May 2008

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my days we just were told were having I noticed for the even know his were about one night,


i agree with rene, monday would be best. If CERN is able to performe their first tests moday after my first coffee... that would be nice. I`ll write a request right after that comment.

and ... i think in my past life i was one of the engineers in CERN 10 (lets say we are now in cycle CERN 11)

we have learnt nothing since...


Anyone looking for a nice cave to rent?


We had that discussion before the lawsuit was public. We then agreed that preferrably all LHC experiments were to be set for Mondays. Because I wouldn't want to miss my weekend only because the Universe as we know it is destroyed.

Also, assuming CERN is responsible and potentially a black hole only ultimately triggers BigBang anew... We wonder on what cicle we're on. We could be talking of CERN7...

Just thoughts.


Professor Dr. Otto E. Roessler estimates 50 months Earth accretion time from a single micro black hole captured by Earth's gravity (, translation at


This sounds like the stuff science fiction b movies are made of.

For a black hole to exist, wouldn't the acceleration due to gravity be equal to the speed of light? If you used Newton's laws of gravitation, how large of a mass would you need for that to happen? (extremely large) So I don't think that we will be getting sucked into a black hole any time soon.


The small black hole found by NASA is believed to be the smallest black hole formed from a collapsed star. In theory, once formed, a black hole can be of any mass. Hawking theorized that primoridal black holes of about the mass of a large mountain might have formed early in the universe and still be present in the galactic Halo. Some of them would just now, some 13 Billion years later, be evaporating down to nothingness, releasing a rapid large burst of gamma radiation. The GLAST satellite, set for launch by NASA next May, 2008, will search for such signature.


Scott, I like your blogs. I really do. I try not to take things too seriously and I understand that most of the time you're trying to make people think. However, one of the reasons that scientific-type people have an issue with you is because you make statements like "...the whole point of the Large Hadron Collider is to create conditions that are not predictable..." The way science works is that questions are raised, hypotheses are formed, predictions made, and experiments run, some questions are answered and more raised, and so on.

In this case, the blanket statement that the scientists are causing conditions that are not predictable is extremely over simplistic and actually wrong. These colliders are used to try to verify predictions that have been made which is the basis of how science works. Colliders have verified many many predictions related to quantum mechanics. The knowledge gained and the new questions raised have generated new predictions which will be verified with new, more powerful colliders.

The bottom line is that there will be questions answered and new ones asked as a result of this collider. Sure, the exact experiments have not been performed before but that doesn't mean that scientists don't know what expected results are or at the very least what the approximate energy levels are of the particles being created.

The fears raised by Wagner and Sancho are not based on solid science. They clearly do not understand the basic science and do not take everything we actually DO KNOW into account. In this case the energy levels and time frames involved are orders of magnitude lower than what would be required to be a danger.

Sorry but sometimes I just need to rant...


For those asking how a femto-black hole could be created in the LHC. (micro is just not small enough)

By smashing protons together at very high energies they are able to put a (relatively) large amount of energy into a very tiny space. Energy and mass being equivalent, it may be enough energy in a small enough space to collapse gravitationally into a tiny black hole. This would be a stupendous result as the theoretical model for creating black holes at the LHC requires that the extra dimensions postulated by String Theory exist, are relatively large, and that gravity penetrates those dimensions. That tiny black hole would immediately (is there a time shorter than immediately?) decay via Hawking's Radiation into a shower of particles and energy, and the LHC will hopefully be able to tell that the resulting particle shower is the result of black hole decay and not something else.


This is the best commentary I have read yet. My feelings exactly.

CERN’s web site states that we have not been destroyed by effects of cosmic rays and micro black holes will evaporate.

However, cosmic rays travel too fast to be captured by Earths gravity, and Hawking Radiation is disputed and contradicts Einstein’s highly successful relativity theory. Collider particles can be captured by Earth’s gravity, and relativity predicts micro black holes will not decay. The LHC Safety Assessment Group has been trying for months to prove safety without success, but it may not be possible.

Alleged in the legal action: Chief Scientific Officer, Mr. Engelen passed an internal memorandum to workers at CERN, asking them, regardless of personal opinion, to affirm in all interviews that there were no risks involved in the experiments, changing the previous assertion of ‘minimal risk’.

(Statisticians generally consider minimal risk as 1-10%).


Nice one, AJ.

For more on that scenario, including discussions of a black hole's orbit around the Earth's core, you might want to check out David Brin's novel, Earth.


