Apr 23, 2012

A muse on why Telemach could actually be a Safety Assurance

Posted by in categories: existential risks, particle physics

The avid reader of Lifeboat may have noticed that the debate on LHC safety assurances has recently swerved here towards discussion on astronomical phenomenology — mainly the continued existence of white dwarfs and neutron stars.

The detailed G&M safety report naturally considers both of these, and considers hypothetical stable MBH capture rates based on a weak CR background flux. It actually overlooks better examples of white dwarfs which are part of a binary pair such as Sirius B, the little companion to one of our closest and brightest stars, Sirius A.

One could argue that white dwarfs are not greatly understood — but the relevant factors to the safety debate are quite understood — density, mass, escape velocity, and approximate age of such observed phenomenon. Only magnetic field effects are up for debate.

If Sirius B captured even one such MBH due to CR bombardment from its companion star in the first say 20 million years of its existence — and it would be difficult to argue that it would not — then that MBH would be accreting for the last 100 million years, through far denser material, and most likely at a much higher velocity, than any MBH captured in the Earth due to LHC collisions. Therefore, given the continued existence of Sirius B, accretion rates would therefore have to be incredibly slow and there would be no significant threat to Earth from what would be a much slower MBH accretion rate here.

In this context, any argument promoting the oft rubbished T-L-M-Ch theorem actually provides us with a safe assurance, in the knowledge that accretion rates must be negligible, that there is also no risk of any heating/micro-explosive effect due to Hawking Radiation, as Telemach refutes HR. In this context it is quite a paradox that Prof O.E. Rossler who derived Telemach has championed it as a safety concern…

In the volatile world we live in today it is unfortunate that other issues are over-dominated by the debate on the safety of one particular industry here that may be no threat whatsoever. It was with pleasure I read The Chaos Point — The World at the Crossroads by Ervin Laszlo recently. As far as I recall, our particle colliders hardly got a mention at all.

And finally to share a very low-key ‘Earth Day’ gig in my local town last weekend I was happy to attend ‘(a) choose or create a pledge (b) once committed you must try and stick to your pledge to the end and © try to start an eco revolution’: It’s a wonderful world.


Comments — comments are now closed.

  1. Jason says:

    Tom, it was great when you came up at the end and sang The Boys are Back in Town. What you lacked in talent and sobriety you more than made up for with enthusiasm. ;)

  2. Tom Kerwick says:

    That would be someone’s benevolent uncle ;-) I can assure you if I took stage it would be quite different. Thanks for taking the time to listen.

  3. Otto E. Rossler says:

    Dear colleague Dr. Tom Kerwick:

    The white-dwarf survival phenomenon is indeed very important. It can decide the safety issue of the LHC. You forced me to see it more clearly than I did when I first addressed it in my paper of early 2008, “A rational and moral and spiritual dilemma.”

    I have four quantitative questions that have a clear-cut answer each about which it is easy to reach a consensus:

    1) How much “hotter” do the natural cosmic-ray protons have to be to generate the same center-of-mass energy as is produced in the LHC? This question, brought up again by Niccolò Toffoli, constrains (strongly reduces) the natural occurrence rate of CERN-analogous miniature black holes on the surface of white dwarfs.

    2) How small (in terms of their maximum allowed diameter) do the uncharged miniature black holes have to be in order not to get stuck during a single passage through a white dwarf? (And during all such passages over the latter’s lifetime?) This question can be answered using the empirical trapping rate of near-luminal neutrinos inside earth, and determining how much leeway this rate gives us. (Guess: 100 times a quark diameter as obtained by the neutrino trapping rate.)

    3) How long does such a quite small black hole have to circle inside earth before hitting upon a first quark (from which moment on its further growth proceeds exponentially as I showed in 2008)?

    4) The obtained – rather large – temporal estimate is reduced markedly by the ratio between the near-luminal speed of the natural miniature black holes generated on the surface of celestial bodies and the at most Keplerian speed of the first artificial one circling inside earth. The reduction is owed to the proportionally increased residence time inside nucleons and the near-luminal speed of the quarks.

    In this way, a revised quantitative estimate of the LHC-induced danger can be obtained. It may turn out to be considerably smaller than I assumed so far. I thank you for having forced this revision of one of two previously incompatible positions.

  4. Tom Kerwick says:

    Prof Rossler — no worries. I suggested a figure of as much as 3×10^(19) CR over the lifetime of Sirius B with similar or more centre of mass energy to LHC collisions in our previous discussion, though even if grossly over-estimated, it’s still more a question of whether some MBH produced by these can reduce to sub-5,000 km/sec in traversal — best of luck.

