Monday, September 8, 2008

Hadron particle crash?

Will the world end on Wednesday?

I'm being a bit mischievous posting this. But it does give me an idea for the ultimate up-side bet. 100-1 the Universe will survive on Wed. Anyone like to bet me, say, a quid I'm right? I look forward to reading the comments below.

Posted by letthemfall @ 12:13 PM (2780 views)
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65 thoughts on “Hadron particle crash?

  • i truely hope you are correct

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  • The only black hole I know was created was on the other side of the Atlantic, and manifested here as well

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  • Although they plan to start circulating the first proton beam on Wednesday, the first collisions are not planned until late October, so we’ve got at least another 6 weeks to live.

    Questions:
    – How far will UK house prices have fallen by then?
    – How will the end of the world affect the outlook for UK house prices in 2009?

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  • i am sure there are bankers writing credit defualt swaps on this event already

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  • William Hill are offering 1,000,000/1 that the world ends before year end if you fancy a flutter although if the bet does comes up the celebration will be short lived.

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  • Daily Express – “World to End – House Prices to Rise”

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  • Just read mrmickey’s comment.

    If William Hill’s odds are correct, the world ending is about 30 times more likely than me winning the lottery.

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  • Thing is who’s going to pick up their winnings?

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  • I will give you all a pound if a Black hole is created. ( and we all die)

    You give me a pound (each) if it doesn’t.

    What happens if it blows a bloody great hole in the Alps – anyone thought of that ?

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  • cockroaches?

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  • i agree this should NOT go ahead…

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  • Eyes_wide_open says:

    Quote from Titanic:

    “I hate the fact that in the 21st century people are more compfortable sitting typing into a box (Just like I am) than talking in to each other……….I hate this computer I am using now………..Bring back the world that Tolkien tried to reveal the charm of in the Shire….and to all those who say that life was tougher here before science came along………..At least life was real.”

    I agree completely with the statement above.

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  • It would be the ultimate irony if all that dark matter in the universe is actually the black hole debris of overly inquisitive alien civilisations whose particle physics experiments have gone badly wrong.
    But seriously, nothing bad is going to happen. Particles with far greater energy have been smashing into each other for billions of years with no adverse effects.

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  • I think it’s unlikely that the universe’s secrets will be unlocked by 150,000 year old bread of monkeys :o)

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  • The quantum mechanics that I studied in the last 10 years didn’t cover any of this. So paradoxically although I am quite well up with solid state physics and can read contemporary papers, this stuff rather puzzles me.

    What astounded me (for example) was the emergence in the last decade of very new material that has to do with the properties of superconductors. Normally, one asssumes that the business of electron wave functions and the usual exchanges of energy that contribute towards energy bands and … well, .. that sort of thing… are all one could expect from that subject. This leads one at length to phenomena like the expulsion of field lines and perpetual circulating currents as well as conventional semiconductor physics.

    But that is not what is being discussed now.

    Some very new things appeared in this area in Italian University departments (I won’t mention which) concerning the appearence of unexpected coupling terms in the stress energy tensors in the presence of superconductors. When this was further investigated, it was found that some of the properties of spin-2 particles were the only way of fully explaining the character of these coupling terms, and their appearance alone was enough to seriously worry a lot of physicists over the water. This research is, as I have said, very distant from what is being done in Switzerland. But that is relevant in a way. Things are changing.

    There have been some very odd developments in that area, so odd that I admit that I do not know what to expect from this research any more.

    I know that there is a big glossy hooha on Radio 4 about this, Captain Jack, etc, but what worries me is if something DOES happen.

    It might not be evident for some while. Don’t, whatever you do, fall for the usual string theory TV presentation gobbledegook, and the familiar media line that what is being done is to fill out some missing decimal places in some constants measurements.

    Just don’t.

    It goes way beyond that.

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  • japanese uncle says:

    If this should become the reality, all those efforts behind these artificial bubble/inflation/collapse and the accumulation of stinking wealth thereby that have kept going for centuries, will prove totally meaningless. Hahaha. At least there should not be too much pain, hopefully, as it will finish in a split of a second. Much better than WWIII and atomic diseases.

    Problem is this, some theory tells that we might possibly survive this being sucked through the worm hall into another universe. In that case, they may be busy again plotting another housing bubble/inflation/collapse in the new world.

