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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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    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! )

  2. Fogcat
    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?

  3. Richard

    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."

  4. David Adams
    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

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

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

    or your money back!

  6. jai
    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!!!

  7. Anonymous Coward
    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??

  8. Andy H
    Boffin

    Hopefully it'll be ok

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

  9. Andrew Kelly
    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?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Obligatory.

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

  11. Xander
    Alert

    No "concievable" risk

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

  12. Steven Jones

    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.

  13. Rob
    Coat

    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

  14. Craig Vaughton
    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!"

  15. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  16. David Heys
    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.

  17. Solomon Grundy

    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.

  18. Mark

    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.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    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'.

  20. Steven Raith
    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

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Shudder

    I read that as "Hardon boffins..."

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

    Paris... well you know...

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    They're waiting for you Gordon...

    ...in the test chammmbeeer.

  23. Sam Green
    Thumb Up

    Splendid

    Cracking use of 'beezer' there Lewis.

  24. Bo Pedersen
    Thumb Up

    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 ! :)

  25. Steve Crook
    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...

  26. Matt Kimber
    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.

  27. Ondrej Doubek
    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?

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Superb!

    More like this please!

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

  29. mafro

    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."

  30. adnim Silver badge
    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?

  31. Dangermouse
    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?

  32. Squits

    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?

  33. Craig Chambers
    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!

  34. Anonymous Coward
    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!!!

  35. Thomas Baker
    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.

  36. Dark Horse
    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.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

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

    "I told you so"

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

  38. Neil Charles
    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

  39. The Badger
    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!

  40. David Shepherd
    Happy

    vacuum bubbles have not been produced anywhere in the visible Universe

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

  41. 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

  42. GrahamT
    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.

  43. Nemo Metis
    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.

  44. Martin
    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

  45. Anonymous Coward
    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...

  46. Anonymous Coward
    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).

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Oh dear...

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

    Gordon, what are you doing?!

  48. pctechxp

    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!

  49. Anonymous Coward
    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!

  50. Frank Bough
    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.

  51. dB
    Alien

    No point cutting the grass this weekend then...

    Given the prospect of either a) being ripped apart as I'm sucked into a black hole or b) entering a parallel universe populated only by the geeks who have survived because they played way too much Half Life, I think I know which one I'll go for.

    And just remember, should the aliens arrive just in time to warn us, its "Klaatu barada nikto" when Gort goes awol.

    Must get my shiny, sliver suit ready....

  52. Mahou Saru

    An excuse for ID cards?

    I'm surprised that the UK and USA govs haven't used this as an excuse to erode away more of our rights. Or for that matter the RIAA to claim that copyright theft funds those darn scientists!

  53. AGirlFromVenus

    Where's Scotty when you need him...

    Beam on Scotty

  54. James Pickett
    Happy

    Consolation

    "cramming us through an interdimensional portal into a hostile universe"

    I didn't think this one was exactly friendly! Probably a price worth paying, though, if it takes all the Creationists with it...

  55. nick

    LCH please destroy us all

    Come on really.... imagine it... they flick the switch and kerpluk... shhllooooooppp... we all get sucked down the proverbial plughole.

    Would be fantastic.... at least we'd all be there at the end. It'd be like not missing the greatest ever party.

  56. Steve

    Watch this space

    I'm only 100 miles or so from CERN, so if I see a great tsunami of proton porridge, quark quorn, or even strangelet gazpacho coming this way next Wednesday I'll drop El Reg a line.

    Of course, if I were a scientist at CERN I'd have a webcam pointed at the main building, an on-screen countdown, and a timer on the "video off" button, just for laffs :)

  57. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
    Alien

    If you really can send things into another dimension with the LHC..

    does this mean we can fire rockets at right angles to reality?

    Let's do in all these creature in higher dimensions shall we?

  58. The Other Steve
    Coat

    @Ondrej Doubek

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

    Damn, and I thought I was the only non NZ resident who'd ever seen that classic piece of cinema.

    [SPOILER WARNING - DO NOT READ THE FOLLOWING IF YOU INTEND TO WATCH QUIET EARTH - WHICH YOU DEFINITELY SHOULD - PROBABLY REALLY REALLY SOON]

    If I recall the ending correctly, I can look forward to either saving the world, or getting jiggy with a foxy redhead while someone else does it ?

    Shweeeeet.

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    On the plus side

    At least the Fench will go first

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Could we have another ENRON executive lie here?

    Sure, they say its safe but I want to see which of them have visited their religious advisor / attorney / hooker (well, they're all the same) one last time before the switch is pulled.

  61. gareth

    well there is an upside to a black hole

    time will all but stop so they will never be able to make another series of big brother

  62. Hig Pig
    Pirate

    What if there is no Hawking Radiation?

    Hawking Radiation is purely theoretical. The LHC boffins safety report even admits this but glosses over the fact because the Physics community broadly supports the theory.

    "There is broad consensus among physicists on the reality of Hawking radiation, but so far no experiment has had the sensitivity required to find direct evidence for it."

    So there's no direct evidence for Hawking Radiation, the very radiation which will prevent the Earth being eaten by a black hole.

    So what they're really saying is "There is no direct evidence to prevent the Earth being swallowed up by a black hole created by the LHC" and dressing it up as a safety report. Maybe the belief in Hawking Radiation wouldn't have quite the same consensus if we decided to call it "Homer Simpson Radiation", the scientific community would be rightly shitting themselves then!

  63. Lupus
    Joke

    This is getting beyond a joke.

    Honestly...

    I just keep reading it as hard-on.

  64. Anonymous Coward
    Alien

    DONT LISTEN TO THEM

    IT'S DOOMED TO FAILURE...

    http://img144.imageshack.us/img144/2131/freemanae8.jpg

    Even as we speak I'm hunting around for a crossbow and a crowbar...

  65. James Tankersley Jr

    Independent Scientists Challenge CERN's Arguments

    CERN argues that danger is not plausible and is excluded.

    Independent scientists argue that danger IS plausible and has NOT been excluded.

    CERN's safety review did not include contrasting opinions over fundamental assumptions or experts "arms-length from the project" as recommended by European Commission guidelines.[13].