  5. Otto E. Rossler says:

    Dear Tom:
    Please, be so kind as to go through my 4 points. Especially tell the readers your quantitative answer to Tottoli’s question (how many TeV of cosmic rays are equivalent to CERN’s twice 4 TeV). And kindly explain your 1019 number (forgive me that I am not currently aware of its derivation). And what is the conclusion you draw yourself regarding the maximum black-hole size compatible with the empirical longevity of white dwarfs?
    Thank you,

  6. Tom Kerwick says:

    Otto — my apologies. The 3×10^(19) is based on the accepted official value of 3×10^(21) for Earth, considerably less due to shorter lifetime and lower relative flux, but still a very high figure regardless of how one subsequently applies magnetic field effects (imho).

    The capture rates of resultant MBH are already widely explored in the G&M paper for white dwarfs with much lower flux and in this context it would be difficult to argue a case for zero capture — best of luck with challenging this.

    I can best answer your other question indirectly — millions of times longer than the process would take on Sirius B considering its much greater density and escape velocity:

    100,000 times the density of Earth, with 5,000 km/s MBH velocities vs 10 km/s for Earth’s, which would give a safety assurance of trillions of years based on its 120 million years…

  7. Otto E. Rossler says:

    Dear Tom: The numbers you quote have nothing to do with my questions. Shall I make my questions more precise?
    (I did not unerstand what you mean by “millions of times longer”: what is the topic that you thereby refer to? And what velocities are you referring to? It seems we are talking of different scenarios.
    We both do agree that no mBHs are captured naturally, neither by earth nor by white dwarfs, right?)
    Did you hear from CERN?

  8. Tom Kerwick says:

    Otto — no word back from CERN yet. Apologies again for lack of clarity in comments — I was referring to accretion rates on Earth of a captured MBH being millions of times longer than a captured MBH on Sirius B. The velocites relate to escape velocites.

    I don’t agree that MBHs cannot be captured naturally by white dwarfs, but I believe a weakness in the G&M calculations if demonstrated mathematically — such as in our private emails on the incorrect estimation of TeV-scale MBH size — would be the only required argument necessary against safety — and something for a safety conference.

  9. Otto E. Rossler says:

    Dear Tom: Accretion rates of captured black holes are a much later — secondary — topic. In the latter, my submicroquasar argument (exponential growth) takes hold.
    If it is true that any captured mBH will grow exponentially after having absorbed a first quark, the empirical survival of white dwarfs strongly constrains mBH size: right?

    (In this way we slowly work ourt way back into my above quantitative text of April 24, 2012 5:27 am.)

  10. Tom Kerwick says:

    Otto — yes agreed the accretion rates are a secondary topic, I was using this to show the importance of a white dwarf capture to safety assurance.

    As regards white dwarf capture — we seem to be approaching this from different angles — I’d consider the TeV-scale MBH size quite deterministic — though I’ve a request in to the LSAG guys this morning to clarify the rather counter-intuitive G&M estimation of this size.

  11. eq says:

    Agin Otto avoids any serious work or review of the GM paper. Again there is nothing as nonsensical diffuse chatting as answer.

    The point is that he not even think of the possibility that his “accretion model” (of course there is nothing like a serious model from Otto, but lets name it this way) could be utterly wrong. Probably the high density interior of a whithe dwarf is sufficient enough to slow the bh down and capture it?

    In the end he will conclude that from the fact that massive and much denser objects with long lifetimes are indicating danger, not safety. :D

    So, Otto, again the only way to maintain your scaremongering would be to formulate a sound counterargument against GM (mathematically rigorous) and present a alternative model, of course on a sufficient mathematical basis.

  12. I introduce the rule for myself to ignore anonymous postings from now on.
    The planet has no time for games for the game’s sake. He or she who is serious will be able to find an honest way to express their opinion.

  13. eq says:

    otto, obviously the planet has enought time. This is proven by your strange avoidance for years now to present sound scientific papers, rigorous arguments and so on. It is amazing how much time yau waste with agitation and propaganda where the only proper way would be to write a counterargument against GM and others. of course mathematically and physically conclusive.

    You have proven that you are not interested in the planet but in yourself being on the big stage.

    However, the task of adressing the GM arguments will not vanish only because you flee again in this ridiculous anonymity-discussion. :D

  14. Richard Roache says:


    After Roessler is pregnant with the frivolous promise lifeboat could invite him to somewhat called as his safety conference, he won’t depending on persons regading his bullshit too critical. Sometimes, after Tom loosed his illusions talking to CERN on an equal footing, Otto will return performing the next rabbit out of his hat.

  15. PassingByAgain says:

    @eq and Roache: can’t you see that this blog is dying out? Just leave Otto and Kerwick to their duet and stop fueling Otto’s delusion that anybody cares about him.