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  • still renting says:

    @ titaniccaptain

    Here’s a quote: “through the seventeenth century infant mortality averaged between 20 and 40 percent and fluctuated substantially from year to year, occasionally hitting extremely high peaks when EPIDEMICS, famines, and war created mortality crises for the general population”

    Today, infant mortality in the UK is at 0.5%. So we’ve moved from approx 1 in 4 children dying by the age of 5, to 1 in 200.

    That’s one of the many reasons why I prefer scientific progress to your “real life” and “spiritual growth”.

    I might question the LHC on the grounds of value for money, but it isn’t going to cause the end of the world. Notably, the scientist who is raising concerns about it is a biochemist, not a quantum physicist.

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  • best arguement i’ve heard:-
    You would (probability wise) expect the universe to be teeming with intelligent civilisations that at some stage would have tried this experiment.
    Whilst we have detected no sign whatsover of these civilisations, we have detected an awful lot of black holes.

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  • @titaniccaptain

    with you 100% mate

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  • Erm no and you can sue me if im wrong.

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  • The universe will not end.

    But that is nothing to do with the scientists – which you are quite correct is just another religion.

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  • Not only is he a biochemist, he also believes he’s discovered his own theory of relativity. He’s a nutter, not to put too fine a point on it.

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  • If there was the slightest chance that the world was at risk from this experiment then the alien authorities controlling area 51 would step in.

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  • So in theory we could be sucked into an alternate unvierse where house prices are rising by 12% per annum? Couldn’t happen, surely the government would intervene and prevent such a rediculous state of affairs…doh!

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  • whiteknight
    You could not be more wrong. Religious faith is belief without evidence. Science is totally evidence based.

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  • I Wanna House says:

    some of the comments make me question the credability of this website. I mean if the contributers can’t make the distinction between science and religion (i mean come on its not that hard) are their opinions on economics as equally flawed ? Does make me wonder………

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  • This bio-chemist/nutter is a genius – hasn’t he also invented a water powered car, a cure for cancer and an earthquake/tsunami/hurricane making machine.

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  • In theory we could be thrown into an alternate universe where house prices are low…

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  • Good to see all the comments from everyone.

    mrmickey: I had half a mind to pop into the bookies to see if they’d take a bet that the world would survive. But I assumed they wouldn’t be that daft. It seems that they think the punters are though.

    titanic: Back to the caves for you. See you Thursday – maybe.

    Perhaps we should all assemble for a farewell drink on Tuesday. Make mine a Higgs Boson.

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  • george monsoon says:

    Where is Sold 2 rent when you need him.

    Im sure that the 5th night Mayan calendar ends on Wednesday.. lol

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  • I’ll give anyone who wants a bet evens on the world ending by the year end – that’s better than WH – and a lot better than a BTL.

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  • titanic captain – then turn your computer off. The world in general will be no worse off without your utterly inane ramblings – why do you feel the need to spew them? You have no information to share, no insight, just an utterly brainless opinion. Here’s some information for you:

    YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND THE LHC
    SCIENCE IS NOT A RELIGION, IT’S A TOOL
    THE TOWER OF BABEL IS A MYTH

    I trust you don’t use any medicine, of course. And that your treasured Tolkien isn’t (heaven forfend) a printed copy?

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  • @whiteknight

    Science, as Richard Feynmann suggested, is what we have learned about how not to fool ourselves.
    Scientists, on the other hand, are human beings who are just as liable to fool themselves as anyone else is. However, the scientific process has the great advantage over religions in that it positively encourages one scientist to point out that another scientist is indeed fooling her/himself. Despite all the in-fighting, critism and counter critism going around scientific circles, some facts still stick – becoming “scientific fact”.
    If you are sceptical about the science world’s ability to apply such a sceptical system then I applaude you for out-scienceing science! You truly are a scientist.

    😉

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  • rickyb is right. whiteknight, it shouldn’t be possible to confuse science and religion – they are quite distinctly different.

    I have no problems with the experiments. If we all took the religious point of view, we’d have never gone sailing for fear of falling off the edge of the earth, and all Galileo types would have been burnt at the stake. As still renting points out, science has done a lot for the world. Unfortunately religion has done more bad than good.

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  • @18 rickyb

    no evidence of what?

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  • @18 rickby and @23 inbreda

    Purple robes, white coats. Telling you how things are. What is the difference?

