutron star it will immediately blow out into the volume you might expect several million tons of mass to usually occupy.

Notwithstanding you can’t physically extract a teaspoon of black hole material from a black hole – if you could, it is reasonable to expect that it would also instantly expand. You can’t maintain these extreme matter densities outside of a region of extreme gravitational compression that is created by the proper mass of a stellar-scale object.

The hypothetical physics that might allow for the creation of microscopic black holes (large extra dimensions) proposes that gravity gains more force in near-Planck scale dimensions. There is no hard evidence to support this theory – indeed there is a growing level of disconfirming evidence arising from various sources, including the LHC.

High energy particle collisions involve converting momentum energy into heat energy, as well as overcoming the electromagnetic repulsion that normally prevents charged particles from colliding. But the heat energy produced quickly dissipates and the collided particles fragment into sub-atomic shrapnel, rather than fusing together. Particle colliders attempt to mimic conditions similar to the Big Bang, not the insides of massive stars.

2. A hypothetical microscopic black hole couldn’t devour the Earth anyway.
Although whatever goes on inside the event horizon of a black hole is a bit mysterious and unknowable – physics still operates in a conventional fashion outside. The gravitational influence exerted by the mass of a black hole falls away by the inverse square of the distance from it, just like it does for any other celestial body.

The gravitational influence exerted by a microscopic black hole composed of, let’s say 1000 hyper-compressed protons, would be laughably small from a distance of more than its Schwarzschild radius (maybe 10-18 metres). And it would be unable to consume more matter unless it could overcome the forces that hold other matter together – remembering that in quantum physics, gravity is the weakest force.

It’s been calculated that if the Earth had the density of solid iron, a hypothetical microscopic black hole in linear motion would be unlikely to encounter an atomic nucleus more than once every 200 kilometres – and if it did, it would encounter a nucleus that would be at least 1,000 times larger in diameter.

So the black hole couldn’t hope to swallow the whole nucleus in one go and, at best, it might chomp a bit off the nucleus in passing – somehow overcoming the strong nuclear force in so doing. The microscopic black hole might have 100 such encounters before its momentum carried it all the way through the Earth and out the other side, at which point it would probably still be a good order of magnitude smaller in size than an uncompressed proton.

And that still leaves the key issue of charge out of the picture. If you could jam multiple positively-charged protons together into such a tiny volume, the resultant object should explode, since the electromagnetic force far outweighs the gravitational force at this scale. You might get around this if an exactly equivalent number of electrons were also added in, but this requires appealing to an implausible level of fine-tuning.

You maniacs! You blew it up! We may not be walking on the Moon again any time soon - but we won't be destroying the Earth with an ill-conceived physics experiment any time soon either. Credit: Dean Reeves.

3. What the doomsayers say
When challenged with the standard argument that higher-than-LHC energy collisions occur naturally and frequently as cosmic ray particles collide with Earth’s upper atmosphere, LHC conspiracy theorists refer to the high school physics lesson that two cars colliding head-on is a more energetic event than one car colliding with a brick wall. This is true, to the extent that the two car collision has twice the kinetic energy as the one car collision. However, cosmic ray collisions with the atmosphere have been measured as having 50 times the energy that will ever be generated by LHC collisions.

In response to the argument that a microscopic black hole would pass through the Earth before it could achieve any appreciable mass gain, LHC conspiracy theorists propose that an LHC collision would bring the combined particles to a dead stop and they would then fall passively towards the centre of the Earth with insufficient momentum to carry them out the other side.

This is also implausible. The slightest degree of transverse momentum imparted to LHC collision fragments after a head-on collision of two particles travelling at nearly 300,000 kilometres a second will easily give those fragments an escape velocity from the Earth (which is only 11.2 kilometres a second, at sea-level).

Further reading: CERN The safety of the LHC.



48 Responses

  1. Brad Murray says:

    Actually the argument (not from conspiracy theorists but rather from safety analysts with a serious interest in the safety case presented for the LHC) is not that a head-on collision creates more energy but rather that a stream of head-on collisions results in a vastly increased chance of interaction should there be a “strange matter” event that could cascade.