“There is no minimum mass for a black hole. A black hole the mass of a single proton is possible. It's all about how compressed the matter is. Nothing more.”

Well, actually, scientist believe the lowest mass a black hole can have is about 3 times the mass of our sun. On April 1, NASA scientists announced they identified a black hole about 3.8 times the mass of our Sun. It’s about 15 miles in diameter.


Really??? Only one person mentioned Dr Evil? Didn't they cover this in one of the Austin Powers movies???


And spiderman will wear a gravity proof suit and will kick the hole off to the centre of our galaxy. .
On a serious note. I was going to have a pay hike in june. now, the universe is gonna get destroyed about that time. .bummer!!


Astronomers see gamma ray bursts and they don't yet understand how they are made. They could be other civilizations destroying their planet.

A tiny black hole would fall to the center of the Earth. Eventually it would hit other matter (it is kinda dense down there) and grow. At some point it would suck in all the other matter of the Earth. The Earth is rotating (around 1000 m.p.h. at the equator) so all the matter would spiral down. There would be lots of friction as all the matter of the Earth tried to fit into a space smaller than a basketball within a very short time span. The friction would make the matter get extremely hot, releasing light. If it gets hot enough the light would be gamma rays (very energetic light). Nearby civilizations would see another gamma ray burst and wonder what caused it.

If it wasn't for the radiation blast the Moon would be a safe place to be. Afterwards it would keep circling the very tiny Earth that is now a black hole.

Someone should at least calculate the spectrum and duration of the radiation blast the Earth would make as it was turned into a black hole and compare it with these gamma ray bursts of unknown origin.


Haha, unless of course there were an afterlife, at which point you would hear a loud resounding TOLD YOU SO.


The implication was that 27,000 people dying of starvation is a more important problem, not that they should be saved.

Michael McCafferty

This would be a good time for the other people in the universe (aliens) to visit and ask us WTF are we thinking, then spank us back into the stone age to give us another chance to get it right.



If the universe gets destroyed, nobody is going to miss it.

So what's the risk?

Victor Prometeo L. Frankenstein

Hi Scott,
Mr. Wagner, the man who took legal action against CERN, FNAL and NSF, spoke about ‘arms length scientists’. Maybe he should have said ‘armpits length scientists’ and ask for Your help; we all know You’ll be able to introduce him to some people [long-armpits] persons.

Now, speaking about me, I have to confess that a bad thought came to my mind while I was reading the article You mentioned in Your post; the thought was the following: if you were a physicist (or a group of physicists) that found a mistake out in the LHC, what would you do to delay the works and, at the same time, get attention and more money? Wouldn’t you try to pursuit a lawsuit and let the money that’ll come out from the main doors (the ones of the main participant countries to the LHC project), come back to the back door (the one of the CERN)?

…but now let me become serious, ‘cause I’m going to speak about things that really matter in our lives, and I’m going to do that posing a question to all of you. My question is: why extraterrestrial life forms, that are supposed to keep an eye on us, using each sort of Identified Flying Object (plate, sphere, cigar, bunch/cluster of …you name it…) would let us to destroy the universe, or even their favourite dried seaside resort at Groom Lake, inside the renowned Area 51 (Touristic) Zone?
Bye ;)


now that's a great one!
no one would say "i told you so".
how would that take the sting out of it if the universe is gone?!


So these guys are suing out of fear of being rendered extraordinarily dense and strange? Sounds like they're too late...

Joshua Jacobsen

Doesn't a black hole dependent on its mass for its destructive forces? How do you collide two protons and wind up with sufficient mass to destory the world?

And regardless of what these scientists are claiming, high energy protons are surely colliding somewhere else in the universe. We have huge stars, quasars, and similar celestial bodies that are capable of energizing particles on a level at least comparable to some (relatively) tiny terrestrial device we've constructed. Our entire solar system has less mass dedicated to energizing particles than a typical quasar or even a medium-sized star (The sun being on the tiny end of things).

That just doesn't pass my sniff test.

D. Andy

"Strange matter." Somehow reminds me of Futurama (tm), with Nibbler generating the only fuel fit for intergalactic travel... :o)


thats the wonderful thing about the branching universe theory multiple universes so all we need to do is create a stable wormhole to another dimension and we can just worry about destroying some other universe instead .

seriously if it was really a risk and we work out the percentages of there been other intelligent life out there don't you think they would have already done it (hey maybe thats the solution to the big bang big collapse theory then) some jerk just goes around destroying universes all the time.

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