    PHD level scientists protest![4]

    In 2004 CERN announced possible micro black hole creation at one per second.[2]

    Physicists wrote papers concluding black holes do not radiate.[1][3][10]

    In 2007, Nuclear Safety Officer Walter L. Wagner discovered flaws with CERN's safety arguments and filed a law suit to require proof of safety.[5]

    In response CERN scientists created a safety report in 2008.[6]

    After review, German senior Physics PHD Dr. Rainer Plaga concluded CERN's safety report does not prove safety. He proposes additional safety procedures including proceeding slowly. [7]

    On August 14th, CERN's Dr. Ellis stated they will not proceed slowly.[8]

    German Chaos theory contributor and founder of Endophysics Dr. Otto Roessler theorized micro black holes could destroy Earth in decades or centuries.[9] Dr. Roessler requests an emergency safety conference and he is due to meet Swiss President Pascal Couchepin to discuss safety.[11]

    On August 26, 2008, a European law suit alleged the Large Hadron Collider poses grave safety risks.[12]

    [1] xxx.lanl.gov/abs/gr-qc/0304042 Do black holes radiate?. Dr. Adam Helfer (2003)

    [2] cerncourier.com/cws/article/cern/29199 The case for mini black holes, CERN Courier (2004)

    [3] arxiv.org/abs/gr-qc/0607137, On the existence of black hole evaporationyet again, Prof. VA Belinski (2006)

    [4] www.lhcdefense.org/lhc_expertssay.php What the Experts Say (2008)

    [5] www.lhcdefense.org/lhc_legal.php US Federal Lawsuit Filings - Walter L. Wagner (2008)

    [6] public.web.cern.ch/public/en/lhc/Safety-en.html The safety of the LHC, Web Site - CERN (2008)

    [7] arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/0808/0808.1415v1.pdf On the potential catastrophic risk from metastable quantum-black holes produced at particle colliders - Rainer Plaga Rebuttal (2008)

    [8] www.lhcfacts.org/?p=72 CERN?s Dr. Ellis tells only half of the story - LHCFacts.org (2008)

    [9] www.wissensnavigator.com/documents/OTTOROESSLERMINIBLACKHOLE.pdf Abraham-Solution to Schwarzschild Metric Implies That CERN Miniblack Holes Pose a Planetary Risk, Prof. Dr. Otto Rossler (2008)

    [10] www.wissensnavigator.com/documents/spiritualottoeroessler.pdf A Rational and Moral and Spiritual Dilemma - Otto E. Rössler Safety Counter Arguments (2008)

    [11] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Safety_of_the_Large_Hadron_Collider Safety of the Large Hadron Collider (2008)

    [12] lhc-concern.info/?page_id=28 European Legal Action (2008)

    [13] http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/bpl/risk/2006/00000026/00000001/art00006 Scientific Peer Review to Inform Regulatory Decision Making: A European Perspective (2006)

  66. ian

    "..another reassuring report which says that their machine will definitely not destroy the universe"

    They would say that wouldn't they. They always do.

    I'm concerned that this thing isn't built as a pentagram, to constrain the legions of hell that are sure to pour forth from the tear in space-time that it will create.

  67. Mark

    re: Hang on...

    "why was the LHC built in favour of a collection of spacecraft each containing one of the LHC's detector types?"

    Because you wouldn't like having to put up with scientists with geiger counters and so on walking around in your bedroom to catch the ones that are passing through there. And all the other bedrooms. Because the particles are more numerous but some silly cunt up there is not shooting them all in a convenient place for putting detectors.

    BAD GOD!

  68. Andy H
    Alert

    @Rob

    You and Prof Cox owe me a new keyboard and a fresh coffee.

    If only all people in public were this blunt and honest!

  69. Mark

    re: What if there is no Hawking Radiation?

    What if there are no strangelets? No micro black holes? Then the lack of Hawking radiation is moot.

    I've come to the conclusion that the reason why there's so much chicken little on the LHC is because some dipstick in marketing thought of the name "God Particle" for the Higgs Boson and the God Squad are scared it'll be literally true...

  70. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @Ondrej Doubek & The Other Steve...

    I too thought I was the only person who'd ever seen that movie... I have it on VHS somewhere... Wish I could find the original book it was based on by Craig Harrison.

  71. Frizz
    Joke

    Quite Calm

    ... Until I realised...does it run on windows?? aaaghhh

  72. Johnny G
    Coat

    LHC???

    Large hardons colliding??? Surely NSFW! I don't want to see that kind of smut!

    Dam, my dyslexia lets me down again...

  73. stu
    Thumb Up

    restuarant at the end of the universe

    I Promise u this: if a restuarant pops up orbiting the earth on friday.. I will be the one standing outside with my thumb up.

  74. Paul Naylor
    Alien

    re: Now what's the question again...

    Or when it's all switched on a big neon sign lights up in the sky saying "Level 1 completed . . . Level 2, go..!"

  75. Simon Woodworth
    Dead Vulture

    Carter Catastrophe or Big Mistake?

    Anyone taking bets on whether it'll be a Stephen Baxter - or Dan Simmons - flavoured catastrophe? If it's of the Dan Simmons variety then I for one welcome our TechnoCore overlords.

  76. Steven Jones

    @Hig Pig

    "Hawking Radiation is purely theoretical"

    Well black holes are only theoretical too - their presence can be inferred from apparent gravitational on celestial objects and the like. Their existence can also be postulated on the basis of current laws of physics (which, of course, aren't laws - they are theories).

    In fact the whole of physics is based on a stack of theories that have been developed in order to explain observed phenomena and, of course, to produce testable consequences (well the scientific purist would say they have to be testable; it's a moot point with theories like multiverses whether these qualify as scientific theories due to doubts about their testability).

    Anyway, the point of all this is that nobody has directly seen a black hole. If Hawking radiation exists they might be able to see that of course...

  77. oxo
    Flame

    Nice one Lewis..

    However, if a "wavefront of nonexistence would spread out only at light speed", then you hardly be able to see it coming would you?