    This is an extremely unlikely (and possibly implausible) event, but each of the three main mechanisms for dramatically unsafe output of the LHC deserve earnest and honest assessment. For the most part they can and have been addressed though there remain some gaps (including the fact that the theory suggesting small black holes evaporate too quickly to be interesting is countered by the fact that the theory this derives from is part of what we hope to confirm with the LHC).

    The safety case for the LHC has serious flaws and has been treated a little cavalierly. I think that there is a high quality safety case possible for the device and I am not in fear of my life, but it’s bad process to be satisfied with an inadequate safety case with 6 billion lives at stake in the hazards.

    An excellent discussion of the issues involved in high-impact, low-probability safety analysis (with the LHC case as an examplar case) is available here: http://arxiv.org/abs/0810.5515

  2. Brad Murray says:

    Actually the argument (not from conspiracy theorists but rather from safety analysts with a serious interest in the safety case presented for the LHC) is not that a head-on collision creates more energy but rather that a stream of head-on collisions results in a vastly increased chance of interaction should there be a “strange matter” event that could cascade.

    This is an extremely unlikely (and possibly implausible) event, but each of the three main mechanisms for dramatically unsafe output of the LHC deserve earnest and honest assessment. For the most part they can and have been addressed though there remain some gaps (including the fact that the theory suggesting small black holes evaporate too quickly to be interesting is countered by the fact that the theory this derives from is part of what we hope to confirm with the LHC).

    The safety case for the LHC has serious flaws and has been treated a little cavalierly. I think that there is a high quality safety case possible for the device and I am not in fear of my life, but it’s bad process to be satisfied with an inadequate safety case with 6 billion lives at stake in the hazards.

    An excellent discussion of the issues involved in high-impact, low-probability safety analysis (with the LHC case as an examplar case) is available here: http://arxiv.org/abs/0810.5515

    • Steve Nerlich says:

      I think CERN conducted an appropriate public information service in developing the ‘Safety of the LHC’ document. I cannot see any of the doubt or uncertainty you ascribe to it – they are very clear that it is safe and quote a range of esteemed physicists, including Nobel laureates, firmly agreeing with this view – albeit I acknowledge this is ‘argument from authority’.

      I think the strange matter cascade idea can be attributed to the excellent science fiction novel ‘Cat’s Cradle’ by Kurt Vonnegut. It’s a great story.

      • Anonymous says:

        I’ve seen that arXiv paper used quite a bit by the alarmist crowd (I’m not including Brad here, btw) who hold this out as proof of some catastrophic danger from the LHC(issued by CERN, no less), usually followed by phrases like “this is an argument from authority”, “…it says there is a chance…..however small”, “it’s an internal study by scientists on the institution’s payroll, so there must be some bias/deceit in their report” or “even the experts don’t know for sure”.

        Some of these people are as stubborn as moon landing deniers when it comes to perceived dangers of the LHC. Thanks for a good article on this subject, Steve.

        [I love reading Vonnegut and ‘Cat’s Cradle’ is a classic]

    • Torbjörn Larsson says:

      I wouldn’t be concerned if the safety analysis, which will have to handle uncertainties anyway, would use a “best supported case” physics against an “unsupported case” physics scenario.

      If nonlinearities such as cascades were a problem, presumably odd things would have happened during inflationary reheating. It didn’t, so they likely aren’t.

    • Anonymous says:

      Strangelet physics is interesting, and one might wonder why this does not display itself more. The energy of bound quarks more or less goes as

      E = sum_q n_qe_q + … + const N_Z^2

      Where n_q is the number of quark type q and e_q its coulomb energy. N_z = sum of charges, which is zero for the strangelet. The conversion of a quark to the strange quark lowers the total energy. So the conjecture has been that if a strangelet state could exist it would catalyze neutrons in matter to convert to strangelets and protons into strangelets plus positrons. The flavor changing transformation is places matter in a lower energy configuration.

