May 3, 2011

Dear Mr. President:

Posted by in categories: existential risks, particle physics

Please, declare that I am wrong if I say that my proof stands undefeated that the citizens of the U.S. are currently subject to an attempt on their lives by the European Nuclear Research Council.

(The probability that the planet will be shrunk to 2 cm in a few years’ time is of the order of 8 percent if the LHC experiment is not halted immediately, according to my calculations based on Einstein’s equivalence principle published three years ago.)

I desire nothing more than a refutation but no scientist dares come forward so far. Ask Stephen Hawking.

Only your authority can cut through the Gordian knot. I subject myself to your judgment.

Otto E. Rossler, chaos researcher, University of Tubingen, Germany (For J.O.R., May 3, 2011)


Comments — comments are now closed.

  1. In the President’s absence… Respectfully — you are wrong. The idea that the CERN was going to destroy the Earth was given the scrutiny it deserved and found completely implausible. Cosmic rays hitting Earth’s atmosphere have orders of magnitude more energy and do not cause planet-swallowing black holes when they collide with Earth’s atmospheric particles. The, in comparison, tinker-toy LHC has no hope of destroying the Earth.

  2. Otto E. Rossler says:

    Dear Mr. Nerlich:
    Thank you for this second letter, too. “In the president’s absence” this is highly appreciated. As I explained in my answer to you a few minutes ago in the other Lifeboat blog, “tinker-toy” CERN as you call it here, for unknown reasons suppresses the correct information (that only neutron stars would be at risk from nature’s fast analogs to CERN’s artificial ultra-slow mini-black holes, were they not miraculously protected by quantum mechanics). CERN refuses the scientific safety conference proposed 3 years ago and requested anew by the Cologne Administrative Court Cologne last January.

  3. Ed sweet says:

    1 in 100000 black holes produced by lhc, at maximum, will be moving slower than earth escape velocity. also, hom many high energy collisions between two cosmic rays would have led to mini black holes in the solar system in the last four billion years, that move slow enough to get captured by the sun or a planet. Collisions between two cosmic rays do happen sometimes, and some would lead to slow moving black holes over four billion years, though most resulting black holes would be moving fast.

  4. Ed Sweet says:

    If the LHC’s collisions produce black holes, and they do not evaporate, the collisions of cosmic rays with Earth (and the Sun, and the planets, and the stars) should also produce a huge number of mini-black holes. These will be harmless, since they will mostly be moving at nearly the speed of light. However, if they don’t evaporate(and last forever), the universe will be littered with them. Would they have detectable effects?

  5. Ed Sweet says:

    Also — sometimes, two cosmic rays will collide with enough energy to produce black holes…rarely, but it happens sometimes. A simple momentum balance shows that in the great majority of cases, these two-cosmic-ray-holes will be moving very fast. Occasionally, the cosmic rays will be matched well enough in momentum and opposite direction that a black hole hearly at rest will form. How often this happens, I do not know. But it should have happened many times in the hostory of the SOlar System, and some of these holes would have orbits intersecting the SUn or a planet.

  6. Ed Sweet says:

    I this has odds high enough to have happened more than once in the history of the Solar System, how come some of the planets are not black holes?

    Will someone please give me tho odds of this happening, using Dr. Rossler’s assumptions? I will only believe Dr. Rossler if someone demonsrtaes to me that at-rest black holes formed by two colliding cosmic rays are rare enough that essentially none formed within our Solar System.

  7. Ed Sweet says:

    Because some bould orbit through a planet or the SUn (and what about White Dwarf stars, while we’re at it…

  8. Otto E. Rossler says:

    Dear Mr. Sweet:
    I was asked the same question by Niccolò Toffoli once, and we convinced ourselves that the density of those — both mutually straight and equally fast in both directions — collisions of equal cosmic ray particles is quite low in the impressively vast quarters of the universe and a certain small region of interest. I also reckon that CERN would have presented an opposite result. But I agree wholeheartedly with you that a paper on this topic is overdue.

  9. Ed Sweet says:

    Thank you,

    Would be very interested in seeing a paper on this topic.