  78. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Visit to LHC

    I went to the LHC in December 2007 and as part of the visit we got to go underground to the CMS (Compact Muon Solenoid) which was being assembled at the time. Written on a white board leading to the CMS was "there is no Higgs"!

  79. dB
    Boffin

    CERN already been switched on

    I'm pleased that CERN have admitted here that they have already switched the LHC on, it explains everything, 'cause reading some of this thread made me wonder if I had actually entered a parallel universe.

    Sadly, not one where I have any more hair....

  80. Ash
    Boffin

    @adnim

    That's all well and good, but we seem to be missing something fundamental in our "impending doom" scenario. Namely, this is...

    How exactly do we see something approaching us at light speed?

    I would have thought, for a particle physics article, that someone would have pointed this out already.

  81. Neil Stansbury

    @Squits

    Actually it's perfectly theoretically possible to create black holes like this - the Schwarzchild Radius ( Rs = 2Gm/C^2 ) determines when a given mass compressed to a certain radius will collapse into a gravitational singularity, whether Hawkings Radiation really exists, and ensures it isn't stable is a different question.

  82. Riscyrich
    Coat

    We Remember The Freeman

    We Are Coterminous. ...

    Mines the one with the Zero-Point Energy Manipulator in the pocket....

  83. Mark

    @ian

    Don't worry. Unless we lose all our duct tape stores, we've played enough Doom III to see these demonic hordes back to the pit of hell they sprung from.

    We may need Karl Urbgen's help, though. If we do, keep The Rock away, OK?

  84. yeah, right.
    Coat

    hmm

    LHC boffin: "Inconceivable!"

    some pirate: "I do not think that word means what you think it does."

    Mine's the one with the ROUS in the pocket, yes.

  85. Filippo

    re: What if there is no Hawking radiation?

    It doesn't matter really. The main reason for which the LHC is safe is that the same collisions happen all the time everywhere due to cosmic rays, and yet we're still here. The other reasons are just dressing. If there is no Hawking radiation, then there's simply got to be something else keeping Earth safe from black holes, because if there wasn't there'd be no Earth in the first place.

    As for why they don't simply detect cosmic rays collisions, that's because you can't accurately predict when and where a collision will happen, with an accuracy of microseconds and millimeters and involving exactly the particles you want to observe. Got to be able to make them on-demand.

  86. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    <no title>

    Gawdamit ! I'm relying on those guys taking out the universe, why do you think I've been partying on the bank's money all year?

  87. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Disaster area...

    @Tankersley

    ...had the right idea in meeting with all the environmental protesters and having them shot. These independent scientists had better hope they don't get a proton beam in the back of the head....

    Paris, it's not the back of her head she needs to worry about.

  88. Robert Hill
    Joke

    Chant with me:

    "Don't cross the beams!"

    That would be bad, right?

  89. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    It's All Been Said Before

    "[It] will not start a chain reaction in the water, converting it all to gas, causing all the ships on all the oceans to drop down to the bottom. It will not blow out the bottom of the sea and let all the water run down the hole. It will not destroy gravity. I am not an atomic playboy ..."

    And there was the, now well-known, fear among some *scientists* (working on the project) that the H-Bomb could ignite the atmosphere ...

    Sounds familiar, doesn't it?

    Far more energetic collisions have been occuring on and around the Earth for billions of years - long enough to be sure that the risk of a sustained black hole is infintessimally small. So shut up and eat your porridge.

  90. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    @Show some results!

    What you can't wait 5 days?

  91. The Jon
    Paris Hilton

    @pctechxp

    Trinity gorgeous? You must already be in another dimension.

    Paris, cos I bet she's got plenty of strange particles floating around her doughnut shaped device.

  92. pctechxp

    @James Tankersley Jr

    Whtever anyone says they will start it up anyway probably to the sound of Start Me Up by the Rolling Stones because there has been too much money (although currency means dick when you are being squahed into a singularity) invested in it so we may vanish next week or we may not.

    Maybe this is how the improbability drive is discovered and Douglas was more of a visionary than we ever imagined.

    But whatever happens, DON'T PANIC!

    Remember that the greatest adventure begins when the world ends.

  93. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is the same mindset

    as the scientists behind atomic bombs. They really did believe there was a chance that an atomic explosion would cause the whole atmosphere to ignite incinerating the earth. They really didn't know but in the end though 'screw it, let's try it and see'. Do we really want people like that deciding what experiments are safe to conduct?

  94. Sillyfellow
    Pirate

    thanks James Tankersley Jr

    very well put. i'm glad someone is setting the record straight on this. thanks.

    my perrsonal understanding is that this CAN most definately present severe risk to fabric of our physical universe, but it all depends on what they do with it and how carefully they tread.

    so cern says it safe due to their "empirical reasoning", but as someone astutely pointed out, they cannot predict what will or will not happen to any acceptable degree of certainty, that is the whoile point of the experiment... to find out.

    so if they don't really know what will happen, how on earth can they say it's safe?

    answer= they can't, and therefore have no business claiming it is safe.

    i'm ok with this type of science experimentation, but so long as they UNDERSTAND that it may not be at all safe. and they don't seem to, so how careful will they be?. me thinks not careful enough considering their 'zero risk' attitude.

    however, having said that. i am very interested in the results they get and i think that we'll be ok in the end... or some of us at least... hopefully...

  95. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    You have to read this from a professor!

    From the online edition of the telegraph - read paragraph 3;

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

    or in case they edit it, screen grab here;

    http://img393.imageshack.us/img393/6234/telegraphxw5.png

  96. pctechxp

    @The Jon

    Ok which female actress would you have preferred?

  97. stuart Thompson

    The Last Thing...

    ... the universe will ever hear is "i wonder what will happen if i push this...."

  98. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Flame

    Keep those Universal Darwin Awards ready.

    NOT AGAIN THIS DISCUSSION!

    Nobody cares if the whole universe goes kablooie if some dude at the arse end of the Galaxy (that is, here) can make it happen with a measly 17 TeV collision in an underground facility.

    If that happens, THEN THE UNIVERSE BLOODY WELL DESERVED IT.

    Survival of the fittest, I say.

    ...course, Born-Again Xians might be pissed off somewhat as this new-model-rapture will come in a bit heavy for their tastes. Tough.