      However, TeV cosmic rays slam into the atmosphere of the Earth, the surface of the moon and Mars and elsewhere. There is so far no evidence of any grand conversion of matter to strangelets by natural processes. So the concerns were never terribly warranted.

      LC

  3. Anonymous says:

    I rather think the danger from LHC has yet to pass. That is, the Light-Headed Cockamamie we find around the web so often, though, thankfully, not here.

  4. Ken Lord says:

    Steve, I’m on your side, but there are a couple points I’m confused on. I understand that a teaspoon of neutron star would expand if removed from the gravitational compression of a neutron star. But I dont think the analogy holds with a teaspoon of black hole or with a solitary micro black hole … the expansion would have to occur at a speed faster than light or else nothing would ever clear it’s event horizon.

    Same for the explosive repulsion from the electrical charge of the protons that would make up a micro black hole in this scenario. First of all, the charge would be spread around as the quarks are released at the moment of impact, second of all, the scenario as stated assumes that the particles attain a sufficient density to be within its schwartzchild radius, so again the shrapnel would have to travel faster than light to escape.

    Sure, gravity is the weakest force, but the speed of light is the ultimate law.

    I am curious though … how can a micro black hole evaporate by Hawking radiation when it’s event horizon is so small? So much smaller than the virtual particles that it would have to consume for the evaporation to happen?

  5. Anonymous says:

    It is possible that at the 1 to 10 TeV scale that compactified dimensions, 6 out of 10 for instance leaving 4 spacetime dimensions, are on a scale that is comparable to this energy. This would mean that physics will have some amplitude for the signature of AdS/black hole physics. Given the scale of energy at the cut off is E_s ~ 10^{15}TeV, the amplitude for this physics gives the probability

    P = |A|^2 = (g^2/4?)ln(E_s/E)

    The coupling constant is related to the string parameter and g^2 = G. If there is a renormalization flow up to the string scale from the TeV domain we then have some probability amplitude for observing physics up to the string scale.

    The “black holes” produced then correspond to small amplitudes for compactified dimensions which appear on black hole horizons. This does not mean we will be producing black holes which could consume the Earth. In the heavy ion collisions this means some 200 nucleons form an amplitude for a black hole. The time it takes to decay is on the order of 10^{-40}seconds, which means it is not going to last long enough to gobble up enough material and destroy the Earth.

    LC

  6. Mark Mighell says:

    well . LHC produce a black Hole element. could happen but of a size that would have little affect on our density level, The density level of the Black hole element(a pain of the wave element) will quickly find its density level and balance with the entrophy of space-time.

    Mark MIghell

  7. Mark Mighell says:

    the answer to this is in the frequency amplitude of the harmonic resonance of this black hole singularity paine. in an unstable field of energy the frequency will FLUCTUATE the resonat harmonics. this means that under curtain circumstances the cycles of spin on paine of vibrating singularity element will increase or decrease. a partical dose not have to be moving to be traveling at the speed of light(frequency and distance have a reletionship of sorts)

    • WaxyMary says:

      @Mark Mighell,

      …this means that under curtain circumstances the cycles of spin on paine…

      Sounds like it is curtains for that viewpoint, Mark, the fluctuation of the resonance harmonics not withstanding. The ‘dose’ of frequency and the relationship it might have to distance for any particle with rest mass vs motion at light speed have little to do with the spin cycle on a washer, and that makes this view washed up, as well.

      Sigh, what does the world need now; love, sweet love, or is that the only thing there’s just too little of…

      Mary

    • WaxyMary says:

      @Mark Mighell,

      …this means that under curtain circumstances the cycles of spin on paine…

      Sounds like it is curtains for that viewpoint, Mark, the fluctuation of the resonance harmonics not withstanding. The ‘dose’ of frequency and the relationship it might have to distance for any particle with rest mass vs motion at light speed have little to do with the spin cycle on a washer, and that makes this view washed up, as well.

