May 2008

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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.


Bonus piece of info :
One of the "earth is destroyed" situations is that nano-black holes are created and through some system not understood somehow persist (from current theory they would evaporate instantly in a burst of hawking radiation)
all well and good, but said black hole would sink to the center of the earth, exponentially eat matter for a few thousand years then suddenly WOOMPH (simulated black whole eating sound) the earth would be gone, due to the wonders of exponential systems
so even if it did turn out to be a huge mistake, we wouldn't know about it for a long, long time


for april 1st questionable content, dinosaur comics and xkcd all switched sites temporarily! crazy!
And if you didn't already know those are some of your online comic competition.
(none of them feature cubicles though)


Man oh man, thats the best cost/result rate ever for a weapon, 8 billions to destroy universe.
Well, that will prove if there are intelligent life out there, if we can destroy the whole universe, then someone will come to stop us.
If not, well, either we are not gonna destroy anything, or they are too lazy to come.
And for those complaining about people starving while science uses cash, remember that nobody complains about how much cash sportmen get, or movie stars, or anyone popular.


This has to be one of the coolest things i've ever read.

I can just imagine some of the conversations in the lab whilst designing this.

Geek 1; What does that button do.
Geek 2; Not sure, it may destroy the entire universe, but I doubt it.

Geek 1 + 2 look at each other for a brief moment, before jumping to push button.

Not My Usual Alias

As long as the person who pushes the start button doesn't utter the phrase

"hold my beer for a second while I try this"

I suspect that our universe will be fine.

Sue Dunham

Dr. Evil wants a GIANT Hadron Collider.


Well, if you combine this story with the story a few months ago that it's very likely the universe is just a computer simulation, then it's not so scary. Even if it does destroy the universe, that will only amount to what, crashing the simulation? I'm sure someone will restart it and we'll never know the difference.


It's interesting to note that the only reason you're reading this is because of the work done by Tim Berners-Lee at CERN in 1990 to develop HTML, browsers and then ultimately find a use for the internet...

I would argue that that was worth $8bn regardless.

However, you could argue that with guys that clever (or lucky) working on it, nothing could probably go wrong.

On the other hand, having had one accidental runaway success, I guess this could be a case of the pendulum swinging back the other way, maybe we're due!


So where do I fit in thinking destroying the universe might not be a bad thing? I don't think there's ever been a time when on a global scale joy came anywhere near to eclipsing suffering, and we certainly don't seem to be working towards that goal at present.

Pete Valle

As usual, Scott, you made me laugh. Bad thing is that I'm in a computer lab with my freshman English class and they are all staring at me funny. You should see their "My God, the professor has finally gone insane!" faces...


Every big discovery or invention came with risk, no matter which one you choose (i.e.: nuclear energy, nuclear fusion, fire...). The risk at LHC creating an unstoppable black hole or strangelets is so small its practically impossible. On the other hand, LHC may lead humanity to great developement and prosperity (creating molecules out of pure energy (called Creation or Materialization, yeah just like in Star Trek), teleportation (also just like in Star Trek), new, nature friendly fuels/energy sources...). For these I think its worth taking that measly little risk.

(Of course LHC will be still too small for doing all these things (i.e. we would need a collider as large in diameter as the solar system for successful Materialization), but it will give us the knowledge of how to do these things in smaller scale).

I wouldnt like to be one of those building it though, as Im just like Scott at things like these - I would screw up the least probable thing.


Re: the cost/benefit analysis, what would be the cost of destroying the Earth? I would say it is zero. One often hears something along the lines of "the fire caused £50,000 worth of damage", but of course that's nonsense - damage doesn't have a value. The £50,000 is the cost of repairing the damage. If there's no-one around who cares enough to want to repair the damage, then the cost is zero.

Therefore, the LHC has many possible benefits and zero possible costs, so long as they really screw-up big style and don't just make a big hole in the middle of Switzerland.

Andreas T

In all seriousness now. I think the fact that no one would be around to say I told you so doesn't take some of the sting out of it. It takes all of the sting out of it!

If no one is left to mourn and to feel sad for the loss of life, in other words if you are not going to cause suffering (since everything will be gone) then go ahead! If the universe ends then I'm guessing it will be swift and we'll all be gone in a flash!

There's something wrong with me isn't there..?


It's interesting that no one ever explains, in words of one syllable, that the Higgs Boson that the big colliders are all trying to create is an oscillation in the fundamental constants of nature. I sure hope it'll turn out to be a stable oscillation.


"As a result, Mr. Wagner and Mr. Sancho contend in their complaint, black holes could really be stable, and a micro black hole created by the collider could grow, eventually swallowing the Earth."

Ehehe... That's funny: where the hell is the critical mass to do that?! Isn't actually the other way around, i.e., the Earth swallowing the micro black hole?! Are these guys going after the Monty Python's Award of Quantum Mechanics or what? :-)

Patrick Hothersall

And you all thought that Nerd Rage was limited to throwing half empty cans of ountain Dew...

Little me

Once in a job interview in Geneva, I accidentally cited the object "Large Hardon Collider". I never got the job...


"There's a great Arthur C. Clarke quote where he says (paraphrasing)
Most supernovae are industrial accidents that are the result of aliens tinkering with technology they don't understand ;-)
Appropriate in this case!"

Also interesting that on the day he died, the light from a huge supernova billions of light years away reached Earth!


It's exactly the same as if I suit Scott because there's a small probability that when he opens his orange juice bottle in the morning he will trigger a chain of events (including flying elephants impulsed by sterling engines, why not?) that will end up destroying my appartment.
What? it could happen!
I'll sue you!


Boner? Isn't he the singer in U2? Has he been on the pies or something?


I can't believe someone actually listens to someone like that. Do something intelligent with your time. I will try to pursuing a lawsuit that makes it illegal to accelerate my car faster than 80mph as I could create a worm hole and my kids could play star trek. But of course this COULD happen every day.
Buy the way a pic of the spread sheet calculation machine

The Hammer

" which the colliding protons will recreate energies and conditions last seen a trillionth of a second after the Big Bang."

Never mind the lawsuit etc, how'd they "know" this "fact"? They've worked out that there was, in fact, a Big Bang (from nothing) AND they were able to calculate to the nearest trillion of a second when some protons collided?! The confidence and matter-of-factness that this statement carries boggles the mind.


Wait a second. If everything was shrunk to the size of a gnat terd, wouldn't it seem the same since we're all to the same scale as before?

Unless it doesn't affect some people, then that would fail.

Keith Petrus

The entire universe is made up of matter/energy traveling in waves through time. A black hole basically represents a a conglomeration of waves that have been flatlined into a single point (1 dimension equals no wave action). As I understand it, the only naturally occurring force in the universe capable of flatlining a bunch of energetic matter/energy waves into a single point is the gravitational collapse of a star several times the size of our own sun.

But what if it's the flatlining or dampening effect that's the key, and massive gravity is just the catalyst?

And now for an experiment you can try at home. Pick up your guitar, strum a single string, and then touch the string lightly with your finger. Notice how the music stops with just the slightest touch - no need to grip it tightly with a massive gravity fist? Now imagine the dead string touching another, and another, and another dampening each in turn.

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