  99. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Anything could happen

    Don't quantum machenics say that theirs a finite chance anyting could happen? would be a larf if it happened when they switched the machine on.

  100. Sillyfellow

    lack of fundamental science knowlege

    yes, i said that.

    these scientists do not have sound empirical reasoning.

    this is simply because these is a whole sub-section of energy science that has been intentionally ignored and left out of science and education for centuries, and only a small handful of scientists know anything meaningful about this branch of science. (yes, i'm one of them. hehe.. and no, i'm not telling).

    hint: energy it more than just abundant. more pure forms of energy are the basic composition of every form of physical existance, and therefore it is far easier than anyone would have thought to 'create' (well, actually convert) many forms of purer energy into electricty, but of course this has been denied, rejected (by virtue of some incorrect (and environment specific) so-called laws of physics, and hidden from us so that we can be centrally controlled and stripped of our independance and wealth.

    this has angered me for many years and will be changing soon. nuff said.

    want a bit of proof?

    research the works of: Dr Robert Adams (adamotor) and Prof Searle (SEG).

    Note to venerable El Reg mod: please please post this one. i am saying things that people need to know. for our own futures.

  101. pctechxp

    look on the bright side

    There will be no more religous nutters hell bent on Jihad and Bin Liner will get whats coming to him.

    Even Tora Bora wont be safe.

  102. Ian Ferguson
    Happy

    All that coolant - it's obviously not a LHC

    It's obviously a cover-up: They are using the coolant to suspend Akira at 0.00051 Kelvin, and stop him waking up and destroying Tokyo.

  103. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    @AC "This is the same mindset"

    They did their analysis and showed that the risk was so low as to be negligible - and then proved it beyond all doubt with the real thing. So, yes, this is the same mindset - it' scalled SCIENCE.

    Twat.

  104. Schultz
    Flame

    The world is truly coming to an end

    Ice cubes and hops in a single sentence, god will STRIKE DOWN on such blasphemy!

  105. adnim Silver badge

    @Ash

    "How exactly do we see something approaching us at light speed?"

    Oddly enough, the light from everything we see approaches us at the speed of light. ;-)

    I accept that is not the point you are trying to make. In answer to that point, Einsteins theory of of special relativity states amongst other things that there is no such thing as a stationary reference frame, and that the speed of light is always constant regardless of the relative motion of the observer. It defies common sense and logic, but there is a great deal of evidence supporting the theory.

  106. Steve
    Thumb Up

    Translation please?

    The only thing that could possibly make that article better would be a translation by your new potty-mouth computer science guy.

    Yo-way-yo

  107. amanfromMars Silver badge

    No Joke .... the Real MQCAI ...... MuI7 @ UrService and One's Best Behests.

    "This is getting beyond a joke.

    Honestly...

    I just keep reading it as hard-on." ..... By Lupus Posted Friday 5th September 2008 14:13 GMT

    That would Surely dDefinitely be Hawking Radiating that Good Old Blackhole MaJIC across All dDimensions ........ for AIdDrive Singularity ...... Immaculate Source.

    " I've come to the conclusion that the reason why there's so much chicken little on the LHC is because some dipstick in marketing thought of the name "God Particle" for the Higgs Boson and the God Squad are scared it'll be literally true..." .... By Mark Posted Friday 5th September 2008 15:00 GMT

    What is it that they are scared of? They can then follow what has been discovered and wonder where IT came from ... and where they are going.

    " Remember that the greatest adventure begins when the world ends." .... By pctechxp Posted Friday 5th September 2008 15:32 GMT

    KAPOW KABOOM ..... ? ..... "AI Virtual Invitation ....42Boogy Ladies and She who Loves Obedience for Perfect Safety .... By amanfromMars Posted Friday 5th September 2008 15:54 GMT"

  108. Anonymous Coward
    Go

    "PHD level scientists protest!"

    I would have been worried if PHD scientists protest.

    Greetings, Dr. Anonymous Coward.

  109. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    Alien

    old quote

    There is a theory that if the ultimate question and the ultimate answer are known, then the universe itself will disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable.

    There is another theory that this has already happened.........

    Boris

    <<polishing his crowbar and gauss gun

  110. Filippo

    @Sillyfellow

    The idea that you either know nothing at all or you have no need to run the experiment, is fallacious.

    I don't know exactly how many joules of energy are released by a firework. Does that mean that when I light a firework I should be concerned by the possibility of exploding the galaxy? No, because millions of fireworks have been lit before and even if noone had bothered to measure how much energy they release, the galaxy hasn't exploded.

    Similarly, millions of protons have collided before, and although noone has measured *exactly* what happens when they do, we know for a fact that the world hasn't ended.

    Being unable to predict with 100% accuracy the outcome of an experiment doesn't mean that *any* outcome is possible.

  111. Vic

    It's not a big deal.

    I mean, so the supercomputer has a hard drive failure, so what? Slartibartfast will just build 'em another.

  112. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    Cheated

    I feel cheated. A whole Lewis Page article and not once did he tell us that it would have been cheaper to just buy the kit from the Americans.

  113. Rick Giles
    Paris Hilton

    Scrodingers cat-sitter

    I just wanted to say that...

    Paris coz I got something she can... <BONK!> Ouch!

  114. Captain DaFt
    Boffin

    What's the worst that could happen?

    No, really, Given that it's 10 to the 19th power that anything bad could happen at all, what's the worst that could happen?

    Nothing... Nothing at all. All that money spent and not one jot of usable data to show for it!

    So get cracking CERN boffins, either I get practical fusion out of this, a better understanding of the Universe, or at least one hell of a lightshow, or you better bloody well blow us all up!

    Elsewise, I'll be very, VERY unhappy!

  115. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    I have a concern, and a promise

    I am concerned that the power taken from the Grid will lower the voltage and my dinner will be under cooked.

    I promise to pay my tax bill after the event :)

  116. Tom Silver badge

    It takes a long time to make a black hole

    - even at quantum levels it takes an infinite amount of time to make one.

    Once you've got one (?) then Hawking radiation would get rid of quite quickly.