    Fear of doing anything to fear of doing nothing.

    We can now burn cities in nano-seconds instead of waiting around to light fires on individual stakes.

    No evidence of what by the way?

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  • Religion isn’t even a belief system based on faith; It’s really a cultural identity. How many people actually sign up to a religion that is not shared by their parents? Science is like Religion in that the principles of the ‘scientific method’ are inherited from parents and taught in schools and in this way possibly a threat to religion, but science is not a belief system.

    It does however contain much that appears to be magic.

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  • I Wanna House says:

    @ 24 …

    you are not making sense ….

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  • wk – the difference is that everything the scientists tell you about ‘how things are’ can be proved again and again…. stuff written in a book 2000 years ago about walking on water, a magic trick involving loaves and fishes, virgin births and an all seeing all knowing entity who could intervene at any point but chooses not to, unfortunately can’t.

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  • I think the fact that we are all discussing this on a magic box is pretty good evidence that science works. What is worrying is that nobody really understands how it does work it just does.

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  • I tell you what, when Mary got up the duff and she was too scared to say she slept with Joseph I bet it was a heat of the moment thing – off the top of her head she said “errrmmm, I just woke up and I was pregnant”. Bet she couldn’t beleive her luck when her parents believed her! And I’ll bet when she staggers in at half 3 in the morning stinking of cheap wine and no.6, covered in vomit, she probably just blames it on ‘a bit of a stomach bug that’s going round’!!

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  • Science proves nothing. It is defined by doubt. A scientists can only say that the world is probably round; that the sum of evidence points to the world being round.

    Absolute belief that the world is round is a religion.

    Personally I am quite happy to believe that is it round because it fits the picture in my head. And I don’t want to look like a nutter…

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  • mickey – i have to disagree… Computing exists in it’s current form precisely because we understand how it works… The journey to today’s absurdly powerful home computers has been made in very small steps… each one based on studying and modifying the previous steps

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  • The danger is that the general population could become so ignorant of modern technology that they end up believing it is magic and those that do understand could become very very powerful.

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  • @titaniccaptain

    Nothing in science is proven. Proof is for mathematics. Science only deals with evidence and repeatable observation.

    The more eviddence one can collect supporting a hypothesis, the more likely it is that that hypothesis is correct. For example, billions and billions of high-energy particle collisions have occured in the Earth’s upper atmosphere and we haven’t observered a single one creating a black-hole and sucking us into an alternative universe. Therefore, we can be pretty certain that the hypothesis “Colliding particles at the LHC will not create a black hole and suck us into an alternative universe” is correct.

    Of course, there’s always a finite probability it could happen. But then there’s also a finite probability that we are living in a massive teapot, or that the Earth is filled with jam (strawberry), or that we’re all just figments of your imagination, or that God exists. The probabilities are finite, but so unimaginably small you can ignore them.

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  • The absurdity is that as ‘particle’ physics progresses, no ‘particles’ as such are found, just ever decreasing ‘packets’ of energy. The logical extension of the current findings is that there is no such thing as ‘solid matter’ simply empty space defined by discrete parcels of energy.

    I may surmise that when the realisation of this ultimate truth is reached, we all as a universe cease to exist, as we don’t.

    What did the Mayans have to say on this point?

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  • science can only be proven correct in scientific terms .- thats an interesting statement.

    just like the success of some activity can only be justified i accounting terms maybe?

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  • Quantum mechanics or is it theory ? I never really understood the difference ! Religion is isn’t though. The rational mind (even those deluded by religion at a subconscious level ) dismisses creation in 7 days. Science doesn’t answer all the questions but most of the tough ones don’t have one in my opinion. Oh I meant “breed” @11 not bread ! Doh :o)

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  • Mickey – I think you just hit the nail on the head…. ‘Snake oil salesmen’ have been ripping off the public for thousands years by packaging garbage in sciencey sounding terms, slick marketing to convince you your life will be better with it (or much worse without it) and flogging it for a small fortune – witness the modern age where the public are obsessed with homeopathy, fad diets and nutritionists, astrology, religion and financial services.