      Sigh, what does the world need now; love, sweet love, or is that the only thing there’s just too little of…

      Mary

  8. Steve Nerlich says:

    Hi Ken – you are quite right regarding the physics of real black holes – i.e. that nothing could get out without exceeding light speed (which can’t happen). My various thought experiments are to indicate the physical implausibility of small mass black holes ever forming.

    Since the hypothetical microscopic black hole would necessarily explode as soon as it was formed – and such an explosion is impossible anyway – therefore a logical conclusion is that the microscopic black hole could never form in the first place.

    As I understand it, Hawking radiation arises from a quantum fluctuation near an event horizon creating a matter + anti-matter pair. One is emitted outwards, the other enters the black hole and then annihilates when it meets an equivalent, but opposite, matter or anti-matter particle inside. So a massive particle (e.g. a positron or electron) is lost from the black hole’s mass, although it was never the case that a particle within the black hole was able to escape from it.

    • Anonymous says:

      The LHC of course does not form what is a proper black hole as such. It is more of a shadow state of a black hole. I illustrate this in a more recent post with some of the physics, which is admittedly rather conjectural at this time.

      LC

  9. Anonymous says:

    The most obvious answer to this whole “question” is:

    We are still here!

    The universe has far better accelerators than we can possibly build. Particles exceeding the LHC by many orders of magnitude collide with the earth every day. And yet: Here we are.

    • Robert says:

      That “we are still here” proves nothing. The LHC has been operating less than two years (not “three”) at half-power, and the shortest estimate for a mini black hole consuming the Earth is “50 months to 50 years” (Prof. Otto Rossler). Unlike cosmic rays hitting Earth, the symmetrical collisions in the LHC can result in a slow down of the products, some to below escape velocity (not “a dead-stop”). Thus, regarding neutral microscopic black holes, CERN’s safety report admits: “Those produced by cosmic rays would pass harmlessly through the Earth into space, whereas those produced by the LHC could remain on Earth.”

      Higher energy cosmic rays would merely cause a faster exit of such products. In 2008 CERN relocated the cosmic ray argument to dense neutron stars and white dwarfs but, as its analysts conceded, these are shielded by powerful magnetic fields, which may deflect or weaken cosmic rays so they can’t form black holes.

      Steve Nerlich claims: “Microscopic black holes are implausible.” But according to CERN physicists, “the 14 TeV centre-of-mass energy of the LHC could allow it to become a black-hole factory with a production rate as high as about one per second” (A. Barrau and J. Grain, CERN Courier, Nov 12, 2004).

      Mr. Nerlich also claims that a “microscopic black hole couldn’t devour the Earth anyway.” Yet even three physicists affiliated with CERN found that if “the LHC produces a…black hole which gets stuck” in the earth, then “with one extra dimension, the earth would be accreted into the black hole in 27 years” (B. Koch et al. at ArXiv.org, 7/22/2008, v.1). LHC critics never claimed there’d be instant doom, only an eventual risk, nor that CERN leaders are conspiratorial – only that they’re reckless.

      * Edit
      * Reply

  10. Anonymous says:

    I really don’t see what all the hubbub is all about.
    If the world were to end right this very moment, we wouldn’t even know it because it would happen so fast there would be no felling it.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I really don’t see what all the hubbub is all about.
    If the world were to end right this very moment, we wouldn’t even know it because it would happen so fast there would be no felling it.

  12. Anonymous says:

    The so called black hole that would materialize here is a bit different from our standard notion of a black hole. If you scatter two particles at sqrt{s} = 7TeV, and up to 14 TeV in a few years, the energy goes into a wide range of possible channels. This can result in a plasma of quarks and gluons that lasts about 10^{-24}sec. This might have amplitudes that correspond to AdS/black hole physics. The 10 dimensional universe in super gravity at low energy is 3+1 space plus time and the other 6 dimensions become folded into Calabi-Yau (CY) spaces. CY spaces in a standard theory exist at around the string length ~ 10^{-31}cm. Yet in a renormalization group flow the size of these CY spaces may be much larger and form a lower threshold for amplitudes. So if you probe physics at 10 TeV, corresponding to a 10^{-18}cm length scale, CY spaces may exist at 10^{-19} to 10^{-21}cm, and they become smaller as a running scale as you increase your probe energy. The CY spaces then physically in a quark-gluon plasma are a sort of change of phase for the plasma. The plasma will then have lower viscosity than otherwise expected. The RHIC data has signatures of this and some heavy ion data at LHC does as well. This state which couples weakly with the internal CY spaces has elements of black hole physics. It turns out that to analyze the amplitudes that a black hole summation of states gives the appropriate results.

