Rumblings about CERN is empty talk

March 16, 2010
Rumblings about CERN is empty talk

'Hadron Collider to be closed amid fears of a very big bang' read the headline in a major English newspaper and sparked controversy over the future of CERN. Was there a future for the large European research center?

”It is a controversy that has partially been created by a document sent out by the General Director of CERN, Rolf Heuer, and which was quoted incorrectly in a sensationalist headline. In the article itself, you can easily see that it is only talking about taking a limited break”, explain particle physicist at the Niels Bohr Institute, Hans Bøggild, who is the Danish member CERN’s scientific council.

Half power - half price

The fact is that the giant particle accelerator, the LHC, is going to be shut down for a period of six months to a year, but that won’t happen until 2012 and has been the plan since a meeting in January, when it was also decided that during the next two years the accelerator will ‘only’ run at energies that are half of the maximum energies the particle accelerator is capable of. This is being done because a longer break is required to make the machine ready for the next big jump in energy levels, so absolutely no chances for an accident are being taken.

”Some countries think that they should only have to pay half of their contingent for membership of CERN”, says Hans Bøggild, explaining that in England there been cuts in the budget of the scientific research council, so they are trying to find a reason to reduce the payment.

Dispute over money

The reason is that five countries are seeking to become members of CERN, which currently has 20 (soon to be 21) member countries. These are Cyprus, Turkey, Serbia, Slovenia and Israel and the scientific council will be discussing the decision later this month. If the new countries join there will also be new revenue and while some countries think that the money should be used to improve the scientific research opportunities, there are countries with hard-pressed economies who think that the extra funds should be used to reduce the contingent.

Whether the decision goes one way or the other, the winner is entirely up to the members of ’s scientific council (as representatives of the member countries). There is an important meeting later in the month. ”And it is a fight that has burst out into the open”, explains Hans Bøggild.

Groundbreaking discoveries

The LHC accelerator has been started up again after several months of the winter closure and in a month will run for the first time at energies of 7 TeV, which is a new and incredibly exciting energy area.

”It is the world’s most powerful and the potential is fantastic”, explains Hans Bøggild and adds that the experiments during the next two years could result in groundbreaking new scientific discoveries such as super symmetry, the universe’s mysterious dark matter and the Higgs particle - the missing piece in the puzzle of nature, the so-called Standard Model.

Explore further: Stephen Hawking tours the future of particle physics at CERN

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Mar 17, 2010
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1 / 5 (1) Mar 17, 2010
So you have that all on Copy/Paste ready for the next CERN thread?

And I thought I told you to stop wasting time and get out there with your sign and protest! Why are you still here?
1 / 5 (1) Mar 17, 2010
Doc: I foresee two possibilities. One, coming face to face with herself 30 years older would put her into shock and she'd simply pass out. Or two, the encounter could create a time paradox, the results of which could cause a chain reaction that would unravel the very fabric of the space time continuum, and destroy the entire universe! Granted, that's a worse case scenario. The destruction might in fact be very localized, limited to merely our own galaxy.
Marty: Well, that's a relief.
1 / 5 (4) Mar 17, 2010
The destruction might in fact be very localized, limited to merely our own galaxy.

In the best case it might be localized just to CERN itself, but my question rather is, which evidence is required for LHC proponents for to consider such risk seriously. What all these expensive theories are good for, if physicists would simply ignore them anyway? Are we really predestined to check all possible variants, before choosing some safe one?
1 / 5 (1) Mar 17, 2010
Here's a fun paper by Steven B. Giddings (no less!) where he happily and repeatedly describes throwing the earth into a black hole!

4.4 / 5 (14) Mar 18, 2010
Are we really predestined to check all possible variants, before choosing some safe one?
Are we really predestined to do nothing just because there is an almost infinite amount of possible outcomes for any possible action we could take?

"Hold your farts! There's a possibility that they could cause a hurricane to form on the other side of the globe, endangering thousands of human lives!" :-O

Does it mean that farting is bad? :-(
1 / 5 (4) Mar 18, 2010
If so, why not to place nuclear reactors in every family? E. Fermi has proven already, such reactor can be runned safely at open space in 1942 w/out problem. Why toxic substances and bacterial cultures aren't publicly available? They're all pretty safe under proper handling. Why to care about some security certificates and atestations at all?


The precautionary principle states that if an action or policy has suspected risk of causing harm to the public or to the environment, in the absence of a scientific consensus that harm would not ensue, the burden of proof falls on those who would advocate taking the action. In some legal systems, as in the law of the European Union, the application of the precautionary principle has been made a statutory requirement.

