Large Hadron Collider Worst Case Scenario

Article written: 10 Sep , 2008
Updated: 24 Dec , 2015
by

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I apologize that Universe Today has been a little slow over the last couple of days. That’s because my webserver is completely bogged down with Google searchers worried that the world is going to end thanks to the Large Hadron Collider.

Don’t worry, it’s not. In fact, the twin proton beams fired for the first time today. Since you’re reading this, the Universe wasn’t torn apart.

But let’s just say that the Large Hadron Collider does create a microscopic black hole? What then… are we doomed? Nope. Ethan Seigel over at Starts With a Bang has done the calculations to figure out how massive a black hole would be created, and how much of the Earth it would consume if it fell down into the planet. He also calculates how long it should last before evaporating away. There you go, you can use these calculations to help your panicked friends realize there’s no need to worry about microscopic black holes.

Check out Ethan’s post, I won’t give away his final numbers.

And in a strange twist of irony, Google has changed today’s logo to celebrate the Large Hadron Collider. At least, that’s what I’m seeing here in Canada.

Google's LHC logo

Google's LHC logo



29 Responses

  1. mark baard says

    there’s always hope/fear!

    i noticed a lot of reports today said “we’re still here,” ignoring what dan said.

    but they haven’t sent the beams against each other, at the same time, yet.

    i suggest postponing that one until december 21, 2012…

  2. Dork Leader standing by says

    You’re part of the conspiracy, Cain!

    We’re all going to die! The Anukai harvest is upon us.

  3. Silver Thread says

    If we can already predict the results mathematically, what is the purpose of performing experiments?

    The fact is, this machine is Experimental, we don’t know with 100% Certainty what will happen, there is a negligible probability that it will be disastrous and as with most experiments the potential outcomes are worth the potential risks.

  4. Jon says

    We’re doomed!!!

    The black hole has already been formed, and we are in its event horizon. Time slows down progressively in the event horizon, and the close we get to annihilation, the slower time becomes. Therefore, our sense of time to us, the doomed, becomes infinite, while outside the event horizon, we’ve already been sucked in!!

    J/K!!

    I pulled that right out of my ass, but you KNOW something along those lines is coming from conspiracy theorists. I’m just staying ahead of the wacko curve 😉

  5. Silver Thread says

    http://www.hasthelhcdestroyedtheearth.com/

    I thought you might all enjoy this website.

  6. Nephish777 says

    Silver Thread: That is GREAT!!!

  7. Mars Man says

    Not sure why anybody would thing the catastrophe would happen today because the beams aren’t aligned yet. That is what they say the next month or so is all about! Its when the particles finally hit that we are all going to die….

    Anybody hear that giant sucking sound?

  8. Dan says

    When debunking physics nonsense, do it right, please: Today the proton beam briefly went one way and hours later the other way; there won’t be any collisions until October and nothing tapping into unexplored energy territory until next year. The empirical proof that we are not doomed is still months off …

  9. Steven says

    We are doomed, because this planet is full of idiots.
    Although they are quite amusing.

    “Google searchers worried that the world is going to end thanks to the Large Hadron Collider.”

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha. Funny Stuff.

  10. Astrofiend says

    I must say how much it pisses me off that 98% of the focus of the publicity surrounding the LHC concerns how it either will or won’t destroy Earth!

    So here’s what we should really be talking about – CONGRATULATIONS to the team at CERN for a successful beam injection and circulation – an amazing result and the culmination of the most complex engineering/physics challenge ever undertaken.

    Here’s looking forward to future success with first collisions (hopefully next month), and even further forward to the results that will eventually come from this thing. The beautiful thing is, no matter what happens, it is going to be a revolution in our knowledge of the universe!

  11. Chuck R. says

    Damn straight, Astrofiend. ^_^

  12. leigh says

    CONGRATULATIONS to the team at CERN
    and universetoday for keeping us updated on this subject can not wait for the final results to come out

  13. alan says

    google’s logo is distorted, almost like its being sucked into a black hole…

  14. Aodhhan says

    Silver Thread…
    We can figure out bridges using mathematics as well… guess we should stop building them, eh? Definitely should stop inventing things once we discover new technolgies.
    Apparently, you don’t get it. You can build on what you learn from PRACTICLE use.

  15. Aodhhan says

    For all those worried about the LHC, I will sell you the plans we scientists use to construct a foil hat, designed to protects us from the anomolies leaping out from the LHC onto Earth.

    You don’t actually think we’d do this and risk our own lives do you?

    Send me $9.99 and I’ll provide you the plans. For an extra $4.00 I will supply the tin foil. Please include $12.00 shipping and handling.

