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back to article Hadron boffins: Our meddling will not destroy universe

Boffins preparing to fire up the most powerful particle-smasher ever built have released another reassuring report which says that their machine will definitely not destroy the universe - nor even the planet Earth. The Large Hadron Collider (LHC), a titanic 27-kilometre doughnut made of ultra-chilly superconductor magnet pipe, …

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No problems "expected"?

'Any microscopic black holes produced at the LHC are "expected" to decay by Hawking radiation before they reach the detector walls.'

Oh goody, we'll hold you to that if we haven't already been compressed into a singularity with a quantum mass of zero! ( See I was paying attention during Red Dwarf! )

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Happy

Ahh Fridays...

Can you bottle what ever Lewis is on and sell it at the C 'n' C - I want some!

And I think we need a coffee/keyboard icon. Class action case anyone?

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Love it

I brilliant article from the off. Reads like The Science of Discworld.

"It's as if a million voices groaned "Nice one scientists" in annoyance, and were suddenly silenced."

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Coat

So, what is it?

KRYTEN: I've never seen one before -- no one has -- but I'm guessing it's

a white hole.

RIMMER: A _white_ hole?

KRYTEN: Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. A black hole

sucks time and matter out of the universe: a white hole returns it.

LISTER: So, that thing's spewing time back into the universe? (He dons

his fur-lined hat.)

KRYTEN: Precisely. That's why we're experiencing these curious time

phenomena on board.

CAT: So, what is it?

KRYTEN: I've never seen one before -- no one has -- but I'm guessing it's

a white hole.

RIMMER: A _white_ hole?

..............................

etc, etc

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Coat

Hadron boffins: Our meddling will not destroy universe.......

or your money back!

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jai
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Boffin

so long and thanks for all the fish

i'd feel an awful more confortable about the whole if the document telling us Don't Panic hadn't been written by the people running the HLC and who would be held responcible if there's anyone left alive on Thursday to complain

shouldn't that have been done by an independant party?

i'm sure Frankenstein said much the same as that document does, while in the village pub the night before the big thunderstorm, but they still ended up coming for him with the pitchforks

we're doomed! man was not meant to meadle with the ways of the gods!! doomed i tells you!!!

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Alert

Show some results!

After all the billions spent on this project and all the hype, I'd like to see some tangible deliverables. Preferably:-

Warp Drive

Time Travel

Sharks with Frikkin lasers on their heads.

Is this too much to ask??

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Boffin

Hopefully it'll be ok

Comics ray hit earth with the power a million times more powerfully than the energies LHC can produce.

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Alien

Nothing to worry about

I'm sure that ET and his pals are keeping a close eye on proceedings. If they thought that there was a possibility of anything untoward happening I'd like to think that they would appear within plenty of time (7 seconds from switch on I would imagine) and put a halt on things.

Or maybe this is just a big ruse to get ET to show himself?

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Anonymous Coward

Obligatory.

"I never thought I'd see a resonance cascade, let alone create one!"

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Alert

No "concievable" risk

Isn't the whole point of the LHC to produce inconcievable results?

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They'll never find out

Well if they get it wrong, and we are all gobbled up, then we'll never know. There are worse ways to go.

It reminds me of a conundrum given to a mad scientist who invented a machine which would instantly obliterate the Earth if the button was pressed and wanted to know if it worked. He decided to press it to see what happened and never found out.

Anyway, I suspect even now that Prince Charles is getting ready to denounce the whole thing.

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Rob
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Made my day

"The waiting will be over soon, anyway. The magno-tunnel doughnut was chilled down to hadron-headbang operating temperatures last month, and will generate its first circulating beam next Wednesday. Shortly thereafter an opposing stream will be fired up. Then it'll be time to start loosing off the twin proton cannons into each others' muzzles on full auto (Ed: and shout yee-hah) and watch the chunks of weird-o-frag fly."

After reading that, I want one of these toys, sorry scientific apparatus, to play with they sound like proper fun :)

Mine's the one with the exotic particles in the pocket

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Coat

More Entertaining than...

If the LHC does propel us through a black hole, it has to be more entertaining than watching England at the weekend!

Hopefully after it all I'll awake to find out for the last 40 odd years, I've been playing an artificial reality game, badly!

