Saturday, July 05, 2008

Better get your affairs in order!

Photo taken of planet Earth about 7 years before its demise in late '08.

Later this summer, in August -- if all goes as planned, the world's most powerful atom smasher ever built on Earth will be turned on. Buried 330 feet underground, the Large Hadron Collider, as it is known, straddles the border between Switzlerland and France. It has a circumference of 17 miles and once operational, scientists are hoping to learn more about the Universe in which we reside.

Insights into invisible matter and extra dimensions may be gained. But some are concerned that science is stepping beyond its knowledge base from the expected to potential unexpected results once the LHC is running full out. Fears such as creating a black hole that will gobble up the Earth and its neighbors have been expressed.

"If I thought that this was going to happen, I would be well away from here," David Francis, a physicist working on the project, said.

Dada finds this thought amusing. Since the actual discovery of the first black hole in 1971, scientists have theorized how black holes are created.

Wouldn't it be ironic if we learn sometime after August that black holes originate among cultures in the Universe intelligent enough and foolish enough to build their planet's most powerful atom smasher?

Dada can imagine observers in nearby galaxy I Zwicky 18 observing planet Earth some 59 million years from now as it suddenly "blinks out" realizing in its place there is now a new black hole.

Physicists on some planet in I Zwicky 18 might likely announce,"Oh, Earth must have gone 'super collider' on us!"


Fran said...

I've always had this sinking feeling that humans would do themselves in via their own stupidity. It would not be *terrorists*, but idiots-- like John McCain's brilliant plan to add 45 new nuclear reactors in the US. Poor John would not even get that opportunity if this grand experiment results in rendering our planet into a black hole. Those crazy Europeans are always ahead of the curve.

Tony Andrews said...

Will the blackhole allows us to teleport or even go to another dimension!? This is quite interesting especially since I'm fond of animes and games that talk about this phenomenon.

D.K. Raed said...

Well if it turns out like the novel "Earth" by David Brin, the "singularity" allows Earth to come alive, attaining planetary consciousness (just one among many as it happens*). Once Earth discovers how to think for itself, it does not allow any more shit from us. All must perform in harmony.

*for example, Earth's first coherent thought sent out to the universe is something like, "I AM, I EXIST!". To which the universe responds, "BIG DEAL".

But that was only some SF writer's idea to sell books. Your scenario is probably much closer to reality.

JTankers said...

“We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special.” - Dr. Steven Hawking

And some of us wonder why the SETI project has not found any signs of life, and wonder if alien species tend to destroy themselves shortly after gaining enough scientific knowledge to make that possible.

dada said...

Fran: I know we don't agree on presidential candidates and, certainly, McCain is the worst of all possible worlds, but I just don't know who Obama is or what he stands for.

McCain, Obama and now defunct Billary all support legislation that would cap greenhouse gas emissions and provide incentives to power companies to build more nuclear plants.

And more specifically on Obama, his take from Illinois based Exelon Corp of $227,000 - (the nation's largest nuclear plant operator [with leaks in Illinois that contaminated ground water]) - more $$ than any other candidate has rec'd from the industry and Exelon's chairman John Rowe who is also chair of the Nuclear Energy Institute, the industry's most powerful lobbying group and Obama contributor leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth.

This is particularly difficult to get rid of when Obama took credit for his tough stand against the nuclear industry by introducing a bill requiring nuclear plants to report when they leak and/or contaminate the public's drinking water.

Took credit for the bill that he rewrote to placate republicans, Exelon and nuclear regulators. The reporting requirement of the nuclear industry was gutted from the bill. The industry would "voluntarily" report bad things about themselves, just as they had in the past. (Yeh, right, uh hmm.)

This is just one example of when I think of Obama, I'm not sure what the hell he represents, and why I don't go to IHOP's (I'm not into waffles).

Now we're waiting for his Iraq trip and how it will affect his withdrawal plans which could be "refined" after he talks to generals in the field there.

But for a guy who went and spoke on Joe Lieberman's behalf during the 2006 dem's primary against Lamont in Lieberman's home state calling Lieberman his mentor or, (and this was the last straw for me) for Obama to call the late Sen. Paul Wellstone a "gadfly" ("The Uprising...." by David Sirota), leaves me more convinced than ever this "two party" system (McCain and McCain lite!) needs a complete overhaul.

Mrs. Dada went to a party of dems this past Thursday night. There were all kinds of excuses for Obama's creeping drift to the right, one of the main ones being, "He needs to, in order to win the election."

Some present even believed once he secures the white house, the true liberal he is will emerge. I don't buy it and fear Obama will be just another Bill Clinton if the powers that be decide "to allow" him the presidency (i.e., by not stealing another one like the last two). But hey, Clinton was the easiest republican president we've ever had for me to accept. But I still didn't like it.

Jeez, how'd I stray so far off topic when we were only talking about atom smashers and the possible end of life on Earth and the Earth itself? Oh, yeh, the 2008 election, I suppose.

dada said...

Tony: I'm intrigued by the concept of black holes. "Will they allow us to go to another dimension?" Quite possibly, much like death does, you mean? (grin)

But all that matter they suck up, where's it go? Maybe it's expelled out it's backside into a parallel Universe we can't detect. Like a huge cosmic recycling system, or a chance for rebirth as something else, something new. Or maybe GIGO (garbage in, garbage out)! The possibilities are practically infinite.

Maybe that's the nice thing about being an "advanced breed of monkeys" as jtankers quotes of Stephen Hawking. Of course, it's the second part of Hawking's Homo sapiens centrism that we, "can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special" that leaves me a little nervous.

Yes, that may make us the brightest bulb on the planet (well, maybe, we can't confirm this until we can communicate with our fellow species we share it with, can we? Unless we think wars, famine, the space shuttle and the leadership nations around the world enjoy as testament to our brilliance. It's obvious we're no 100 watt-ers.

But black holes are nice. Maybe we'll create our own some day. Soon. In Switzerland.

dada said...

d.k. - I liked it, "for example, Earth's first coherent thought sent out to the universe is something like, "I AM, I EXIST!". To which the universe responds, "BIG DEAL" as how it might all go down should Earth ever gain self consciousness.

Or maybe instead of "BIG DEAL" the Universe might say, "Better check the baby, I think it's shit it's diaper again."

dada said...

jtankers: Thanks for stopping by and the link to LHC facts dot org. I'm really torn on this, the safety concerns of poking fingers in the eye of something we may not totally appreciate/understand.

Yet, I also think maybe our arrogance, our sense of self importance gives us way too much credit. That we should even worry about having the ability of gods or demi-gods to destroy ourselves seems preposterous.

But then I remember nuclear weapons and think, "Wow! our arrogance is warranted. We're pretty damn bright all right!"

This seems an unnervingly astute after reading some of the comments by highly educated scientists and engineers about the atom smasher's potential danger on the site you recommended.

Thanks. (I think!) Actually, I won't sleep quite as well tonight.