Dudes Sue the Large Hadron Collider to Stop Total World Annihilation

We posted about the dangers of the Large Hadron Collider before (how dangerous? Like opening a tiny blackhole on Earth).

Now, some guys are suing CERN to stop the project:

The world’s physicists have spent 14 years and $8 billion building the Large Hadron Collider, in which the colliding protons will recreate energies and conditions last seen a trillionth of a second after the Big Bang. Researchers will sift the debris from these primordial recreations for clues to the nature of mass and new forces and symmetries of nature.

But Walter L. Wagner and Luis Sancho contend that scientists at the European Center for Nuclear Research, or CERN, have played down the chances that the collider could produce, among other horrors, a tiny black hole, which, they say, could eat the Earth. Or it could spit out something called a “strangelet” that would convert our planet to a shrunken dense dead lump of something called “strange matter.” Their suit also says CERN has failed to provide an environmental impact statement as required under the National Environmental Policy Act.

Although it sounds bizarre, the case touches on a serious issue that has bothered scholars and scientists in recent years — namely how to estimate the risk of new groundbreaking experiments and who gets to decide whether or not to go ahead.

Link - Thanks Xander!

I'm all for experimental awesomeness. But I draw the line where it concerns something that could potentially do something damaging not to the immediate area but beyond. I mean we have no idea what WILL happen if the experiment is a success or how dangerous its effects could be.

If it does create a mini blackhole and we're all doomed then I'm going out like I've always wanted to. Standing on the roof of my apartment playing the song on a boombox over my head "It's The End of the World" by Great Big Sea while wearing a red bathrobe fluttering in the wind.

Can you tell I've thought this out a lot? ;)
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"among other horrors, a tiny black hole, which, they say, could eat the Earth."

It's "Earth" not The Earth. Think "the Mars, The Venus, etc...." We are not the center of the universe.

thank you very much and goodnight!
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Mini black holes aren't nearly as dangerous as some people seem to think. Miniature black holes appear all the time inside the Earth's atmosphere. It's the big ones we need to worry about, and the Hadron can't make those.
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Man...all those other large colliders out there are gonna be so jealous if this one makes the mini black hole that destroys Earth.

Oh wait, that's not going to happen and this whole thing is a bunch of paranoid conspiracy theorist b.s. *sigh*
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Um, Mattie? It's not a conspiracy theory. Paranoia, maybe, but it's a documented risk and thus a well-founded fear. The scientists setting the thing up say that the chance is very small. However, the chance exists, meaning that there is legitimate cause for concern.

By the way, "conspiracy" implies that the scientists behind CERN got together, decided to create this thing which could cause planet-swallowing black holes, then lied to the scientific and world community by telling them that there was only the tiniest chance of these things happening. Which is not the case. No one (or at least not the guy suing them) is saying that. So no conspiracy theory,

The paranoia comes in when the rest of us think, "Hey, no matter how small the chance of a black hole developing- that chance is too big for my comfort." And I sympathize with that. Even if the chance is less than 1/1000%, I don't want anyone, especially not a complete stranger, risking my life. And I don't care how goddamn small the risk is, thanks.
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So the evidence that this guy is using to prove his case comes from .... CERN? Ironic.

IF this guy has actually done the math himself, and is a physicist, I am all for hearing him. But if he has no understanding of what it one way or the other (like 99% of humanity)??

PS: What can we expect from the LHC:?
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the part that no one seems to really have explained is that he's using a u.s. based law to dispute a collider that's in france and switzerland. even if his fears are grounded he seems to be going after this the wrong way. the epa doesn't have much pull outside the country either.
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I think calling the mini black holes a "well-founded fear" might be overstating it a bit. There is a chance that when I walk outside, an opera-going, Samoan sumo wrestler might fall out of a tree and land on me, leading to my rather messy demise, but the odds of that occurring is probably still more likely to happen than the LHC destroying the earth.

I can understand the anxieties attached to the unknown, but this whole mini black holes getting out of control is really rather silly. I'm not a physicist myself, but I am in constant contact with them, including a few at CERN, and I feel very confident in their assurance that this should not be a major concern to anyone (and probably shouldn't be a minor one either).
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I saw a BBC program with three different scenarios for the end of the world: a pandemic, a meteor colliding with the earth, and the supercollider creating a black hole. It was rather scary. I think any chance is too great, being rather fond of this world. I'd also like my grandchildren to have their chance at life, and grandchildren of their own.
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Any chance of this thing opening up a portal to some other dimenson and some kind of horrible H.P. Lovecraft beastie coming out? That would be pretty cool. (I just got an urge to go rewatch John Carpenter's Prince of Darkness).
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We do need a weapon against hostile advance alien life-forms right? The mini blackhole could be our answer to that. If we are successful in creating mini blackholes using the LHC, the next step is to miniaturize it to handheld size.

BTW, how big will the black hole be? Proton size? Quark size? How many atoms can it suck in per sec? There are like googol atoms on Earth? How long is it gonna take to destroy Earth?
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One should bear in mind that the guys that are bringing this suit have tried to get other colliders shut down in the past for the same reason and failed.

Phil Plait over at www.badastronomy.com wrote a great article on the subject. I would link it but it seems to be down at the mo.

Personally, I'm really excited about this experiment. We could discover all sorts of stuff about the way the universe is put together, including finding the Higgs-Boson particle. The theorised particle (or field, or force) which gives every particle in the universe mass! Very cool.