    This is however not exactly a black hole. For one this corresponds to a small amplitude for a black hole. The event horizon associated with the BH is highly uncertain by quantum mechanics. So the physics departs considerably from a Hawking type of black hole. If a quark-gluon plasma could be formed at near the Planck energy it would correspond more to a quantum black hole. This is one thing which is nice about heavy ion collisions, for if you have 50 protons (each with a charge e) in a nucleus and you accelerate it with an electric field E, so F = qE, q = 50e, you can generate a plasma with lots of energy, 50x7TeV = 350TeV. Of course to get up to the Planck scale of energy you would need to collide 19^{15} charges. There are no nuclei that large of course.

    It might be possible in the future to collide Bose Einstein condensates (BEC) of ions. A rubidium ion has properties similar to cesium and a BEC of 10^5 ions can be generated. A BEC is a quantum phase where all of the atoms or ions are in the same state and all act as “one atom or ion.” The tough part would then be to accelerate this through something like the LHC and maintain its hypercold BEC state. However, if that were possible a collision between two BECs would then generate a quark-gluon plasma with around 10^6 TeV of energy. This might then have more quantum amplitude for black hole or AdS physics.

    To get into a little more detail, I look at the charged black hole. The extremal condition is easiest to examine for the Reissner-Nordstrom black hole. The metric is

    ds^2 = (?/r^2)dt^2 – (r^2/? )dr^2 – r^2d?^2

    for ? = (r – r_+)(r – r_-) and r_{+/-} = m +/- sqrt(m^2 – Q^2). The two radii are r_+ which is the horizon radius, and r_- is the radius for an internal horizon inside the black hole. The condition that r_+ = r_- that at the merged horizon ? = 0 and this is the extremal horizon. The relevant Ricci curvatures are

    R_{tt} = Q^2(r – r_+)(r – r_-)/r^4

    R_{rr} = -Q^2/[r^4(r – r_+)(r – r_-)].

    It is clear that R_{rr} diverges as r — > r_+ = r_- in the extremal case. This is close to being a naked singularity, but since it is also a horizon condition this singularity does not propagate information into the exterior world. Technically this is not considered to be a naked singularity, but rather a null condition on the metric.

    The BPS black hole for r_+ > r_- is the standard black hole. This is a timelike condition, similar to why a mass in spacetime moves on a path slower than light. The extremal case is the lightlike case, similar to the condition for a photon moving at the speed of light. The two cases can’t be transformed into each other, just as one can’t boost a massive particle to the speed of light. There is then the condition that Q^2 > m^2, and the two radii become complex valued with an imaginary i = sqrt{-1} part. This is odd, and it is the naked singularity. To compare with special relativity it has a connection to spacelike paths that move faster than light. The imaginary condition on the horizon radii corresponds to the imaginary valued energy of a tachyon. At this point physics becomes a bit strange. The tachyon forms a part of the vacuum state for the 26-dim boson string, which is a sort of constraint that is not actually physical.

    An elementary particle has a charge such that in natural units Q^2 > m^2, and we might want to think of them as having tachyonic physics. The vacuum of the bosonic string connects to this. The removal of these removes both the tachyon and the naked singularity. However, as we are involved with quantum mechanics at high energy there can exist little amplitudes of this physics. The mass can fluctuate around m — > m + ?m and so amplitudes of black hole physics can percolate (at least in principle) to lower energy physics where Q^2 > m^2.

