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Large Hadron Collider (Switzerland)

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  • Large Hadron Collider (Switzerland)

    The news story is a couple years old but I heard something on NPR recently about them wanting to make a bigger, better collider... 14 years and 8 billion dollars I guess is not big enough, or good enough lol


    Dr. MORGAN: It is physically large. Basically, the Large Hadron Collider is contained in a tunnel that is 17 miles in circumference. So picture something about the size of a subway tunnel in diameter, and picture a round subway line that's about 17 miles around. So, every time the particles go around the accelerator once, they travel about 17 miles. (So yeah, it's really big)

    Dr. MORGAN: What physicists are looking for at the LHC is really physics that's beyond what we call the standard model. In other words, particles and interactions that are things that we've never before observed in nature because we've never looked at nature at such a high energy. So, the hope among physicists is that we'll see something that we've never seen before.
    Some particle, or some interaction, or some outcome that's unexpected, and there is a long sort of laundry list of things physicists hope to see, but I think many physicists would be even happier if they saw something they didn't expect at all. (Something one does not expect most likely tends to be a bad thing haha)

    MARTIN: I want to talk about black holes. There is some speculation that this machine might be used to create small black holes. Now, why would someone want to create a black hole, and how would you even do it?

    Dr. MORGAN: Well, a black hole is what you get if you take a whole bunch of matter and energy and put it in a very small space. So, usually when we think about black holes we think about astronomy where a collapsing star can create such a high density that it's so dense that light would be unable to escape from its surface. But I can make anything a black hole if I squished it small enough. I can make you a black hole if I squished you about down to the size of a proton.

    MARTIN: You could make me a black hole?

    Dr. MORGAN: Well, theoretically. It would require - we would have to stick you in the particle accelerator and get you going really fast to smash you down to that size. But the idea is with this particle accelerator, if we smash together two very small particles at a very high velocity, we are packing a huge amount of energy into a very small space, and that could create a teeny tiny little black hole.

    STEWART: If one were to make a black hole on the radio, it might sound a little bit like what we are about to hear. NPR's esteemed science correspondent Robert Krulwich actually did a piece on this back in November 2006, in which he spoke with Professor Brian Greene from Columbia University.

    ROBERT KRULWICH: It would, says Brian, be entirely possible to take, for example, an ordinary common watermelon and put it inside some incredibly powerful squeezing machine that's not yet been invented, that squeezes so fiercely that the watermelon would become denser and denser.

    (Soundbite of pressure building)

    KRULWICH: And so dense that at some point predicted by Einstein, the watermelon would change states and become...

    (Soundbite of splat)

    KRULWICH: A mini black hole.

    Dr. BRIAN GREENE (Physics, Columbia University): Oh, yeah. Absolutely.

    KRULWICH: Now, I know we made the sounds up there, but theoretically this is a real possibility?

    Dr. GREENE: Oh, yeah. Absolutely.

    KRULWICH: In fact, in the next decade, he says, teams of scientists will try to manufacture mini-black holes. Why????? lol I agree with science and new technology for the most part, but this one is downright creepy! ha

    Dr. MORGAN: Yes, and the other thing is while the Large Hadron Collider is going to create the sort-of highest man-made energies ever created in a particle accelerator, it's certainly not the most energetic thing in nature, or the most energetic thing to happen on the Earth. Our planet is bombarded by cosmic rays from space every day that are billions of times more powerful than the Large Hadron Collider. KaaaBoooom??!! lol

    Sorry, this was my tangent for the day after I heard the statement on the radio. Then I had read what "Recently_Awoken" had posted about the EMP's, and my brain started to wander. "Long_Hunter"'s reply mentioning 2012 and "human driven events" made this jump out at me.

    It's a crazy world!

    For the whole article:
    “Efficiency is intelligent laziness.”