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back to article 'The LHC will implode the Moon or PUT OUT THE SUN'

Here on the Reg Large Hadron Collider (LHC) desk, where we follow the rollercoaster triumphs and disasters which occur at the world's mightiest particle-thrasher, there are occasional quiet spells. Right now, for instance, the titanic machine is shut down for a couple of days' technical tweaks. On such days we cast about us for …

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I don't like to give comfort to tinfoilers

But it would be an elegant solution to the Fermi Paradox. Any sufficiently advanced species starts mucking about with particle accelerators and soon builds one that gobbles them up.

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Alien

Can you think of a more spectacular way?

The epitaph of Humanity:

"Hear lies Earth, a shattered husk.

Destroyed by humanity tearing apart the universe one atom at a time."

Hard. Core.

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Unhappy

Spectacle will be lacking

If the black hole escapes, the chance of it striking the moon or sun are just ridiculously tiny: draw a sphere around the earth, that just includes the moon. Let's use spherical coordinates. The moon typically occupies 1/2 degree of the sky, so in our spherical coordinates that's 1/720th along the phi-axis and 1/360th along the theta-axis, or roughly 4 chances in a million of striking the moon. The sun has about the same half-degree appearance in the sky, so similar chances of being hit.

Most of space is empty.... hence the name.

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More like tiny Big Bangs will happen....

Tiny Blackholes are constantly being formed and then explode. If they didn't, they would have collected in the center of the Sun long before now and gobbled it up.There are much more powerful collisions at the Center of the Sun than we could ever make here on Earth in a Lab. My biggest fear from Tiny Blackholes is that they may explode with the force of a hand grenade. It is possible they they could be formed in the LHC and spin out at nearly the speed of light and detonate within milliseconds somewhere within a mile or so of the LHC itself.

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Coat

Epitaph

A better epitaph would be "What does this button do?"

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Badgers

The truth!

The LHC will create badgers' paws.

Ah, no...

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Anonymous Coward

Black Holes

I understand sweet cock all about subatomic physics or indeed any of this cosmic stuff, but even I can see a flaw in his argument...

Surely a black hole has no more gravitational attraction that the matter it was originally made from? If you collapsed the entire planet into a singularity wouldn't that singularity still have the same gravitational pull as the planet, pre collapse? So if you collapse some tiny particles into even tinier black holes then those tine black holes would have no more ability to eat the planet than the original particles. And since these particles are already present and the planet hasn't been eaten does that not disprove the good Doctor's theory?

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Something like that

Also, teeny tiny black holes don't last very long at all, or eat very fast. There's a good write-up at http://startswithabang.com/?p=878

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Re : Black Holes

And indeed black holes are predicted to 'evaporate' emitting Hawkin radiation -very slowly indeed in the case of massive black holes but rather rapidly for small ones.

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Anonymous Coward

yeah but...

If the singularity consumed enough of its surroundings to start an unstoppable chain reaction, then we would all indeed be stretched like piano wire and fed into a puckered cosmic anus.

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Heart

I nominate you

for the position of LHC spokesperson. Best metaphor/simile description of cosmic doom EVER!

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Coat

Star Trek

That also ground my teeth on the new Star Trek film. You can't collapse a planet with a "seed" black hole.

Wow, that was geeky. Mine's the one with the pocket protectors...

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Post as “Captain Thyratron”. You’re logged in as Captain Thyratron.

Actually, your post displays some of the traits that make a good scientist:

You admit that there are things you do not know;

You do not profess absolute certainty in what you do know;

You start with simple, common-sense questions based on things like the conservation of mass/energy;

You address them with things that are known empirically.

If enough people thought like that, we might not have a Tinfoil Tuesday.

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Boffin

Re: Star Trek

They used red matter with "distinct gravitational properties".

Bootnote: I found this out on a Star Trek wiki site that also had a prominent ad asking "Are you single" and which directs you to a dating site!

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Splendid solution

Why didn't we think of this before? If global warming is caused by the greenhouse effect it seems the easiest solution is simply "turn out the light". No sun, no light, no greenhouse effect and no global warming... perfect!

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Anonymous Coward

Not saying this Rossler guy is right about LHC doom ...

... but having heard him lecture once I'd certainly take him much more seriously than Dr DarkEnergy. Even without the bombthreats!

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Coat

Who cares whether it can put out the sun?

The real test of a useful product is whether it can put out the cat.

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@it can put out the cat.

Schrodinger's cat is both in and out.

