Jul 12, 2011

Can the World Live with the Logic of CERN?

Posted by in categories: existential risks, particle physics

Pascal claimed: When the size of a potential punishment is infinite, any finite advantage gained by taking the risk is stupid.

CERN does not dispute that the so far un-disproved Telemach theorem predicts that its currently running LHC experiment will shrink the planet to 2 cm in perhaps five years’ time with a finite probability (8 percent?).

But CERN refuses since January 27, 2011 the “scientific safety conference” requested by a court to disprove the danger if possible, and continues instead.

Pascal would say that this behavior is incompatible with reason. Is there any citizen on the planet not being an employee of CERN who agrees with the logic of CERN? For example, a member of the UN Security Council?

For J.O.R.


Comments — comments are now closed.

  1. Thisguyinthatbasement says:

    Pascal also said, when you mix governance And science with politics, you get a major mind fuck, otherwise know. As religion. Socialism, atheistic religion, all the other extremes in spiritual religions, same thing.

    Any other bullshit you have in mind? civilization is getting pretty old of this crap. It’s the 21st century. Stfu or get elimintdd, inidividual or nation alike.

    Now that’s utilitarian. Take a basic course I science before you pretend to quote pascal you mental fettuchini.

  2. Robert Houston says:

    The previous comment by “Thisguy…” is obscene verbal abuse. It should be removed by the editors. Is such irresponsible gutter-talk really representative of the mindset of CERN supporters? Let’s hope not.

    Cambridge astrophysicist Martin Rees once wrote, “How should society guard against being unknowingly exposed to a not-quite-zero risk of an event with an almost infinite downside?” Along with his Cambridge colleague, physicist Adrian Kent, Dr. Rees asked, in regard to colliders, “How low would the alleged risk have to be before we would give our informed consent to these experiments? There is no specific countervailing benefit to the rest of us, so the level would surely be far lower than the experimenters might willingly accept on their own behalf” (Rees, Our Final Hour, 2003, p 127–128).

    Following the analysis of Adrian Kent, Rees points out that if UK government guidelines on radiation hazards “were applied to the accelerator experiment…we would require an assurance that the chance of catastrophe was below one in a thousand trillion…” (Ib., p 129).

    Instead, CERN conducted its 2008 safety review with no risk assessment experts and no quantitative risk assessment at all. The LHC project may be the single greatest threat in history to the survival of humanity, for it could generate dangerous phenomena such as black holes and strangelets, which may be capable of world destruction.

  3. Yes. And the only cost that can be saved by not checking the proof of this danger laid before the world is a one-week interruption of an experiment that needs to be interrupted for similar periods anyhow from time to time.

    Every world citizen is waiting for the Security Council to say a word.

  4. Hansel says:

    Are the black holes also waiting for your conference? :D

    The LHC is already running for more than one year now. Nothing happened.

  5. Robert Houston says:

    We do not know that “nothing happened,” nor that nothing will happen. As Dr. Rossler has noted, without the signature of Hawking radiation black holes produced at the LHC would go undetected. They become likelier with the ever increasing luminosity and with the doubling of energy set to occur in 2014.

    Furthermore, Dr. Rossler has calculated that once formed a microscopic black hole would take at least 5 years to do its dirty work, with little warning before the final implosion of the Earth to the size of a marble.

    The strangelet scenario is also quite scary and does not require extra dimensions. Strangely, CERN has released no information about what CASTOR, its strangelet detector at CMS, may have detected in last Fall’s heavy ion experiment.

  6. Johnny Brown says:

    @Hansel: They are bringing it up to speed slowly. Hawking has revised his theories many times. When you are talking about the probability of a experiment destroying our home Earth, it will never be worth knowing, because we won’t be here to use that knowledge. But, statistically, what we should and can count on, is that our theories have been wrong before.

  7. Johnny Brown says:

    I hate typos. *an experiment,

  8. Otto E. Rossler says:

    Thankyou both for your help.

  9. PassingByAgain says:

    Could you please elaborate on how you obtained your often-quoted 8% probability estimate?

    And while you are at it, could you please start answering the questions in the other thread: How do you define the “local period” T in your Eq.(1)? Is its dimension seconds or 1/seconds?