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  • I Wanna House says:

    34…..
    hummm all those things you mention are resolutly unscientific

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  • 34. crutchley said…
    ”packaging garbage in sciencey sounding terms, slick marketing to convince you your life will be better with it”

    In the past ‘Omo’ washing powder would not have been the same without the ‘WM7’ magic ingredient. ‘Signal toothpaste’ was fantastic because of the Hexachlorophine in the stripes. Today, Women would be mad to buy the product that lacks the essential Pentapeptides.!!!!

    My Mrs falls for it every time.

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  • Pentapeptides… I want to smash the screen whenever I hear it.

    That really is the Nadir of advertising.

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  • @TC – “science can only be proven correct in scientific terms”. What pish!

    Science is :- “What we know about how not to fool ourselves”
    You don’t “prove science correct” :-
    you test wannabe theories against Science’s rigourous levels of scepticism.
    It means that scientific fact is always just a subset of what is true (plus a few errors here and there)- But what a powerful subset!

    If you can demonstrate that a scientific fact is false then it stops being a scientific fact….
    Which particular scientific facts are you saying you are able to demonstrate are wrong? The information you provide will be valuable.

    If you think you can improve on Science’s high standards of scepticism then, yes, you can create your own even more certain (and smaller) subset of what is true.
    I don’t fancy your chances of success.

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  • p.doff said:
    “Women would be mad to buy the product that lacks the essential Pentapeptides”

    Agreed! I completely trust Nadine Baggot and use it daily.

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  • p.doff said:
    “Women would be mad to buy the product that lacks the essential Pentapeptides.!!!!”

    Agreed! I completely trust Nadine Baggot and wouldn’t be seen dead without a face full of Pentapeptides!

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  • I think therefore I am. That is all that can ever be proven! We have ne means of disproving that we are existing in an hallucination! Check out the Matrix, for all you know your brain could be in a glass bottle and provided with electrical and cheical stimulus to create the world you believe in.

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  • Quiet MrMickey, we engineers of the UK are patiently biding our time, to amaze you with simple tricks like filtered water and fire from friction.

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  • I think i’ve undershot my Goji berry intake for today

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  • what happens if it does go wrong? what measures are in place? Or will Gordon Brown go on TV stating”we can weather this black hole, we will come through it”………………or would he state” RUN”…………….

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  • I think the likelyhood of the LHC causing the end of the world is roughly equivalent to the likelyhood of GB’s vocal chords causing an exponentially expanding sub-quantum ripple which forces an infinite number of dimensions to simultaneously co-exist in the same inter-dimensional plane, creating an object of infinite transdimensional mass… Ending not just this world but every world that ever has or ever could have existed.

    Leaving him free to drive off into the sunset in his water powered car.

    Seriously, the LHC will make little pretty shapes on a computer screen and a load of boffins will get a bit excited about it

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/interactive/2008/jun/30/cernproject – nice little explanation of what it does

    What concerns me more is that it looks a lot like the innards of the Death Star…. Perhaps CERN is the embryonic cover up of a plan for an intergalactic empire…. Tin hat lot… back me up here please.

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  • * and in 15 years it’ll be a theme park with one hell of a roller coaster

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  • The only reason anybody even imagines that there might be black holes made is because some mathematics say that if some of our /other/ theories are spot on, ie utterly perfect, then we can make black holes. abstract numerical approximations of models of the universe that exist only in men’s heads are not something to be afraid of. Black holes are science fiction. A numerical fantasy to make the sums work right.

    Even the theories that say we must be able to make black holes say the black holes will be small and thus evaporate faster than they can absorb matter, and they also say that the LHC can only make some rather everyday miniature black holes that occur in nature anyway in the vicinity of the earth.

    What’s all the fuss about? How can non-physicists profess that they know the LHC black holes will destroy the world when the physicists know perfectly well that they made the whole idea of black holes up so they didn’t have to answer awkward questions about why their theories didn’t quite work.

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  • Iguana @31 – your first para sounds like a description of money in our financial system. It’s possible to create as many virtual particles as you want as long as they don’t hang around long enough to be noticeable. Sooner or later, though, there has to be real world accounting.

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  • LHC is part of the master plan in many ways.
    The development of the GRID (super fast internet), discovery of the theory of everything etc

    crutchley,
    “Perhaps CERN is the embryonic cover up of a plan for an intergalactic empire…. Tin hat lot… back me up here please.”

    I like the idea. Maybe Icke’s shape shifting lizards need the LHC for their master plan. LOL.

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