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Peter Steinberg | USLHC | USA

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Speaking of Cosmics…

As reported in the Times (which generally makes things “real”, at least in the US, right?), the CERN-appointed LHC Safety Assessment Group (LSAG) has finally come out with its report.

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) can achieve an energy that no other particle accelerators have reached before, but Nature routinely produces higher energies in cosmic-ray collisions. Concerns about the safety of whatever may be created in such high-energy particle collisions have been addressed for many years. In the light of new experimental data and theoretical understanding, the LHC Safety Assessment Group (LSAG) has updated a review of the analysis made in 2003 by the LHC Safety Study Group, a group of independent scientists.

LSAG reaffirms and extends the conclusions of the 2003 report that LHC collisions present no danger and that there are no reasons for concern. Whatever the LHC will do, Nature has already done many times over during the lifetime of the Earth and other astronomical bodies. The LSAG report has been reviewed and endorsed by CERN’s Scientific Policy Committee, a group of external scientists that advises CERN’s governing body, its Council.

“Nature has already generated on Earth as many collisions as about a million LHC experiments – and the planet still exists”. It almost makes the LHC sound boring since it’s been done over and over again and nothing “happened”. Fine, no one was looking in the right place, and individual microscopic collisions generally have no macroscopic effects (right?) but still. In any case, I think it’s great that CERN has really rolled up their sleeves and addressed this issue head-on. I’ll report back after having a chance to read it more carefully — but I’m already psyched finally to see the inclusion of actual RHIC data!

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4 responses to “Speaking of Cosmics…”

  1. Robert I. Marsh II says:

    Re-read the issued ‘safety reports’ carefully, and ask yourself: “What does my gut feel, that’s really going on here?!?” CERN LSAG (Right Now) is grappling with multiple variable calculation paradoxes, and yet Michelangelo Mangano (and others) have penned an expedited safety report. There are 8 Billion reasons why! The disaster scenarios: Quantum Wormhole, Blackhole, and Strangelet creation, would probably reside within the ALICE Lead(Pb) Heavy Ion Collisions at full-power. This will not be financed, and complete until between October 2008, and sometime in 2009. I have had direct dealings with CERN LSAG, and their candy-coated, unprofessional, dismissive, arrogant, and ‘Unsinkable’ attitude! If nothing goes wrong, then it will be by a shear miracle, because extreme arrogance can pilot us toward disaster! Any history lesson here?

  2. David Levine says:

    I guess this report is something of a comfort. There’s certainly nothing boring about the LHC, but it’s interesting to note the fearful reactions elicited from folks who are not fans of physics. Personally, I worry a little when I hear the physicists (the glib ones anyway) freely admit that they don’t really know what will happen at these hitherto unattainable energies. And let’s face it, black holes are scary. Ever since that horrid Disney movie with Maximilian Schell …

    There is an odd little blog call the LHCountdown.com, which purports to be counting down (to the second) the time to activation of the collider. The commentary is almost exclusively fear and loathing, though I cannot read the Cyrillic comments so I don’t know what they are. We have so many wonderful scifi images of various man-caused apocalypses, that the LHC is a natural target for these imaginings.

    Attempting to maintain a balanced picture of the amazing endeavor, I can only imagine that LHC will teach us new and important things about the stuff of the universe. But that nagging feeling persists that one answered question opens doors to a hundred more unanswered ones. Thanks again to all the bloggers for providing these fascinating glimpses into the project!

  3. Robert I. Marsh II says:

    Any disaster scenarios (Quantum Wormhole, Blackhole, Strangelet Transition) would most likely occur, inside ALICE (Pb) Heavy Ion Collisions, scheduled (once financed) for 2009, at optimum full-power. This is due to the Hyper-Density Plasma Waves, that are generated during these collisions. The longer the event-duration, the production of Gravitational Waves become intensified. This could cause a curvature in Space/Time, leading to the formation of a Vortex Ring, that would allow a compression singularity to form. An Event-Horizon would be created in this environment, by a forced equilibrium state, and could stabilize. The beams residual path, would ‘jet-stream’ into the singularity. This additional energy boost, would provide for a Horizon Expansion. The scale of outcome reads: relativistic Time-shifts, incremented all the way to a non-subsiding Quantum Wormhole. To disturb Quantum Pathways, that can alter Nuclear Positionings, changing structural integrity and gravity; can create the curvature in Space/Time, and lead to the formation of a Quantum Einstein-Rosen Bridge (Wormhole), within the Heisenberg ‘Uncertainty’ Principle framework. Under these conditions, the experiment would move outside of containment, and come in direct contact with the Cryonic-Superconductor Dipole Magnets, and Detector Array!

  4. Robert I. Marsh II says:

    With half of the ‘Standard Model’ missing, within the mathematical haze of pure speculation (guessing), it will take the LHC experiments to extricate the physics community from their current stagnated quagmire position! LHC is based designed upon the ‘Standard Model’ interpretations, and at least one standard model sector, will have sweeping tsunami changes, with the mathematicians and physicists scrambling wildly, to make calculation corrections. A brave new world! No doubt the future world desperate energy needs lie in LHC, but the production course should be traveled with extreme caution!