  117. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    RE: @AC "This is the same mindset"

    They did their analysis and showed that the risk was so low as to be negligible - and then proved it beyond all doubt with the real thing.

    Yes, low risk - not low risk, so they were still happy to take the chance of destroying everything. What if they had been wrong? When the risk is not quite as catastrophic as the end of all life on earth, fair enough do it and see what happens. When there is a chance - no matter how slim, you just don't do it.

    Twat.

  118. This post has been deleted by its author

  119. Mr Mark V Thomas
    Paris Hilton

    Re: Now what's the question again...?

    No, No, No...

    The answer displayed on Cern's VDU's is not 42, but 601, as all Cern's computer systems have just "locked up" trying to cope with the data ...

    << Begins polishing his crowbar & portal gun...

  120. Claire Rand

    what does it actually do?

    who knows?

    whats the betting they press the big red button, there is a low hum, kind of like the deathstar warming up, then a little light comes on to much cheering.

    a few days later some impressive computer 'simulation' images are published along with some impressive sounding long words

    the the boffins who thought of this use the other 99% of the budget to live a life of luxury in their underground bunker safe behind signs that the H&S bods dare not go past, or allow anyone else to go past.

    lets face it, if this does nothing *but* light a little lamp, probably with "please do not press this button again" on it, and say its worked perfectly... who they hell is going to be able to prove it?

    after all these are clever people, certainly more clever than the people signing the checks, would you sneeze at all that cash and the chance to build an underground bunker?

  121. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well, I don't think I'll pay my credit cards this month

    just in case

    I mean, you know, why bother

  122. mcdorian

    No boffins here

    Wouldn't it be safer to do it on say Mars? That way by the time the black hole engulfs Earth we'll be long gone.

    PS No such thing as boffins here (the america's at least)

  123. Anonymous John
    Coat

    @@Ash

    ""How exactly do we see something approaching us at light speed?"

    Oddly enough, the light from everything we see approaches us at the speed of light. ;-)"

    Blue-shifted though.

    Mine's the stranglet puddle under the empty peg.

  124. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge
    Boffin

    What an opportunity...!

    Those of us who have read the Telegraph item mentioned above will have seen the LHC press officer claiming he is besieged with people who phone and claim "I am seriously worried. Please tell me my children are safe..."

    I wonder how hard it is to resist replying in 'mad scientist' mode, ending with a cackle of laughter and a cry that 'There are some things Man was never meant to know!"

    Or alternatively, just shout "Oh my God! It's full of stars..!

  125. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    Hello, is that the helpdesk...

    <PFY> Er yeah, this is the helpdesk...

    <Boffin> We have a problem with our LHC

    <PFY> Have you tried switching it off, then on again?

    <Boffin> Yes, each time we do the lights go out in Europe!

    <PFY> Oh alright, give me a second, what's your IP address I'll VNC in...

    Chaos thery appears to be alive and well and about to deploy somewhere under the French / Swiss border. Tin hats at the ready chaps, we're going in, I may be sometime...

  126. theotherone

    possible

    could they possibly move it up a couple of days? it's just that there's this large bill I'm not too keen on paying.....

  127. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    heh heh

    you said hadron

    evil billg because he's the one causing the quarks to stop sticking together - they just hate Vista that much

  128. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If you take the counter stance

    that is going to be one hell of a, 'I told you so!'.

  129. Mark
    Alien

    @Neil Stansbury

    And the size of that black hole would be far far smaller than any atom nucleus.

    The atom nucleus which is far far smaller than any atom.

    So the chances of anything falling in that hole are a billion to one a year.

    (OK, so I had to jiggle it to get it to scan).

    This would mean nowt falls in in thousands of transits. Nothing. And anything that does is one small part of one atom. A miniscule additional mass.

    The earth would last a hundred billion years.

    And the sun will eat the earth well before then.

  130. Anonymous Coward
    Heart

    Bring it on!

    Well, if the end of the world or the end of the universe does happen next Wednesday, at least Windows will be patched!

  131. Nexox Enigma

    Friday...

    I've been working so much I didn't even realize that it was Friday until I read this thing.

    So thanks Mr. Lewis Page, you made my week. Now back to that work stuff.

  132. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hopefully it'll go just slightly wrong...

    ... and france was no more!

  133. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Schultz

    "Ice cubes and hops in a single sentence, god will STRIKE DOWN on such blasphemy!"

    If I were God I'd strike you down - it's God with a CAPITAL G to you! ;D)

  134. Ed
    Happy

    Tell Ya What

    If they make a black hole that gobbles up the eath I owe ya all a buck

  135. John Savard Silver badge

    Fermi Paradox

    Since it is true enough that cosmic ray events have done everything this device can do (the only trouble is, while no one is watching, which explains why it is still worth the money to build the LHC), the conclusion that we are safe this time is reasonable.

    The Fermi Paradox is the name given to the question of why, if there is other intelligence out there, the night sky doesn't give clear evidence of some alien race converting vast numbers of stars into Dyson spheres or otherwise converting the Universe from pristine wilderness into the equivalent of Manhattan Island. Given billions of stars in each of billions of galaxies, one would expect there would be at least one alien race that goes in for such things to have sprung up long enough ago that the light from its handiwork would have travelled to us by now.

    One possible resolution to it is that ambitious technological races like our own do get gobbled up by strangelet soup prior to getting to the point where they can reshape the Universe. Thus, while the objections to the LHC may be correctly dismissed as not well founded, continued caution in future may well be reasonabl

  136. Antony Shepherd
    Thumb Up

    Brilliant.

    OK, I have now completely forgiven Professor Cox for 'Things can only get better'. What a hero! CERN should just put that on a recorded message for the nutters who phone them.

  137. Andus McCoatover

    This'll allay your fears...(Mwahahaha)

    http://www.engadget.com/2008/08/08/cern-rap-video-about-the-large-hadron-collider-creates-a-black-h/

  138. Steen Hive
    Joke

    @Dangermouse

    Ice cubes in whisky?

    Seems like our new, black-holey overlord isn't the only ultra-dense thing nearby.

    Ah - it was "whiskey", the foreign stuff.