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Schrodinger's cat is both in and out.

Ah so that explains why when I put the cat out he still manages to crap in my slippers, however he does that when I am not in so I am out, I think?

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Black Helicopters

Who carres if it would put out the moon?

NASA's got no plans to go there anyway.

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Boffin

@Black Holes

I think its about the seperation - a singularity has infinite density and zero size / radius so as the gravitational attraction is inversely proportional to the separation distance, other particles can get so close that the gravity is much higher. It only needs to eat enough other particles to outweigh the energy of the hawking radiation and it will keep growing forever. Then again, I may not have much more idea than you. No doubt some more boffinly commentards will sort us out shortly ....

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Black hole gravity gradients

The singularity is effectively a point, but that's not the important criterion. The event horizon is; that is the point at which the escape velocity reaches the speed of light. A massive black hole has a large event horizon while a tiny one has a very small one, but every event horizon has a definite and finite size.

As the radius of the event horizon drops, the gradient of the gravitational field gets steeper. That in fact is what drives Hawking radiation and the enormous energy output of a microscopic black hole. It's also why a supermassive black hole will last for trillions of years while a microscopic one vanishes in a tiny puff of logic and a flash of gamma radiation.

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FAIL

The only thing likely to disappear...

into any kind of black hole, mini, micro, pico or otherwise is the good Professor (retired) Rössler's head up his own personal 'black (or is that more of a brown?) hole'

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Very true

Several languages avoid a direct translation of 'black hole' as its meaning is somewhat impolite - Russian and Welsh spring to mind.

Twll din bob Sais!

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siarad cymraeg

ydw!

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Coat

Aaargh!

Who let the Welsh in??

Use some Vowels for Christ's sake!

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My word, they are delusional

"The venerable The Register just wrote a very favorable article on the interview.

'The LHC will implode the Moon or PUT OUT THE SUN'

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/03/16/lhc_sun_moon_doom"

Has appeared at the top of their article.

Very favorable?

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Joke

Relativity

Yes, very favorable. Not once does the article contain the phrase "gibbering idiots".

It's all relative, see?

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Anonymous Coward

Or..

Perhaps they have a sense of humour.

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Joke

Sir

Shouldn't that have been

"it's all relative, c."

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My word, they are delusional

Now if they report on your report on their report and someone then reports on that report of your report on their report of your report of their report reporting on this report Rinse&repeat

Ummm will we create a black hole and all disappear into Paris before the LHC?

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Headmaster

"The title is required, and must..."

Sometimes, some articles, provoke such thought and emotion that to actual express anything becomes impossible as everything tries to run out of your mouth like a room full of school kids completely failing to leave through the door at the same time. Would be nice to have a Wittgenstein icon or failing that a Tex Avery dropped-jaw icon for such moments...

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Ahh tinfoilers... funny buggers they are...

I always find these tinfoilers so funny.

Lets look at his argument - although these collisions are happening all the time with cosmic rays hitting earth particles, his excuse that this doesnt create black holes is that - they do in fact but the momentum of the cosmic ray diverts them away at extremely high velocity. Funny how we dont see these black holes at all (flying away from as often as they are), or the ones that come from other planets in our solar system, or other solar systems for that matter. the ones from other solar systems would surely come flying through here every now and then and probably would have collected more mass and become somewhat bigger by now, you would think wouldnt you? But no we dont see any of these... hmmm...

But no the LHC is dangerous because your hitting 2 particles head on, and so there will be no momentum for the resulting black hole to be propelled away from us and so it will stay and kill us all! Umm so what happens to all the cosmic rays that hit head on in space directly above our heads. Ok its probably not that common but surely were talking at least 1 every 10 years or so somewhere in the vicinty of Earth? Have you seen any black holes sitting around earth recently? They dont have any momentum anymore so they should just be sitting around too, eating everything in sight, like a fat kid at a childrens party... but nope i dont see any around, do you?

I somehow dont think i will be worrying too much just yet, even with the good docs theories...

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Joke

re: Ahh tinfoilers... funny buggers they are...

Ah, but the thing about space is, it's black. And the thing about black holes is...they're black...I think you can see where I'm going with this.

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Happy

Nice one!

A direct and relevant quote from Red Dwarf. Well done that man!

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FAIL

FRACK THOSE LOWLIFE MOFOS!

The fact that white dwarfs and neutron stars actually exist is proof enough that "black hole eatout" is not going to happen anytime soon as these objects have not yet captured anything in spite of having a density compared to which our Gaiaball is akin to a light smoke.