    LC

    • Anonymous says:

      Now wait a minute. If the bosonic string connects to the quantum black hole then it would appear that both the tachyons and the naked singularities would fluctuate back and forth. The problem is that the amplitude black holes are often confused with the units Q>2 and m>2s creating an inverse flux of saturated massive accelerants that force the synthesis of the elementary tachyon particles which often, though not always leaves only Tev scale compactified particles….i think….never mind..

      • WaxyMary says:

        The boson’s connected to the black hole, the black hole’s connected to the amplitude, the amplitude connected to the tachyon; now hear the roar of the sky.

        Mary -to the tune of “D’em Bones, D’em Bones”-

      • Anonymous says:

        icrowell “blinded me with science” dum de dum da da da de………….

      • Anonymous says:

        The tachyon by virtue of moving faster than light ends up out to infinity faster than everything else. In a particular frame a tachyon escapes to infinity instantly. In this sense one can argue that tachyons vanish. The states they correspond to are vacuum modes which are annulled.

        The singularity of a black hole is a sort of condensate of tachyons. The physical singularity occurs at the inner horizon r_-, where this can be argued for. Essentially as one reaches the inner horizon so does everything else (including photons) and they are arbitrarily blue shifted. The extremal case is where the horizons merge, but the merged horizon propagates no information to the outside. The naked singularity is where the tachyon condensate escapes “free.” However, tachyons escape to infinity and make themselves not physical.

        LC

      • Anonymous says:

        You don’t happen to sit in a wheel chair and use a voice synthesizer do you ?? Just wondering………….have a great day !!

      • Anonymous says:

        LC’s input is one of the reasons I like this site. His insights are not limited to astrophysics either – which is a bonus.

        I will continue to query his option so long as he is interested.

        …or till he starts claiming hostile aliens may attack us for our resources.

      • WaxyMary says:

        Piffle, Uncle Fred, LC would be first to tell you, and anyway, everyone knows –there are no single reasons good enough to invade and conquer, and subjugation an entire alien planet, much less a stellar system of immense proportions and possessing vast tracts of land. You have to maintain a multitude of reasons to justify the expenses to the electorate.

        Resources and space; space and time; maybe the resources of our minds combined with the tastiness of them. Whatever the reason used there will be another reason given to reinforce that blade which will cleave us from our freedom, our freedom to fight our alien masters, to finally be free of them; I tell you, we can be free.

        But one thing is sure, we will never be subjugated, drugged, manipulated into living coffins, and used as batteries for generation after generation in some bizarre satisfaction of an old debit we owe to machines we have created. We can count on that never coming to pass as long as the Illuminati are here to protect us from the wolves.

        Mary -just another jester-

      • WaxyMary says:

        Piffle, Uncle Fred, LC would be first to tell you, and anyway, everyone knows –there are no single reasons good enough to invade and conquer, and subjugation an entire alien planet, much less a stellar system of immense proportions and possessing vast tracts of land. You have to maintain a multitude of reasons to justify the expenses to the electorate.

        Resources and space; space and time; maybe the resources of our minds combined with the tastiness of them. Whatever the reason used there will be another reason given to reinforce that blade which will cleave us from our freedom, our freedom to fight our alien masters, to finally be free of them; I tell you, we can be free.

        But one thing is sure, we will never be subjugated, drugged, manipulated into living coffins, and used as batteries for generation after generation in some bizarre satisfaction of an old debit we owe to machines we have created. We can count on that never coming to pass as long as the Illuminati are here to protect us from the wolves.

        Mary -just another jester-

      • Anonymous says:

        Of course maybe we end up running into aliens:

        I took a high school sweetheart on a date to this gruesome classic.

        It is a long shot to think we may get radio contact with aliens. I suspect that SETI may just serve to put upper bounds on the frequency of intelligent life in the universe. Of course there is a sort of “climbing mount improbable” here. There might on average only be one ETI per 100 galaxies, but there could still be two in the same galaxy somewhere. Further, there is a chance for there to be two ETI in the same galaxy and fairly close to each other. Then there is a chance for interstellar travel by one or both of them. There is a chance we might in fact be in that situation. It is highly improbable, but more probable than the chance Cthulhu will arise next year. That in turn is more probable than supernatural ideas, such as Jesus returning —- believed by hundreds of millions of people.