Though I am convinced that there is no risk to us as the emitters at CERN simply aren't big enough (as I understand it) to produce a black hole big enough to do any damage.
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they should have stayed quiet until they'd done the experiment, tellign people they're making black holes is a bad idea. imagine if it had a different name like, gravitational singularities - nobody would bat an eyelid.
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Are you carbon neutral? Do you try to reduce, reuse and recycle?
If you answered no to any of the above you are quite the hypocrite.
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Don't these people know that their aluminum foil hats are specifically designed to protect against mini black holes? Come on !?! Did they miss the final exams at Crackpot U. or what?!?
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National Environmental Policy Act. As someone said the problem is that its a National act... Not an interNational one..

But seriously, even if they screw up and we all die, it would happen so fast we probably wouldn´t notice. :P
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Thor said: "But seriously, even if they screw up and we all die, it would happen so fast we probably wouldn´t notice."

But what is "so fast" on the edge of or past an event horizon? LOL.

Well, it could be like those who feared the first chain reaction reactor up in Chicago during WWII. But scientists at CERN have said the black holes are possible (even though the chance of them growing is relatively small, it's still possible). It's so funny how people complain we are destroying the planet with carbon emissions, but they don't mind the possibility of destroying it with black holes. Such inconsistant reasoning for those who claim to be so "scientific." Sure hope Stephen Hawkings is right that the black holes will harmlessly dissipate.
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Argggghhh! We already lost the Superconducting Super Collider in the US. CERN is picking up on work in high-energy physics that could have been done a decade ago.
The idea that people with no training and familiarity with the phenomena they're talking about getting so up-in-arms about these minute possibilities that not only do they sue what could be one of the most important scientific experiments in human history but they go around trying to scare the rest of the public into agreeing with them is baffling to me.
I'd like to sit down and talk to some of the people that promote this kind of alarmist anti-intellectualism to try and understand their perspective, but I'm not sure I could withhold the urge to throttle them.
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seeing as particles collide in nature at much higher speeds that we can create in a super collider it seems silly to worry about a black hole sucking up this planet. wouldn't there be tiny black holes all around the universe?
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Wait! why do those guys the money if they win. should everyone get money?!?! Grrr...

Seriously, i know some people who are already made out of 'strange matter'. Ok, perhaps I am one of those people.
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Since they're colliding protons, any black hole they create will be the size of two collapsed protons, whatever that is. It's going to be very, very, very small indeed for the infinitesimal mass of two, or even a few, protons to be concentrated enough. Things of proton-size don't often collide, since the space between atoms is typically about a thousand proton diameters, so the chances of anything bumping into a black hole 6 to 12 orders of magnitude smaller is, um, not a lot. It may eventually eat Earth, but it will grow so slowly at first that it could take ten million years before anyone notices what's going on.
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My concerns do not necessarily pertain to the creation of the Black Hole itself... as said previously, miniature black-holes are common practice around our Atmosphere...

What does scare the living crap out of me is the fact that we have never dealt with conditions similiar to these... after all, the heat generated will be 100 00 times hotter than the core of the sun... even at temperatures close to 1.9 degrees Kelvin, (which is how much this unit will be cooled)... I don't think we can honestly say that it's "safe" to create these conditions. I am all for scientific progress, but I'm sure that's the same way Einstein felt when he split the Atom the first time... but then again, all that did was cause devastation on a global scale (and give us a whole new range of weapons and other uncontrollable conditions to be afraid of)...

Just a thought...
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CERNs 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, while collider particles smash head on and can be captured by Earths gravity. Einsteins relativity theory predicts that micro black holes will not decay but instead only grow, and Hawking Radiation contradicts relativity, is unproven and is credibly disputed by at least 3 peer reviewed studies.

The LHC Safety Assessment Group has been trying for months to prove safety without success. However science may still be a few years away from being able to prove safety or not.

Professor Dr. Otto E. Roessler, Theorist Dr. Raj Baldev and others are warning of a very real, very possible, very present danger to the planet from the Large Hadron Collider.

If this experiment is so safe, why arent CERN scientists allowed to express any personal fears they might have about this Collider?

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%).

If we delay for a safety study, some scientists at CERN may not be the first to discover some new science, and some Nobel prizes may be at stake.
But which would more wise, conduct a full and independent adversarial safety study first, or just turn it on now and discover science as quickly as humanly possible?

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Hey if you are against this, sign the petition,

We must do something to stop this, we have the right to say no! I love my planet, I don’t want to take a risk we are not sure of just for our own curiosity!

I love science, I’m not one of those people who doesn’t believe in science or anything, but I don’t agree with putting our planet at risk this way and messing with nature….we never know the consequences.
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I think there are no reason to care about end of the world. The maximum what can happen its complite annihilation of France and Switzerland and global Ice Age after it!

For security reason I suggest to the civilians in the location of this machine to leave this place at time of experiment, and the people who do this experiments to warn those people before machine start to go on full power - for them to pray!

And this will never happen, because its stupid as a fact... Live such long time by creating such long history of human race and to reach the final step its destroying of all(except of correcting), for Nova World!??? I think God have a lot of places in his\she's hands to create New Worlds, or you think we dont like them because a lot of p0rn in internet!? OK... For example, the God is hate the p0rno, but why he is create them?

K.O. Have Nice Day, France and Switzerland! ;-)
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