  139. flearider
    Gates Horns

    and now for somthing completely diffrent ...

    so there going to use masses of energy to make these sub atomic things with a greater mass than most thing smash into each other ...

    so not having done this before who says theres not going to be a massive explosion on the sub atomic lvl that will spread ??

    ohh and another thing whos paying the electric bill for this ? at a time of save power or melt the ice caps ..is this why my 50p meter turned into a £

  140. Warren

    Hadron

    Stealing heavily from the Quantum porn article a while ago - I can't help but point out that this particle accelerator gives me a hadron.

  141. pctechxp

    @amanfromMars Friday 5th September 2008 16:33 GMT

    One question

    WTF?

  142. Allan Rutland
    Coat

    Brillient!

    It's a win win situation, at 6.4bn euros or whatever its cost to make a black hole under France, its a real bargin :D

  143. paulc
    Thumb Up

    frankly I couldn't care less...

    if the Earth was swallowed by a black hole then at least all the gloomy news would have stopped... and I wouldn't have to go into work on Monday...

  144. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Load's of information ...

    ... to be gleaned from things whizzing around in pipes?

    I've heard Phorm want to build a collector, but CERN take a certain pride in their creations and won't let them.

    I'll get me coat, but it had to be said.

  145. MrT

    LHC made easy

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j50ZssEojtM - the rapper 'alpinekat' is Kathryn McAlpine, who works on the LHC.

    but then I also had fun watching this...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BXzugu39pKM (the related videos are also nuts - Nostradamus gets credited with too much)

  146. yeah, right.

    Kinda hoping

    Actually, I'm kinda hoping it does all end, and quickly. Hopefully in the next universe to come along we can do away with the dogmatic, religious hypocrites that are infesting our daily lives with asinine rules based on ideology rather than evidence.

    So go go LHC, and I hope you're wrong about the effects.

  147. adnim Silver badge

    OK, so it's a great success...

    The scientists discover that the Higgs boson does exist and that it is in fact, due to it's field, responsible for the mass of all non-massless particles. And what's more, the Earth remains in the reality that most of us are familiar with.

    What a wonderful discovery.

    However I do have one question, what gives the Higgs boson its mass?

  148. John Sanders

    Lightsabers!!!

    I hope all this particle tampering at the LHC gives us the answer to building Lightsabers

  149. Chris
    Unhappy

    Wednesday? NEXT Wednesday?

    Oh bollocks!

    I'm off on holiday from Thursday too. Be just my luck if the universe decides to cease to exist on Wednesday...

    I wonder if my holiday insurance covers that eventuality?

  150. Spider

    perfectly safe....

    so why do all the knobs go to 11?

  151. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    particles don't go in the other direction until October

    oh - a light came on saying "please do not press this button again"

  152. joe K
    Alien

    What are you trying to imply?

    @Anonymous John "Oddly enough, the light from everything we see approaches us at the speed of light. Blue-shifted though "

    You do need to be more specific as the speed of light depends on the medium it is travelling through.

    And why blue shifted?

  153. Squits

    @Niel

    'Actually it's perfectly theoretically possible to create black holes like this - the Schwarzchild Radius ( Rs = 2Gm/C^2 ) determines when a given mass compressed to a certain radius will collapse into a gravitational singularity, whether Hawkings Radiation really exists, and ensures it isn't stable is a different question.'

    That's the whole point, collide those spectacular particles that are x density together at x speed and we have liftoff, black hole. In theory.

    How can you know it happens, like the big bang, unless you try it. Believe me, when the scientists are speaking like they are, 'We have thought that, believe us, you nagging Alan's should know we think of it' Or however they speak.

    We voice our layman opinions, someone is always listening and thinking anyway. What scientist would be worth his sodium chloride if they didn't think about these things and know exactly what protons to fire to prevent it.

    I'm all for this project purely through interest, I'm not in the field at all but loved the RLHC or whatever its name was. Contain it in something one mile wide made with see-through magnets and show us what evolves in so little matter.

  154. Darryl

    At least...

    ...we wouldn't have to worry about whether man made global warming is true anymore.

  155. Michael Noonan
    Pirate

    Are we ready to share black holes responsibly?

    I worry about the things that responsible scientists might NOT think about. A black hole is very highly charged electrically. There is so much science that is not yet understood. What if a terrorist group found a way to harness the huge electrical charge to attract the micro black hole into a city.

    OK that sounds strange but there is still stuff on the net with things like a Tesla experiment caused Tunguska. A massively electrical point source could totally disrupt communications or harm people if controllable. How do we know this is not the weapon of the next Unibomber or Alkieda or rouge terrorist nation?

    Scientists will by nature try and assess the safe and responsible use of technology but how does anyone prevent the harmful use by an organization that would not have had access if a stable micro black hole was not created in the first place.

    That is an extreme example and assumes that Hawking radiation fails to allow the black hole to dissolve. The density difference would mean that any such object would treat any substance as little more that a thin gas, even rock. Sure scientists are not planning to harm society but not everyone in this world has such high altruistic standards.

    Are we really ready for this ... beyond the science what do we know and fear of ourselves.

  156. Peter Dawe
    Stop

    The Last Time

    ...but that it what the physicists said the last time a LHC was turned on...13.75 billion years ago

    " The experiment takes us back closer to the conditions at the start of the universe..."

    Logical error...

    On empirical evidence, the conditions for the creation of universes has a 100% chance of being 'unique' in its universe.

  157. Robinson

    Haha.

    "This will permit the whole of physics and perhaps therefore all knowledge to be rendered invalid, and allow many shouty, arm-waving, incomprehensible arguments to take place in front of blackboards."

    Haha, brilliant. My paragraph of the month. Bravo!

  158. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    If they're wrong...

    ... they'll never see the end of the lawsuits.

  159. IDontLikeSpam
    Boffin

    Tell you what...

    if we fire up the LHC and the universe ceases to exist, I owe you a coke.

  160. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Can I tell her that I love her...

    > 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!

    Yeah, I hope so to. I guess we'll find out for sure when credits suddenly roll in the darkness with that old "If Tomorrow Never Comes" song playing, then a huge "Game Over!" sign appearing.