        LC

    • Anonymous says:

      Now wait a minute. If the bosonic string connects to the quantum black hole then it would appear that both the tachyons and the naked singularities would fluctuate back and forth. The problem is that the amplitude black holes are often confused with the units Q>2 and m>2s creating an inverse flux of saturated massive accelerants that force the synthesis of the elementary tachyon particles which often, though not always leaves only Tev scale compactified particles….i think….never mind..

  13. Torbjörn Larsson says:

    As I understand it the final evaporation of black holes, if there is one, is up for grabs.

    – Will it be accelerated, linear or slowed down?

    – Will there be a topological remain? (My money is on spacetime healing itself, or we would know of these relics from before.)

    As for mechanisms, I think the physics is such that you can make a semiclassical “membrane paradigm” model, in which case you can model evaporation simplest as Hawking radiation.

    But the actual physics is that a black hole evaporates from the Unruh effect due to gravitational acceleration:

    “There exist alternative physical pictures which give the Hawking radiation in which the trans-Planckian problem is addressed. The key point is that similar trans-Planckian problems occur when the modes occupied with Unruh radiation are traced back in time.[16] In the Unruh effect, the magnitude of the temperature can be calculated from ordinary Minkowski field theory, and is not controversial.”

    The trans-Planckian problem is in a sense the problem of how to “fit” particles to the black hole gravitational length scale. [See the link.] So it would be part of this, and, I intuit, a part of the solution of how it works (if it does). Though an argument from physical intuition is an argument set up to fail. =D

  14. Torbjörn Larsson says:

    I still think the best argument in the social sphere is that 1000s of our best scientists are in on this and they have families.

    While the nut cases obviously have most of their nuts invested elsewhere.

  15. TerryG says:

    Slightly off topic, but there is one thing the LHC might be about to destroy… LHC results put supersymmetry theory ‘on the spot’.

  16. There is no profit in trying to debate peoples beliefs with mere facts, ignorance rooted in the untestable is a powerful thing.

  17. Anonymous says:

    @Mark MIghell–“well . LHC produce a black Hole element. could happen but of a size that would have little affect on our density level, The density level of the Black hole element(a pain of the wave element) will quickly find its density level and balance with the entrophy of space-time.

    “Mark MIghell”

    What? Blackholium?

    • WaxyMary says:

      @OlynthusDam, re: your question to @Mark MIghell,

      If there is any need for ‘holium’ there would be folks wanting to fill that need with immense quantities of ‘holier-than-thou-prodding’ and the converse of the inverse of the fictive device would be off the charts!

      Mary

  18. HeadAroundU says:

    Yeah, I hate debunking, but finally someone explained teaspoon stuff in a non-bragging way.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Just a pet peeve of mine: can we please use the word theory correctly, i.e. “There is no hard evidence to support this theory.” Then it is not a theory. How can we possibly hope or help the public to understand the difference between a theory and a hypothesis if we who should know better won’t even use the correct term.

  20. HiEverybody says:

    Generating a black hole would be extremely difficult. The energies required would not be conjured up by the LHC.

  21. k.skynr says:

    What I think this whole theory hinges on, and was touched on in passing by the Author. Is that the hypothetical microscopic black hole even though weak and rare in its ability to collide with normal mass, is not normal and even though having left the gravity of the Earth, might have caused a wormhole depression at the point at which it originated and even further as it collides with other particles in Earths interior. Kind of like a virus infecting the organs of the body, which would then have a cumulitive effect and numerous points at which black hole collapse might begin.

    • WaxyMary says:

      @k.skynr,

      Your statements:

      What I think this whole theory hinges on, and was touched on in passing by the Author. Is that the hypothetical microscopic black hole even though weak and rare in its ability to collide with normal mass, is not normal and even though having left the gravity of the Earth, might have caused a wormhole depression at the point at which it originated and even further as it collides with other particles in Earths interior.