"Dwayne Dibbly!"

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Pirate

Dan Brown and Angels and Demons

I believe Dan Brown wrote about all this (possibly in Angels and Demons. I have only read one of his books, and this was so full of untruths that to read another is now beyond me). So, if in his book he predicted the end of the universe, then we are all safe.

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Stop

Can't they delay it by a week?

By then I will have had my birthday - I'm looking forward to some nice presents.

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Higgs Boson

That's going to be the main character in my next novel.

On another note it's sort of refreshing to read scientific press-bable as opposed to politico mainstream news babble.

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re: No problems "expected"?

Well, we expect the sun to come up tomorrow based purely on the science of orbital mechanics and stellar physics.

We expect to live through the night and not die of heart attack.

We expect lots of things that do come true.

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Joke

Now what's the question again...

We can only hope that once the switches are all pressed, (i imagine the Death Star trigger sequence, only with a H&S warning on the railing), the humming raises to a gentle crescendo that's felt more than heard, tests are run, the tannoy announces 'the board is green', press, pr and politicians congratulate themselves on the momentous achievement, whilst the scientists look forward to a new area of understanding....the first protons are fed into the beam and the detectors fired up, the tension is unbearable as a myriad of scientists watch the screens. All around the world geeks and others huddle around screens watching live feeds, commenting in hushed tones on how this will be year 0.....

...and the screen shows '42'.

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Dead Vulture

Think about it - if it does all go wrong...

...there won't be anyone there to complain about it, will there?

You can't shout at someone from the singularity of a black hole.

Bring on the apocomalypse!

Steven R

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Paris Hilton

Shudder

I read that as "Hardon boffins..."

I think I've been reading too much spam...

Paris... well you know...

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Coat

They're waiting for you Gordon...

...in the test chammmbeeer.

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Splendid

Cracking use of 'beezer' there Lewis.

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absolutely perfect

Cheers Lewis

I have emailed a link to this article to all my friends who have been

double-u tee eff-ing at my excitement and conCERN ! :)

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Paris Hilton

Can't wait...

The science is interesting, but I'm really looking forward to it because it'll mean an end to those interminable Radio4 trailers for 'Big Bang Day'.

Paris because she's always looking for a bigger bang...

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Coat

Now if you'd just like to climb up and start the rotors...

... after all, it's comforting to know that whole *legions* of geeks have spent their teenage and indeed adult lives training for the, "enormous rift in spacetime caused by meddling with That Which Man Should Not Know", isn't it?

Mine's the one with the synthesised female voice and the curious propensity for silence on the part of the wearer.

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Joke

dude...!!

You haven't seen "Quiet Earth", did you? Then You should know how such things end!

They never learn, they never learn...

Now where's that pack of sleeping pills? And when was it they want to fire that thing up?

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Coat

Superb!

More like this please!

...what's this strange soupy substance in my coat pocket?

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Brilliant

"It ought to be called strangelet gazpacho, really; that would avoid confusion."

That was a coffee-keyboard interaction moment for me.

Additionally, something I read over on boingboing this morning.. Mr Doctorow was informed of this, by one of their physicists:

"Look, it's a 10^-19 chance [of total world destruction], and you've got a 10^-11 chance of suddenly evaporating while shaving."

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Joke

At light speed from Geneva

"Or maybe the wavefront of nonexistence would spread out only at light speed, so allowing you millennia to see your doom bearing down?"

Would it not spread out from the source? ie CERN near Geneva, at the speed of light? I don't think we would see it coming, which suits me just fine. I would not be happy spending millennia pondering my inevitable doom.

Anyhow according to the measurement paradox and quantum state reduction, would not observing the wavefront cause it to collapse?

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Happy

@Fogcat

Judging from Lewis's concerns over keeping ice cubes in his glass one would rather suspect it's Pimms.

Or Whiskey.

Is there a 'drunk' icon?

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The black hole thing

You can't create a black hole like this, there isn't enough mass associated with the protons to make the black hole stable, you need an enormous amount of mass to stabilise something like that.

Black holes suck in matter and everything, so how can something so powerful be created just by smashing a few protons together?

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Alert

Do CERN have Gordon Freeman on the payroll?