    Thumbs down. Because even the Heart Of Gold will not be able to outrun this monstrosity that is the strangelet, it will eat up the whole universe in the blink of an eye.

  161. amanfromMars Silver badge
    Alien

    The dDawn within Houses Rising with the Sun ...GODs Gift to SMother Man Divinely

    "How do we know this is not the weapon of the next Unibomber or Alkieda or rouge terrorist nation?" .... By Michael Noonan

    Posted Saturday 6th September 2008 04:57 GMT

    One doesn't, ..... and won't, for at this Stage in Man's Evolution is that Rogue Natured Free Choice Removed ..... and Discarded as being Totally Unnecessary.

    ITs DNA Profile being ProFoundly Unfit for Future Digital Binary Purpose ...... and MainLine XXXXStreaming

    "The Fermi Paradox is the name given to the question of why, if there is other intelligence out there, the night sky doesn't give clear evidence of some alien race converting vast numbers of stars into Dyson spheres or otherwise converting the Universe from pristine wilderness into the equivalent of Manhattan Island. " .... By John Savard Posted Saturday 6th September 2008 09:42 GMT

    John,

    An Alien Landed might Reasonably Conclude/Observe that to Live in Pristine Widerness rather than Build over it would be a Natural Paradise with all Mod Cons Freely Available to Free the Soul and Let Imagination Fly Far and Wide 42 Create Sustainable Futures and their Derivative Satellites/Master Pilot Private Pirate Programs, Joint AIdDVenturing.

    "@amanfromMars Friday 5th September 2008 16:33 GMT

    One question ....

    WTF?" ... By pctechxp Posted Saturday 6th September 2008 15:04 GMT

    http://tinyurl.com/5clqwu .... in a Nutshell, pctechxp

  162. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    @adnim, Higgs mass

    That would be the Higgs self-coupling term in the Lagrangian. I.e. Higgs bosons interact with other Higgs bosons. Kind of like gluons and W,Z bosons self coupling.

  163. Jeff Rowse Bronze badge
    Coat

    Sorry, I'm feeling a little spindizzy...

    Anyone else hereabouts read James Blish's excellent "Cities in Flight" books?

    Mine's the one with "Amalfi for President" on the back in large letters...

  164. Anonymous Coward
    Alien

    Press to test...

    ...Release to detonate.

    Excuse me, I'm off to search my office for a consignment of lemon-soaked paper napkins...

  165. That Guy

    And This people

    Is why we need SoundGarden

  166. Gary Palmer
    Coat

    Speaking of hadrons

    http://www.splitreason.com/product/538

    Mines the one with the black hole in the pocket

  167. Rich

    Bets taken here

    I'll give you 100:1 that the universe ends on Wednesday.

  168. yeah, right.

    Overheard on the phone talking to a friend at CERN

    oops

  169. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    it's in my backyard...

    well, living within a few hundred kilometers of the LHC, at least i'll be one of the first to ride the wave of mass flowing into the blackhole.

  170. Fozzy
    Joke

    Pfft

    Not the least bit concerned about black holes forming I've been married to an exoric singularity for years now that's been sucking my will to live

  171. n

    how to freak your workmates at cern on wednesday morning...

    1. come into work complaining of deja vu.....

    2. open an envelope addressed from yourself that says: "don't do it....it's all gone tits u............."

    3. ask if anyone fancies a game of poker...

  172. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Surfing the wavefront of nonexistence

    >However, if a "wavefront of nonexistence would spread out only at light speed", then you hardly be able to see it coming would you?

    Makes me think of surfing... and at the speed of light - awesome. Just one question - What kind of surfboard would you need to surf a wavefront of nonexistence?

    Answers preferably sooner rather than later (Wednesday is probably too late)

    Seriously though, if this thing destroys our universe, I won't be around to care, and if it doesn't, then I'll be interested to read about their discoveries.

    Of course I do have some questions - like - if what I've read about the black holes / event horizons is true, would we even be aware if we crossed an event horizon?

    In reply to the comment about terrorists using electricity to "attract" the black holes into cities... surely if that could be done, then we could use the same technology in a probe to send the said black holes to the black hole party at the center of the milky way?!?!

    This raises another theoretical question - what happens if a small black hole is sucked into a bigger black hole (assuming this is possible and that they don't just merge or alternatively "orbit" each other due to some quirky repulsion effect)?

  173. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    Super Powers

    Isn't this how the Incredile Hulk was created ?

    Be on the look out for irate green scientists.

  174. Dave Ashe

    What i don't get is...

    .. how is re-creating the conditions of the 'big bang' exactly SAFE?

  175. Prof O. Und

    Just in case the world ends...

    .... how's about a nice Tuesday's-worth of being Moderatrix'd????

  176. Pete
    Pirate

    Know what

    At least if it does go all tit's up, i can rest assured all you lot will be coming with me.

  177. Paul
    Happy

    @yeah, right

    Grow up. Please.

  178. archie lukas
    Black Helicopters

    Where should we place the Boffins?

    Quandary:

    1) Place the Boffin's by the reactor, so they will be first through the black hole.

    2) Place them far away so they can figure out how to terminate the black hole as it swallows Switzerland and France.

    Complication:

    Option 2 - it might be a while before anyone notices or actually gives a damn....

  179. Alexander Giochalas
    Linux

    @Ondrej Doubek & The Other Steve & Anonymous Coward

    ...There' also me and a couple of dozen other Greeks that have seen this

    pre-Jackson era NZ film...

    The Tux, of course, because it will survive at least until 18/01/2038, no matter

    (or energy) what...

  180. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Just in case the world ends...

    You should be so lucky, dear.

  181. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    So much crap

    The worst thing I read here is that we will be recreating the conditions that were existent during the big bang.

    We will not be. To get there we would need a jolly big donut, maybe orbiting the sun.

    That is all.

  182. adnim Silver badge

    @AC:Higgs mass

    Self coupling ahhhh, As an accomplished self coupler I guessed as much, but isn't that a sin? ;-)

    In lay mans terms, the Higgs gets stuck in it's own stickyness.