Does LHC follow the precautionary principle, after then?
1 / 5 (1) Mar 18, 2010
Did you lose your sign, seneca? Do we need to start a fund to buy you a new one so you can get back out there and picket?
1 / 5 (1) Mar 19, 2010
New amazing unforeseen radiation electron (beta) radiation leaking from the LHC that developed as the collider runs to deficiencies in the pre-accelerators including Electron Cloud trouble, and aging equipment and a need for higher energy injection beams with more bunches per beam or Billions More Dollars in upgrades. After Steve Meyers overview of radiation hazards developing and damaging equipment, to answer the big unspoken question hanging in the air, Meyers said: "I think a declaration 10 or 15 years ago that the underground service areas in the LHC were non-radiation areas." Maybe some unknown particles are escaping from beam while spreading radiation, as was observed already during Tevatron runs at Fermilab. During these collisions the formation of unstable heavy muon pairs was observed outside of collider pipe at unexpected distance from accelerator.
1 / 5 (2) Mar 19, 2010
Today, an international group of critics and experts filed a complaint at the HRC at Geneva concerning risks and dangers of the planned experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) operated by the CERN in Switzerland.


Please take a closer look at this important paper including a detailed physical part describing the scientific discourse but also having a general and very profound approach to the topic with clear suggestions to improve safety and to urgently set new standards in high energy particle collider risk evaluation.

Request to CERN Council and Member States on LHC

5 / 5 (2) Mar 19, 2010
The biggest problem is that this has been the most hyped particle experiment ever.

If you were to ask your average frothy protester about the SLAC or RHIC and how they compare to the energy levels and dangers of the LHC they'd stare at you blankly.

Throw out a science fiction term like "black hole" and "possibility" and suddenly everyone's ready to save the whales.

Hey, at least they're interested in particle physics - I guess.
1 / 5 (2) Mar 19, 2010
If you were to ask your average frothy protester about the SLAC or RHIC and how they compare to the energy levels and dangers of the LHC they'd stare at you blankly.
Why do you think so? Many evidences of LHC risk were observed already at Tevatron or RHIC: dimuon events, penta-quark observation, jet suppression, i.e. black hole formation, etc.

Physicist know quite well, they're close to critical point already.

5 / 5 (4) Mar 19, 2010
Thanks for the links, broglia.

But lets be clear: "striking similarity to" does not equal "is" a black hole.

Have there been any follow-ups to this five year old article?

There's large leaps from mathematical abstraction and "lore" to world-ending-events.

From your article: "Ten times as many jets were being absorbed by the fireball as were predicted by calculations."

Yet unwavering confidence can be maintained in the number crunching?

And if black holes ARE plasma[fire]balls, then what does that mean for the plasma cosmology deniers?

Until string theory is verified, how authors can flip and flop between GR and QM as if one supports the other? I thought that was the root of our troubles?

There are just so many loose ends, how some people can grab their holy books and start shouting "REPENT!" seems truly fantastic.

But hey, personally, I wouldn't mind seeing black hole creation, formation, and verification if for nothing else but science sake. Why fight progress?
not rated yet Mar 20, 2010
"but that won’t happen until 2012"

The restart wouldn't happen to be Dec 21st, 2012, would it?
Mar 20, 2010
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
1 / 5 (1) Mar 20, 2010
..personally, I wouldn't mind seeing black hole creation, formation, and verification if for nothing else but science sake. Why fight progress?
Progress is in observation of these things in safe and effective way. Until we have no usage for it, it's as questionable progress, like the sudden observation of clouds at Pluto planet. I'd rather call it a waste of money, which could be spend somewhere else, instead.
not rated yet Mar 21, 2010
"but that won't happen until 2012"

The restart wouldn't happen to be Dec 21st, 2012, would it?

I really would like to know what's so special about this date. Why do you mention this date?

I hope I don't break any taboo by raising this question.
If yes, it is unknowingly and I beg all people I might have hurt to pardon me.
not rated yet Mar 21, 2010
End of Mayan calendar
end of grand cycle
end of world?
5 / 5 (2) Mar 24, 2010
End of Mayan calendar
end of grand cycle
end of world?
Thanks for explaining.

Superstition is older and stronger than any religion; it is the formless slime-like tissue of religion.
1 / 5 (2) Mar 28, 2010
But the belief, LHC cannot harm the people is a pure superstition, too. Such "arguments" are completelly symmetrical and therefore irrelevant here.
3 / 5 (2) Apr 02, 2010
End of Mayan calendar
end of grand cycle
end of world?

My desk calendar ends on 12/31/2010. Does that mean the world is ending or should I simply carve/buy a new one?

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