  10. TRMG says:

    How the time scale of 5 years comes about would also be interesting. There obviously are some people who believe that this number is actually based on a calculation of accretion times. Can you elaborate on this too?

  11. Hansel says:

    Additionally the time scale does not change although the machine is running.

    I would like to see the calculation for the time and the 8% chance. And why the creation of black holes seems to depend in a strange way on Rösslers conference. :D

  12. Otto E. Rossler says:

    Dear children if I am allowed to call you so in a respectful fashion:

    The clock period T is usually defined in minutes or seconds or whatever time unit you choose: a certain multiple of a temporal wavelength.

    My “time scale” of five years as you call it is a very rough estimate, as I always emphasize. It is virtually impossible to predict from a not exactly known initial condition how long an exponential sequence of mass doublings of a not exactly known standard duration will take. I convinced myself that 5 years is a reasonable lower estimate if thinking of the worst possibility is of paramount importance.

    My 8 percent estimate is “harder.” It is based on the fact that I could prove that the electron diameter is finite — a first empirical confirmation of (some simile to) string theory. The smallest mass that replaces the Planck mass then is a certain unknown number of orders of magnitude away from the latter’s 1016 TeV. We already know or believe that 1 TeV was not enough. So about 15 orders of magnitude remain available. In the absence of any other hint, the 15 remaining mass classes are equally probable each. This yields about 8 percent.

    It is hereby presupposed that the luminosity needed to generate a first sufficiently slow miniblack hole has been reached. So the 8 percent hopefully have not yet been consummated, so that switching the LHC off immediately until proven safe still makes sense. I have reasons to believe that we still have a chance.

    If you wish you can try to give better estimates; this makes no difference whatsoever for the question of whether the risk in question (remaining finite and real) should be accepted — as CERN does for a year in the name of you and me and every other living and future person on the planet — or not.

    Nevertheless I am of course curious to obtain alternative pairs of estimate from my readers.

  13. Hansel says:

    Unbelieveable. How can someone write so many unfounded non sequiturs in one post?

    Now he has proved string theory as well..very interesting. What a genius!

  14. Hansel says:

    “calculation of accretion times.”

    It is obvious that there is again nothing serious behind it.

  15. Robert Houston says:

    “Children” was an overly respectful term for the snotty brats who heckle here. Whatever their age, they write with the immaturity of insolent boors. A news story today seems emplematic of how such gleeful self-amusement and disregard for safety can lead to tragic consequences:

    “HONOLULU (AP) — Witnesses who watched a Northern California man get sucked into a Maui blow hole to his apparent death say that the tourist was dancing around and frolicking in the sprays of water moments before a wave knocked him down.”

    As astrophysicist Martin Rees stated: “applied to the accelerator experiment, taking the world’s population as being at risk…we would require an assurance that the chance of catastrophe was below one in a thousand trillion” (Our Final Hour, p 129).

  16. PassingByAgain says:

    Rossler: “My 8 percent estimate is […] based on the fact that I could prove that the electron diameter is finite – a first empirical confirmation of (some simile to) string theory […]”

    So your estimate is based on the fact that you could provide a confirmation of string theory? Well, that’s a truly groundbreaking result!!! Where is it that you published it, Physical Review Letters or Nature? Or wait, perhaps it was Chaos, Solitons and Fractals?

    BTW, let’s be mercifully silent on what the rest of the paragraph reveals on your understanding of probability (it’s nearly up there with your colleague Walter “50−50″ Wagner).

  17. Hansel says:

    “Chaos, Solitons and Fractals”

    But only before El Naschie was kicked out. :D

  18. Ridicule without substance, and in addition anonymous, is a negative help for the other side on which not a single opponent with a scientific name dares raise his head.

    Dead silence shown by the scientific community is the last weapon the CERNian invasion on planet earth can muster. Why the palpable fear of my colleagues to lose their good names? Why the equally palpable fear of the world press to ask one of those famous names so that the person asked gives an answer that can be responded to, so the public can get an impression of where the correct position in the scientific conflict may possibly lie?

    Of course, may be, I would act in the same manner in their place — after CERN went ahead and still charges ahead against better reason in defiance of the pledge by a court to admit the scientifiv safety conference for a brief interrupt.