  16. Tom Kerwick says:

    Dear Otto, as there is not the slightest observational evidence of black hole capture by white dwarfs (i.e. they are not observed to be consumed by black hole growth) and as capture rates of hypothetical stable MBH due to CR flux on such are already derived in the G&M 2008 paper– one would have to conclude that such hypothetical stable MBH do not exist or do not accrete sufficiently to cause concern — unless one could disprove that such can be captured by white dwarfs — which would be quite a revelation. Be serious- Tom.

  17. Otto E. Rossler says:

    (Quote:) “as capture rates of hypothetical stable MBH due to CR flux on such [white dwarfs] are already derived in the G&M 2008 paper”

    This paper is deriving nothing. The assumption they make in their formulas are just that – assumptions. Their “results” were disproved in 2008. The authors fear to respond like hell ever since.

    Such “scientists” are the religious leaders of a planet gone crazy: It is so rewarding to give credit to these high-paid magicians who did not write a single new report for four years in the very field for which they are being paid as CERN’s “lsag” – LHC Safety Assessment Group.

    The fraudulence displayed by CERN is nowhere more palpable than here. The whole world is led to believe that they needed not reply to disproof of their claims. Of course, Stephen Hawking also keeps silent. But: he has an excuse! I am asking the planet: What is the excuse of Giddings and Mangano?

    I wrote them a kind letter two days ago. Instead of answering just let Tom reproach for not having prevented my mentioning his name as a co-recipient of my E-mail to them.

    Maybe they are right with their unfounded claims. I wish nothing more than that. But anyone who says they are right can do so only by adding “this is my personal heartfelt belief for which I am ready to die but for which I do not have the slightest shred of evidence.”

    Not a single string theorist on the planet supports them – even though this purely speculative field is the only quantitative evidence they adduce.

    Also not a single serious scientist on the planet defends CERN. For he or she would have to say why the proofs of danger are wrong. Ask the media people if they know of a single supporter of CERN’s in terms of a counterargument to Telemach or to the exponential quasar-growth theorem or to the neutron-star quantum guardian angel theorem.

    Ask nobelist Riccardo Giacconi why he despises “the theoreticians.” They cut the money to finish his biggest discovery, the ultra-distant ultrahigh-redshift X-ray quasars. The big-bang superstition which he would have disproved reflects the allegedly “healthy” state of but a single research community still allowed on the planet in the field, with common prejudice replacing the infinite humility and openness to the new – the benefit of the doubt – that is the only hallmark of a healthy science.

    There is not a single serious scientific defender of the big bang on the planet, but all media “know the truth.” The previous pope asked Stephen Hawking’s promise – not to become a Christian but: “to never give up his allegiance to the big-bang.” A myth, in other words, which has nothing to do with religion, as Saint Augustine proved in a more rational age (that an eternity can have been created a moment ago).

    Modern science, as represented by CERN, is not science but collective superstition; the Aztecs were more rational.

    I exempt every single hardworking scientist who works in an “uninfected” field of which there are still many left. Only the “big unified fields” – like “astrophysics-cum-elementary-particle-physics-cum-cosmology” – are fraudulent. They serve other needs of humankind than that for the truth.

    Not a single journalist on the planet registers the fact that the custom of proof and disproof as a method of progress has been abandoned in most but not all high-paid fields, by the custom of consensus-based proceeding in both research and publishing. This is exactly the Aztec method.

    Pure superstition, but very satisfactory to onlookers. A collective autodafé aspired-to as the new baptism of a whole planet: Poor humankind. Einstein’s friend Leo Szilard saw it all coming.

  18. eq says:

    Otto — You have disproved nothing with your ridiculous so called “papers”.

    Even according to your own criteria for counterproofs you have not shown anything like that. You have neither drawn different conclusions from the same assumptions in a scientific / mathematically rigorous and non-ambiguous (ok, we know that for a crank like you the latter might be really difficult..), nor have you shown in a similar scientific way that the assumptions might be wrong.

    So far you have not even shown that you know their assumptions. Your few comments about the alleged content and arguments of the GM paper imply in fact that after 4 years you still do not know what you are talking about. Good examples are your nonsenical claims they would use linear growth models or string theory.

    It is quite amusing to see again that the only reply you can write is pure unbased agitation against the scientists.

  19. ghdihacfk says:

    “Not a single string theorist on the planet supports them – even though this purely speculative field is the only quantitative evidence they adduce. ”

    No, they do not use string theory Mr Roessler. And still you have to prove their “fraudulent behavior”.

    As far as everyony can see you are just screaming around wrong and offending statements. This proves you being a serious scientist and a man of character.

  20. Otto E. Rossler says:

    Dear anonymous eq: You are still refusing to give a theorem that contradicts one of mine. The world is waiting for you to step forward.