I'd feel much more comfortable knowing that Gordon Freeman was there. I don't want to end up as a slave to the combine after they turn this on!

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Pirate

Half Life Coming True?

I look forward to entering Black Mesa and the other dimension then bashing the aliens, I’m sure most of us have had some practise.

We will be fine!!!

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Coat

Argh!!

I know it can give you hairy palms and potentially ruin your eyesight, but I didn't realise it could destroy the universe?

Oh, wait a minute, "Hadron boffins" you say? Sorry, I'll get me' full length raincoat.

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Go

Go for it!

Switch it on, and watch those billiard balls fly... and crash... and do strange physical weirdness...

If it all goes pea-soap-like, at least I won't be subjected to any more X-Factor / Pop Idol crap or listen to any more impending financial doom.

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Paris Hilton

Can I get a Reg t-shirt saying....

"I told you so"

Paris - something about banging her and super-novas....

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Alien

All I know about life I learned from Star Trek

It's a research station pushing the boundaries of science

It's on the edge of the Neutral Zone (well, Switzerland)

If this all ends in a big smoking crater on the border of France, I'll be looking to blame the Romulans

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Flame

Line in the sand

"Since our methodology is based on empirical reasoning based on experimental observations, it would be applicable to other exotic phenomena that might raise concerns in the future."

Consider yourselves notified, Genesis-botherers!

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Happy

vacuum bubbles have not been produced anywhere in the visible Universe

... well perhaps not in (any of) our branch(es) of the multiverse

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Rob
Go

A quote from the Telegraph made my day

Prof Brian Cox of Manchester University: "Anyone who thinks the LHC will destroy the world is a twat."

Full article here:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/main.jhtml?xml=/earth/2008/09/05/scilhc105.xml

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Happy

"There might not be any hops, for instance...

...; or low gravity might mean that ice cubes wouldn't reliably stay in one's glass."

Yes, Friday lunchtime at last.

"Time is an illusion, lunchtime doubly so." Douglas Adams.

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Boffin

sheesh

reading some of these comments anyone would think reg readers took notice of the sun/fail's doomsaying. one or to things will happen as a result of finding this Higgs Boson chappy: 1) it all goes tits up and we never know anything about it because its too late. So long and thanks for all the fish.

2) can anyone say no more energy bills? the direct result from all this, at least one of them anyway, will be to control any form of reaction from it and harnessing that energy. this would, more or less produce zero point energy. utilising this, a cubic centimetre of space, could provide energy to run the entire world with each country consuming the amount the USA does for 100,000 years. IIRC.

Bring it on.

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Paris Hilton

Last words..........ever.

"Right - Switch it on!.......

........er.....is it supposed to do that?.......

......Oh Crap!"

<BANG> THE END

Paris has very probably Hadron

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Coat

New Advert for Cillit Bang?

BANG and the Earth is gone!!

Hi, I'm Barry Scott and I would once again like to re-iterate that I welcome our transdimensional, cold-soup loving, cheez-string weaving, hardon buffin' overlords...

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Coat

Phew!

I'm glad they're telling us it'll be OK. I guess we can all relax - the universe is not in imminent danger.

But, if you happen to see a man (in an odd suit) and a woman in the vicinity of a blue wooden police box with a flashing light on top ................ RUN !!

(Mine's the scarf and coat - with jelly babies in the pocket).

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Coat

Oh dear...

http://www.popgive.com/2008/09/gordon-freeman-spotted-at-cern.html

Gordon, what are you doing?!

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Maybe

It'll cause us to get released from the matrix and we'll find Neo and the gorgeous Trinity waiting, that's my hope anyway.

Free your mind!

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Pirate

They switched it on already!

The news from those who work at Cern, is that they ALREADY switched in on this week! Sneaky move. But at least we are all still here?

But the thing will not be on full power until a few months yet. Hope my cutlery, lawnmower, bikes don't disappear again, those magnets are bloody strong!

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IT Angle

Hang on...

If "cosmic rays are always smacking into the upper atmosphere at the same sort of speeds as protons shot from the LHC's magno-doughnut cannons", then why was the LHC built in favour of a collection of spacecraft each containing one of the LHC's detector types? I know the detectors are big and heavy, but I'm sure they could be refined for off-world use.

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