      The actual article you claim to have read is more clear than your review of it here. The Author (Steve Nerlich) actually stated contrary views to what you claim, and not just in passing and he never affirmatively touched on any issue you have brought forward.

      Nowhere did Steve claim a wormhole depression at the point of origination or the continued impact on particles within the Earth other than to state, plainly and in no uncertain terms, that any Microscopic Black Hole would —

      Here, I’ll just pull the QUOTE from the article… this hypothetical is the only place where Steve brings up any possibility for encounters with Earthly matter. The keyword here is LINEAR, you know, straight line motion. I do not know about your particle accelerators, but here and now we build them as flat to the geode as is possible –never in a perpendicular to the geode.

      “It has been calculated that if the Earth had the density of solid iron, a hypothetical microscopic black hole in linear motion would be unlikely to encounter an atomic nucleus more than once every 200 kilometres – and if it did, it would encounter a nucleus that would be at least 1,000 times larger in diameter.”

      Additionally he stated —
      So the black hole couldn’t hope to swallow the whole nucleus in one go and, at best, it might chomp a bit off the nucleus in passing – somehow overcoming the strong nuclear force in so doing. The microscopic black hole might have 100 such encounters before its momentum carried it all the way through the Earth and out the other side, at which point it would probably still be a good order of magnitude smaller in size than an uncompressed proton.

      Where do you get anything remotely resembling your statements, even in passing, from what I show quoted from the article.

      Kind of like a virus infecting the organs of the body, which would then have a cumulitive effect and numerous points at which black hole collapse might begin.

      Nowhere in the article did Steve state anything which could be construed by any rational and reasonable person to remotely equate, even in passing, this statement you have made.

      If one were to fill out the premise make here, inflate the correlations and assumptions into something testable one would find this statement unable to support the tissue of fantasy used in its composition.

      Mary -contagion is all too common in the lunatic fringe-

    • Anonymous says:

      At 1-10 TeV the radius of a black hole is about 10^{-49}cm, which is much smaller than the quantum unit length for a black hole 10^{-33}cm. The “black hole” produced is called a soft black hole, or a shadow state of a black hole. It is not at all a black hole that can grow by consuming matter. The quantum amplitudes for a black hole at the scale of 10^{-33} has a renormalization “flow” to different scales, which means a quark-gluon plasma can assume black hole quantum properties. This is not something which can consume the Earth.

      LC

  22. Robert says:

    That “we are still here” proves nothing. The LHC has been operating less than two years (not “three”) at half-power, and the shortest estimate for a mini black hole consuming the Earth is “50 months to 50 years” (Prof. Otto Rossler). Unlike cosmic rays hitting Earth, the symmetrical collisions in the LHC can result in a slow down of the products, some to below escape velocity (not “a dead-stop”). Thus, regarding neutral microscopic black holes, CERN’s safety report admits: “Those produced by cosmic rays would pass harmlessly through the Earth into space, whereas those produced by the LHC could remain on Earth.”

    Higher energy cosmic rays would merely cause a faster exit of such products. In 2008 CERN relocated the cosmic ray argument to dense neutron stars and white dwarfs but, as its analysts conceded, these are shielded by powerful magnetic fields, which may deflect or weaken cosmic rays so they can’t form black holes.

    Steve Nerlich claims: “Microscopic black holes are implausible.” But according to CERN physicists, “the 14 TeV centre-of-mass energy of the LHC could allow it to become a black-hole factory with a production rate as high as about one per second” (A. Barrau and J. Grain, CERN Courier, Nov 12, 2004).

    Mr. Nerlich also claims that a “microscopic black hole couldn’t devour the Earth anyway.” Yet even three physicists affiliated with CERN found that if “the LHC produces a…black hole which gets stuck” in the earth, then “with one extra dimension, the earth would be accreted into the black hole in 27 years” (B. Koch et al. at ArXiv.org, 7/22/2008, v.1). LHC critics never claimed there’d be instant doom, only an eventual risk, nor that CERN leaders are conspiratorial – only that they’re reckless.

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