    Ed Sweet

  10. Niccolò Tottoli says:

    Dear Mr. Sweet, dear Mr. Nerlich, dear Otto Rössler

    CERN and their (own) safety group LSAG say that all what happens at CERN does happen naturally on Earth too. They say that since the existence of the planet nature has conducted about hundred thousand entire LHC-experiments and the Earth does still exist. After that they tell how many LHC-experiments have been conducted at the sun, then in the Milky Way and then in the Universe. See LSAG report, page 4.
    I have read the LSAG report and counted the comparisons of cosmic ray collisions with ‘LHC experiments‘ over 14 times, then I gave up. It is also interestant that they like to refer to it, each time if they have no closing proof of safety. Is it usual in science to research such catastrophic risks (the destruction of earth or in case of false vacuum the destruction of the entire Universe) like this ?
    How rare are the naturally formed Micro Black Holes ? Nobody knows. CERN does even not know at what energy they will be formed. I have asked a Physics Professor who is working there. If we would know at what energy they will be formed then we could make a calculation with all necessary parameters and factors, for example the shadow of Earth, the direction and the velocity of the particles, the gravity, etc.
    MAC has once made a calculation concerning the theme and Marc Fasnacht has made the conclusion of 0,000’000’0045 natural collisions would have resulted in a Micro Black Hole, since the existence of Earth, slow enough to be entrapped on Earth. This is very probable not a single one…!
    Who can read German, here is it:
    And here:…f_th#c5415
    We are talking about infinitely stable, uncharged Micro Black Holes (MBH), which could just be detected via loss of energy — but what about metastable Micro Black Holes or other (possibly dangerous) exotic particles ? Probably it depends on their lifetime, on their reactivity, on their speed in respect to celestial bodies and similar aspects. I am thinking for example about the “moderator” in nuclear reactors. It is for slowing down the particles. Too fast particles would not react with the fuel of the reactor. In some cases, various speeds can mean various reactivities.
    It is perhaps not the same too, whether collisions take place high in the atmosphere or at the surface of Earth.
    I am not sure whether the calculation of MAC and Marc is right or not but I am pretty sure that nature has not yet collided pairs of nearly equal fast protons or lead ions, head-on, 20 centimeters or less above the surface of celestial bodies in our entire milky way ! Just CERN does it.
    Calculations of CERN / LSAG (see link, page 4) are just in respect to fast cosmic rays hitting slow atoms of Earth and that will result in fast MBH, probably going through Earth and leaving it again. Higher energies result in faster MBHs.
    The ‘density‘ resp. luminosity of the particle beam is an other difference between nature and the LHC — but CERN / LSAG ignores such facts and say that “exactly the same” would happen on Earth, which is untrue…

    Thanks to all for their interest and sorry if my English is bad.

    Best regards,

    N. Tottoli

  11. Ed Sweet says:

    Professor Tottoli,

    Whether the black holes were entrapped by the Earth is irrelevant — there are seven other planets and the Sun — any black holes entrapped by these bodies would have caused them to collapse by now…

    What about collisions slow enough to be entrapped by the Sun…since they don’t evaporate, these black holes would still be in the solar system, orbiting the Sun, if they were formed moving slower than the solar escape velocity at formation distance from the Sun (i.e. 16 miles per second or slower within Earth’s orbit, any time since the Sun formed?

    And what about the select fraction moving slow enough that their orbits actually intersect the sun itself (albeit a small fraction, but still probably a few in the history of the Solar System? After a number of passes through the sun, in a wide elliptical orbit, the mass would grow, and the hole’s orbit would eventually wind up within the Sun.

    How many black holes fitting these conditions would have been formed since the Solar System was formed?

    And what about stars that expand into red giants, engulfing any black holes in orbit around them?

    Ed Sweet

  12. Niccolò Tottoli says:

    Dear Mr. Ed Sweet

    Here is my response. Sorry for delay, I have seen your message just now.

    Yes there are more than 7 other planets, many asteroides, the sun and so on — but natural (stable or metastable) micro black holes that are formed on celestial bodies are very fast in respect to their birth place, so they would probably just fly through it, if they are uncharged and if their (initial) growth rate is small enough.
    It is possible that all naturally formed micro black holes have been fast enough, to escape the solar system since its existence.
    Just stable micro black holes that would be formed by frontal collisions, in which both collision partners would have almost the same speed relative to reachable celestial bodies, could cause some danger. But such high energetic “LHC-like” frontal collisions are very rare, and the distance between celestial bodies is very long. CERN should be neutral and make some fair calculations in respect to such arguments.

    If we do not know every possible (stable or metastable) exotic particle (not just micro black holes) and if we do not know their lifetime, their conditions of origin and their reactivity under different conditions and velocities and if we do not consider all possible(!) differences between cosmic ray collisions and collisions at the LHC, then we can not tell whether the LHC is safe or not.
    An other point is that cosmic ray protons with 14TeV or greater have never directly observed, just the secondary ray showers have been observed. Who knows whether the very rare cosmic ray “events” with 14TeV or greater are protons ?

    Thank you for discussion.

    Best regards,

    Niccolò Tottoli
    Ps.: I am not a “Professor”, otherwise my English would be perhaps better. You can say Niccolò, if you like.

  13. Niccolò Tottoli says:

    Dear Mr. Ed Sweet

    I like your ideas in the 3rd paragraph, concerning slow and stable micro black holes. Other orbits could be thinkable too, for example in a galaxy but who could calculate it?

    Best regards,


  14. I think the president of the United States will appreciate this discussion.

  15. Niccolò Tottoli says:

    Perhaps I should go more into the details. One needs a cosmic ray proton with an energy of 100,000 TeV to have a collision energy of 14 TeV if it is striking a stationary proton high up in the atmosphere. The formula is on page 28 of the GM-paper, CERNs/LSAGs paper concerning the safety/risk of micro black holes.
    One just needs to read the LSAG-report or the references of the LSAG-report, to understand that there is no proof that (the rare) cosmic rays with energies greater than 100‘000TeV would be protons.
    Therefore and because about the other reasons that I have told here CERNs cosmic ray argument that “it would happen on earth” is not a sound basis as a safety argument to run the LHC.
    Best regards and good luck to all!

  16. Otto E. Rossler says:

    Thank you, Mr. Tottoli!