    CERN could be so forthcoming as to say what percentage of the originally hoped-for luminosity it has in the meantime reached — the luminosity which three years ago was supposed to generate one black hole per second and one sufficiently slow not to be able to fly away from earth, every ten days.

    If that luminosity has already been reached — so that stopping the experiment makes no sense any more -, then I declared long ago that I would cease being critical and become CERN’s best ally to mute the world’s fear. Acting in any other way would be immoral.

    At the time being, I am still optimistic that only a small fraction of that danger has been accumulated.

    Please, dear colleague CERN director Rolf Heuer:
    Give the world an answer to this question.
    Thank you.

  19. Hanselllll says:

    Ridicule without substance

    That is a good description of your “scientific work”

  20. Otto E. Rossler says:

    Why the hatred?

    I promised my young readers who suddenly keep silent about Eq.(1) of Telemach also an explicit quantitative version to my verbal proof given yesterday that Eq.(1) is equivalent to Einstein’s Eq.(30a):

    Einstein said: f_up/f_down = 1+z, with z = Phi/c^2;

    Telemach says: P_down/P_up = 1+z, with z = Phi/z^2,

    with f_up = K/P_up, f_down = K/P_down, K constant.

    (Einstein wrote sigma and tau for f_up and f_down, respectively;
    I wrote T_tail for P_down and T_tip for P_up.)

    Hence Telemach merely repeats Einstein. I expect no objections any more from the crowd. Take care.

  21. PassingByAgain says:

    Interesting, so now you claim that T_tip = K/sigma. But:

    1) what is K? Is it dimensionless? If it’s not dimensionless, what are its dimensions? You cannot introduce a new variable just like that, without explaining what it is.

    2) if K is dimensionless (i.e., just a number), and sigma has dimension of time, then your T_tip has dimension of 1/time, i.e. it is a frequency (in contradiction with some of your earlier statements, but not with others). Is that the case?

    3) if on the other hand K is not dimensionless, you should be able to express it in terms of fundamental constants (e.g. c). Again. what is K?

  22. TRMG says:

    “Again. what is K?”

    Probably “Planck time squared,” but it doesn’t matter. It’s still a frequeny with a weird dimension then.

  23. Otto E. Rossler says:

    It is something that cancels out because it appears both in the enumerator and the denominator.

    Any more objections?

  24. PassingByAgain says:

    As usual, you haven’t answered the question: what is K?

    Without a definition of K, T_tip remains undefined and we cannot move on to discussing your eq.(2). Is T_tip a frequency or not?

    And would you please stick to just one comment thread?

  25. Dear PasserBy:

    I am follwoing you around — should I not?

    I gave a definition of T_tip above.

  26. PassingByAgain says:

    back to the other thread, please

  27. robomoon says:

    Pascal knew about the risk. But here are many critics arguing against Pascal. They seem to be too much satisfied by a very finite advantage. Belief in nuclear deterrence remains critical. “The Making of the Limited Test Ban Treaty, 1958–1963″ is citing “Prospective Results of New Series of Soviet Atmospheric Tests,” 26 April 1962: “In light of the ‘political and psychological advantages’ that the Soviets had gained from their nuclear tests, the analysts believed…” So here are two later scientists taking the “psychological advantage” of technologies that endanger the higher life forms on Earth, into question: Pauling and Schweitzer. Peace or atomic war…38;lang=en states: “… the chemist and Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling delivered a petition to the UNO in New York, signed by Albert Schweitzer and 9235 other scientists. The resolution urged an international agreement to stop nuclear weapons tests.” Actually, the CTBT –Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty –described at works in that direction to become very reasonable psychological advantages within a particle test ban treaty.

  28. Otto E. Rossler says:

    Einstein made the remark to Linus Pauling: “I made one mistake in my life.” Very few people have only one mistake in their lives. The mistake was not to find a way to dispersuade the President in time.

    Can you help me — any one reader — to dispersuade the president of CERN in time?

  29. robomoon says:

    Are CERN Council and their President, Professor Spiro, correctly informed by concerned scientists with a real name in here? The President has to be confronted with the psychological advantage of counteraction against risk explained at and related texts incl. important blog articles like the above.