  16. mear says

    i remember bbc show about doomsday , well u know all that drama they make so long and stupid , like million ppl protesting and screams , hippies.. and the evil inmoral scientist push the wrong button, and then everything explodes … and anyway stupid ppl are stupid

  17. Astrofreak says

    Wow, Cain the Brain is baaack….

  18. highschool student says

    The LHC seems like a revolutionary idea… although it is creating lots of controversy in the world, Santanic members of cults saying this will disprove that “God” Created earth and everything around us. I beleive in god, I also beleive that the Large Hadron Collider is an amazing idea and could make serious scientific breakthroughs. To finish off, Congrats to the team at CERN for the first test launch!!! Keep the project going!!

  19. tyler says

    The google image is distorted like it is being sucked into a black hole. EVEN THEY KNOW WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN!!!

  20. Anunaki says

    WE UNDERSTAND THE UNIVERSE AND ALL THE MATHEMATICS THEREIN AND SO WE HAVE NO NEED TO BUILD THESE PRIMITIVE “COLLIDERS” ,

    WE ARE SCIENTISTS AND NOT COOKBOOK TECHNICIANS WHO USE BRUTE FORCE APPROACHES TO APPROXIMATE NATURE.

    HOWEVER OUR CHILDREN ARE PERMITTED TO PLAY THIS SHOTGUN APPROACH WITH THEM UP TO A CERTAIN SAFE RANGE OF INITIAL CONDITIONS AND MAXIMAL LIFE SPANS FOR CERTAIN GLOOMAS PRESENT .WITHIN A SPECIFIC CLASS OF SINGULARITIES WITHIN THEIR FUNDAMENTAL BRANE STRUCTURE.

    AS WAS REMARKED PREVIOUSLY , YOU ARE PLAYING WITH FIRE WHEN YOU MESS WITH MOTHER NATURE…. SO TAKE CARE …

    ITS JUST A MATTER OF TIME UNTIL YOU PRESS THE BUTTON WHICH IS FORBIDDEN TO HUMAN KIND I.E …WITHOUT THE FUNDAMENTAL KOWLEDGE AND PREREQUISITES REQUIRED FOR THIS TYPE CHILDISH BEHAVIOR BECAUSE OF A POTENTIAL BRIDGE WITHIN THE FRAMEWORK OF THE SINGULARITIES OF CATASTROPHY THEORY.

    ENKI

  21. DrewDogg says

    For the record, I’m solidly in the “Fire that sucker up already!” camp, but I have spotted a potential flaw in the logic:

    Author assumes a linear growth rate for a black hole, but it’s not linear. A black hole’s event horizon expands with it’s mass, so as the event horizon gets larger, it’s mean free path gets smaller which means it’s more likely to bump into other particles which means it will accumulate mass _faster_ which means it grows it’s event horizon which means … you get the point

  22. Yael Dragwyla says

    I am amazed at how many people seem to *want* the world to come to an end! And quite a few of them aren’t even fundamentalists of any stripe, or even standard Christians, Muslims, or Jews. Over the centuries, people like these have given away or sold all their possessions, gone up on hilltops to await the end of the world — and suffered devastating depressions, not to mention poverty, when the world didn’t end, and there they were, with only the clothes they wore to their name. And the 2012 crowd are exactly like their forerunners. While this isn’t part of astronomy, it *is* something the social sciences study at length. And since such people are taxpayers, whether they want to or not, they do pay taxes which support endeavors such as CERN, and their attitudes about such scientific projects are therefore of real signifiance to science — and should be a concern to scientists. What will happen when December 21, 2012 comes and goes and nothing happens, except possibly for riots by people who are determined to bring about the end of the world if they have to do it themselves? I think this is something we really need to discuss.

  23. Bedrock says

    Probability of LHC creating black holes

    X

    Mother of all Potential Negative Losses

    =

    All your and everyone else’s Marbles

  24. Hex says

    I found this live, web cam, CERN site, enjoy!

    http://www.cyriak.co.uk/lhc/lhc.swf

  25. Hex says

    Sorry above link may no longer work.

  26. I am not surprısıng to anything. But thanks..

  27. Niraj says

    does the blackholes really evaporate.?
    if yes then why till now the black whole that exists in our solar system has not evaporated yet?

  28. OwlTalking says

    The only apparent means of providing a remedy to a sustained collapse of proton clusters is to keep the machine on and working. Hopefully the magnets will keep it in place, but no mention of making sure anything else won’t slip into it and go down the “rabbit hole”. Such a small crystal might stay where it is, might go with damaged sections, or might drift about aimlessly. Nothing good comes out of a black hole.

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