Archive for the ‘Safety “Facts”’ Category

Safety “Facts”

Wednesday, June 11th, 2008

“CommonSenseStopNow” invokes the possibility of unexpected and dangerous things happening at the LHC. I agree. The point of the LHC is to explore new territory. It is typical that every time science gets a new instrument and looks at things that have not been seen before, it discovers new things that were not expected.

An indication that the set of all possible theories about what happens at the LHC has not been explored well is the extent to which purported safety factors have changed in the last few years. In 2000 the safety factor was the “fact” that black hole production required energy beyond the reach of any collider [Busza]. In 2001 some theorists began predicting black hole production at colliders (if their theory is true.) [[Dimopoulos],[Giddings] and many others] In 2003 the safety factor was the “fact” that black holes would dissipate via Hawking radiation. In 2003 and later papers were published that questioned the fundamental theory behind Hawking radiation. [Unruh],[Helfer] (Hawking radiation may still work despite these questions, but it can no longer be considered reliable enough to protect Earth.) Another 2003 safety factor was the “fact” that a group of strangelets would be electrically positive on their surface and not attract normal matter. [Blaizot] In 2006 a paper was published saying that strangelets can be electrically negative on their surface. [Peng] Now it appears that a third safety report is about to be released claiming that neutron star lifetimes show that colliders are safe. If we hurry up with our discussion at “An Attempt to Demonstrate That Risks are Low” under “General Physics Discussions” on this website, we may beat the record and demonstrate that argument to be wrong even before it is released.

References, alphabetical by first author:

J.-P. Blaizot, J. Iliopoulos, J. Madsen, G.G. Ross, P. Sonderegger, and H.-J. Specht, “Study Of Potentially Dangerous Events During Heavy-Ion Collisions At The LHC: Report Of The LHC Safety Study Group” CERN, 2003

W. Busza, R.L. Jaffe, J. Sandweiss, and F. Wilczek; “Review of Speculative ‘Disaster Scenarios’ Brookhaven, 2000

Savas Dimopoulos and Greg Landsberg, “Black holes at the Large Hadron Collider,” Physical Review Letters, 87(16) 161602, (2001).

Steven Giddings and Scott Thomas, “High energy colliders as black hole factories: the end of short-distance physics,” Physical Review D 65(5) (2002) 056010.

Adam D. Helfer, “Do black holes radiate?” Reports on Progress in Physics. Vol. 66 No. 6 (2003) pp. 943-1008. Questions the existence of Hawking radiation.

G. X. Peng, X. J. Wen, Y. D. Chen, New solutions for the color-Favor locked strangelets Physics Letters B 633 (2006) 314-318.

William G. Unruh and Ralf Schützhold, “On the Universality of the Hawking Effect,” Physics Review D 71(2005) 024028.