Still, compressing the Moon into a Black Hole? That would be awesome! But I am sure you better be on the far Earth hemisphere during the last second of infall unless you like being a crispy critter.

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Coat

excuse me but..

.."black hole eatout" sounds like particularly specialist content,..

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Happy

I loved this bit...

Surely the best reason not to destroy the planet....

"And CERN is the good uncle of the planet. And they would destroy this World. They would lose all credit with a majority of young people on the planet."

CERN..please don't destroy the planet - you will lose all credit (credibility?) with the young...only a majority mind you - not all of them.

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Grenade

Mathematical Error

Given that black holes are a theoretical construct that derive from a mathematical error made by Hilbert in the early 1900's and thus cannot exist, I very much doubt they will destroy anything but academic reputations...

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Unhappy

That great big thingie in the center of the Milky Way.

Hmmm if black holes don't exist, what's that great big thingie in the middle of the Milky Way? Bag Worms? And why do stars orbit it at nearly light speed.

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Flame

Mind blown!

100 years of mathematical research nullified through a single phrase in The Register commentard section! Film at 11.

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Boffin

No need for Einstein (or Hilbert)

Black holes were predicted in the 18th century using Newtonian gravitation and (as it happens) the (Schwarzschild) radius of the event horizon is the same as that deduced under general relativity. It's hard to avoid the conclusion that a sufficiently large and dense object will have an escape velocity greater than the speed of light.

For further reading, I can recommend "An Introduction to Modern Cosmology" by Andrew Liddle, which tackles many of the aspects of cosmological theory without the need for Tensor Analysis.

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Boffin

Tensor Analysis Necessary

If by "predicted in the 18th century" you are referring to the Michell-Laplace dark body, no they weren't. This is a misunderstanding of the definition of escape velocity. This and other errors in black hole theory are explained in accessible form here: http://www.ptep-online.com/index_files/2006/PP-05-10.PDF

Schwarzchild's paper is here: http://www.sjcrothers.plasmaresources.com/schwarzschild.pdf

Hilbert's (commonly but incorrectly referred to as Schwarzchild's) is here: http://www.sjcrothers.plasmaresources.com/hilbert.pdf

The black hole theory and its history are a neat example of how failure to examine the underlying assumptions of a theory leads to false conclusions. Once the erroneous basis is commonly known, academic reputations based on the false conclusions will be wiped out.

To the person who wanted to know what was at the centre of the Milky Way, it is thought to be a plasma focus in an electrical discharge. This theory is taken seriously by people such as the IEEE and their journal IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science.

Tensor Analysis *is* necessary to understand Hilbert's error and why no fewer than four derivations of the solution to Einstein's field equation are mutually consistent and contradict Hilbert.

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Common Sense Analysis Necessary

Care to point out some justification for that?

Rather, common-sense analysis *is* necessary to understand that you are spouting poppycock. Can you tell a tensor from a testicle? If so, can you explain your posts?

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Happy

How is this supposed to work then?

I'm no physicist but my understanding is that a black hole is a an uber-dense body held together by the force of gravity.

Following this reasoning, if you DID manage to make a teeny black hole then surely it would be so small that it's gravitational force would also be teeny (it would only consist of a handful of atoms). With such a low gravitational force to hold it together, my further thought is that it certainly wouldn't have enough gravitational pull to drag anything else into it, and indeed would simply dissipate again almost instantly.

No?

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Coat

"...have strongly pooh-poohed any such ideas.."

Got to be careful of Pooh Pooh you know...

"...never ignore a pooh-pooh. I knew a Major, who got pooh-poohed, made the mistake of ignoring the pooh-pooh. He pooh-poohed it! Fatal error! 'Cos it turned out all along that the soldier who pooh-poohed him had been pooh-poohing a lot of other officers who pooh-poohed their pooh-poohs. In the end, we had to disband the regiment. Morale totally destroyed... by pooh-pooh! ..."

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Down to1.9 centimeters?

So the earth would shrink down to 1.9 centimeters. How would we know as we and our measuring devices such as a ruler would shrink also? Maybe it's already happened and we just don't know?

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WTF?

The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

considering black holes are infinitely small I'm really wondering where they got that 1.9 cm figure.

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Well...

I imagine the part of the process where we all briefly and terminally turned into rather messy spaghetti would give it away.

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Re : The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

I assume (without calculation) that the 1.9cm is the diameter of the event horizon.

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