    I am reading "The road to reality, a complete guide to the laws of the Universe" by Roger Penrose. Maybe you are familair with it? I will have to start again though if I intend to make any sense of it. I lost it and became confused during chapter 7.

  183. This post has been deleted by its author

  184. Basil Fernie

    @Neil Charles

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

    At least you can't blame my ancestors. They left there (the village of Ferney, latterly called Ferney-Voltaire after some author) about 900 years ago.

    Prescient?

  185. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    a different term that covers when some clever buggers kill more than just themselves

    yes mate... that would be "genocide" or, in extreme cases, "un-evolution" or possibly a case of "retro-global-socio-abortion". On the bright side, I go under a GA on wednesday morning - so if I don't wake up... it was nice knowing you.

  186. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Prof. O Und - RE: "When stupid people kill themselves"

    > "Is there a different term that covers when some clever buggers kill more than just themselves?"

    Yes ... Progress.

  187. joshimitsu
    Alien

    what if they created a portal?

    Hope Gordon Freeman and Barney are on duty that day.

  188. Wayland Sothcott Bronze badge
    Jobs Horns

    hollowed-out caverns deep beneath the Franco-Swiss border

    "The Large Hadron Collider (LHC), a titanic 27-kilometre doughnut made of ultra-chilly superconductor magnet pipe, is situated in hollowed-out caverns deep beneath the Franco-Swiss border. " and they are meddling with the very structure of the universe.

    I want one of those. Get me one. And I want sharks with lasers. Get me 6 of those, no make it 12.

    I will control the universe. Woh ha Ha haaaa....

  189. This post has been deleted by its author

  190. Wayland Sothcott Bronze badge
    Boffin

    Standard Risk Analysis: Extreme

    The LHC is unlikely to destroy the universe.

    http://www.pmc.gov.au/implementation/images/risk_matrix.gif

    Open the above picture in a separt window.

    On the risk analysis it's a severe consequence that is a very rare event. So the risk is HIGH.

    If we perhaps extend the table to catastrophic and say that the event is unlikely then the risk becomes EXTREME. They are now saying it won't destroy the universe when the switch it on this week. How do they know? I suspect they already switched it on and we are still here. Or I think we are.

    Yes, watch the film Quiet Earth.

  191. D@v3
    Coat

    i feel safe

    But for all those people saying their not going to pay the bills, incase the world does end, i presume that is so u have a few extra quid to spend at the after party??

    In the unlikely event that the world does end due to all this proton bashing, drinks are on me!

    mines the one with the small change in the pockets

  192. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    It's the End of The World as we know it (R.E.M.-style)

    Look, there's no need to worry. If anything "bad" happens (microscopic black holes growing beyond the microscopic, etc), just watch for the little policeman's box to materialise on the Franco-Swiss border just "in time" for David Tennant to step out and save the world (yet again). Of course, just in case he fails, I will be holding tightly onto Billy Piper (not Paris) - for "support" !

  193. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    We're going to need a bigger boat...

    We're going to need a bigger boat...

  194. Max Jalil
    Thumb Up

    "Hadrons" --- looks like

    Hard ons!

    (snigger)

    Gubbins - beautiful word well used.

  195. rick buck
    Gates Halo

    3 brothers and a pig

    I remember the story of 3 brothers and a pig. They wanted to enter it into the fair and win 1st prize for the biggest pig.

    They came up with a plan to "Plug the pig with a cork and fatten him up."

    As time went by, the pig became enormous, and the brothers were sure they would win. And sure enough, they did.

    After the fair, one brother suggested they let the pig out of his misery, 'cause he was SO full of Shit.

    So, they trained a monkey to pull out the cork.

    And so the day came to let the pig out of his misery.

    one brother said he would'nt be within a mile of the pig when the monkey let it rip. Chicken they said.

    The second said he would be "up the way", to stay at a safe distance.

    "Bok, Bok, Bok..." they howled.

    The third said. "Well...I want to see it happen up close"

    And the monkey pulled out the cork... And BOOM...The Pig Went Everywhere.

    Later at the pub, over a celebration pint, the mile away brother said...

    "I was lookin' thru some binoculars, and WOW, Did you see that pig fly?"

    And the ways away brother said "Yea, but did you see the face on that monkey?"

    And the up close brother said,

    "Aww, that 'aint nothin'..."

    " I saw the monkey try to put back the cork!"

    I hope they are'nt wrong...

    Bill, 'cause he's got Hadrons flying around his head...and vacuum bubbles...

    and black holes...and strangelets...and damn near anything else he wants, too!

  196. lee lawson
    Flame

    business opportunity missed

    I think we are all missing the opportunity we have here. If these crazy clock making scientists can make mini-black holes, which I am assuming to be about the size of a mini-babybel, then there are many uses. Such as:

    Human Race mistake eraser

    * Suspend the mini-black hole over Bejing and suck up all the polution. Solved!

    * Place a mini-black hole in each nuclear power station for safe and clean removal of nuclear waste. Solved!

    * Land fill? Not any more, not with the handy "mini-black hole land fill reducer". Solved!

    * Why waste money on lethal injections? Just pop the murdering rapist into the mini-black hole. Solved!

    * You've seen CSI and have just murdered someone and are worried about evidence at the crime scene? You should be! etc etc etc.

    Mini-black holes also have a domestic use such as:

    * Place a mini-black hole in the bottom of your bin and simply throw everything away! No need to waste precious minutes of your life separating the recycling. Solved!

    * Want to go out but cannot find a good babysitter? Simply suspend your children on a rope and pop them into the mini-black hole for a few hours while you go out and get wasted, then just pull the little beggars back in when you get home. Solved!

    The first company to harnass this technology for the highest bidder will do well, in fact, I'm going on Dragon's Den with this idea.

  197. Rick Giles
    Black Helicopters

    RoTM

    Watch the video here:

    http://webcast.cern.ch/index.html?channel=Channel+2

    We have totaly missed the point. They talk about the WWW being used as a giant Super Computer. The whole thing is going to become sentient.

  198. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I am torn in both directions

    It is marvelous what science can do ...BUT... who are we to play God

  199. Bruce Edwards

    A little perspectivre

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

    After I evaporate though, the bathroom will be there for someone else ...

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