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Well yes, indeed they did shut down early after a very successful run, both in terms of outputs and outcomes. I would also submit they, for better or worse depending on your belief, tested your theory.
Throughout the three-year stretch, the LHC ran 6 quadrillion (that’s 15 zeroes) collisions of the two proton beams. In other words there were 6,000,000,000,000,000 chances for the LHC to create just one of the earth ending micro black holes that you worry about. Just one out of 6,000,000,000,000,000 tries. Now either that has already happened in which case there is no use trying to prevent what has already happened, or it hasn’t happened in which case I would ask, how many more quadrillion collisions do we need to have happen before we are able to evaluate the validity of your theory?
Just to give more context to the numbers here’s another way to think about them. 6 quadrillion collisions over three years is about 228 trillion per hour, or around 63 million every second.
Here’s the source of the numbers.
Dear Bill: Thank you for the interesting link and comment. Do you know the total luminosity reached, at both 7 and 8 TeV? Otto
I would direct you to this page which has information from November of this year. A rough estimate based on these numbers is +1.1/fb luminosity at 7 TeV collisions and 2 fb-1 luminosity at 8 TeV collisions
Thank you very much, Bill. Do you remember how many black holes they would thereby have hoped to produce according to the early 2008 projections?
Actually if I may redirect, I am interested in your predictions here not CERN’s as CERN doesn’t predict the danger that you do. You have stated that the collisions at the LHC are dangerous and indeed said that they may, quite literally cause the end of the world. Furthermore based on the past energy levels and luminosity you predicted a certain percentage to illustrate the chance that these collisions would lead to the result you fear.
My question to you now 6 quadrillion collisions after your initial prediction is simply this, wouldn’t the completed number of collisions serve as a test of the validity of your theory? It would appear that at the very lest you would need to re-evaluate the chance of the negative result you fear to reflect that it is less likely then you initially predicted.
Nobel laureate Dr. Eric A. Cornell, who leads Bose-Einstein Condensate (BEC) research at the University of Colorado, doesn’t think a micro black hole was created by one of his experiments, but he does not rule out the possibility that a stable micro black hole might explain thousands of missing atoms after an unexplained (bosenova) implosion of a “super atom” containing 16,000 Rb85 atoms at 3 nk (3 billionths of a degree above absolute zero). These atoms were already compressed to approximately the size of a single atom while mutually repelling each other, and when the atoms were subsequently induced to attract to each the BEC unexpectedly imploded beyond detection then exploded but thousands of atoms could not be accounted for, they unexpectedly and mysteriously vanished. From the Cornell-Weiman Nobel Prize Lecture.
Dear Bill: Thank you for having specified your question. The answer would be in my mind that the chance that two protons collide in such a way that two quarks inside collide head-on is very very minuscule. CERN itself gave such estimates 4 1/2 years ago, which I always used as the basis of my own warnings. They claimed at the time that at best they would get one black hole per second. And that, after ten days’ time, one specimen produced might be slow enough to stay inside earth. In short: It is their estimates, not mine, that indicate the level of danger. Thank you very much for your kind insisting, Otto
Dear Thomas: Yes, I looked into that a bit. The consensus here appears to be that while the quantum states of the electronic features of the atoms in question do merge, those of the nuclei do not. Or if some of the nuclear ones do, those of the smallest constituents of the nuclei do not in view of their much higher energies — much too high to be affected by the not low enough low temperatures used.
Maybe an expert in the field would care to confirm this so far in my eyes quite plausible disclaimer?
Maybe even Professor Cornell himself would care to give a comment?
The answer would be in my mind that the chance that two protons collide in such a way that two quarks inside collide head-on is very very minuscule.
So just to clarify are you then saying that the chance of this is so minuscule that even after 6 quadrillion collisions there could still be a good change that the hypothesized threat would not have materialized yet? I guess the point is that these numbers would indicate that the chance of this worst case scenario you project is far less likely then you have suggested in the past. I bring up the numbers because as we continue to discuses the issue of safety in regards to the LHC, it would certainly seam prudent to consider the years of operation without incident, or negative effect.
Dear Bill: Thank you for exercizing reason so well. Rationality is such a great treat when showing its face in the open. Quarks are indeed so minuscule that very, very many proton collisions are needed before two collide head-on — to produce a black hole in case the LHC energy happens to suffice for that. Then comes the next uncertain number: very rarely only will the black hole produced have a sufficiently small momentum not to immediately leave the earth. So indeed very large numbers of collisions are needed to generate a finite danger. And then, of course, is there this unfortunate waiting delay — even if one black hole stays inside earth, it is so tiny that despite its exponential growth there it will remain innocuous for years to come. All of this was known from the beginning, including the remarkable fact that CERN’s sensors are unable to register the successful production of black holes. The excuse for the strange behavior of CERN’s — not to admit a safety conference or an update of its safety report or safety page of 2008 — is that the many scientists working there “did not believe” that my results, sent to them and put on the Internet and eventually published in early 2012, hold water. In many cases, a scientific consensus built-up in the absence of a single counterproof to a result presented is quite reliable. There is something like a “scientific nose” which does no need a counterproof to know that something is not to be taken seriously. This finite risk appeared worth taking to CERN and to all its anonymous supporters of maximally high rank in the scientific hierarchy, who collectively refused to out themselves with an attempt at a counterproof: If everyone “sees” that a new result is nonsense, why bother? This again is a very rational way of proceeding. But — as you realize — so only under “ordinary” circumstances. Ordinary circumstances mean that the risk taken if this bet made out of the hollow belly has a higher degree of gut-felt certainty than the danger incurred when the bet is misplaced. This latter point was the reason that I insisted on a scientific counterproof being offered before the experiment should go on. I did so ever since April 18, 2008 (APetitiontoCERN). I am not angry with CERN or the community. I only say that their behavior was irrational. Forgive me if I proceeded too fast with the above answer. You are probably not yet satisfied with what I replied concerning to the direct point you made?
P.S.: The final word “so” was a misprint.
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