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Friday, November 17 2017

Man-Made Black Hole May Destroy Earth

Sci & TechJames Blodgett, Risk Evaluation Forum, November 16, 2003.


An upcoming physics experiment may destroy the earth. Recent developments in physics suggest that the next generation of heavy ion colliders may create mini black holes. (A large collider that will be thirty times more powerful than current models is under construction at CERN.) It is thought that mini black holes will dissipate via Hawking radiation. But Hawking radiation has never been seen nor tested. If Hawking radiation does not work, a mini black hole could swallow the earth.

This risk seems a classic case for being careful, for what risk analysts call \"the precautionary principle.\" Unfortunately it appears that this principle is not yet being applied. A Cassandra complex is at work. Cassandra predicted the fall of her city, Troy, but was not heard. The same is happening with this issue. The public is apathetic. CERN physicists are good enough people, but it is hard to cancel a multimillion dollar project because of low-probability concerns. Physicists have been cautioned for discussing the issue. The product of CERNís own risk assessment, drafted eight months ago, is not yet released. Francesco Calogero, a physicist, has suggested that the risks be evaluated by a red team, arguing in favor, and a blue team, arguing against. It is up to us, the public, to provide the blue team.

The math of Hawking radiation is the hardest in physics, but the issue is simple. Hawking has a neat model of the black hole event horizon that shows how energy can come out of a black hole. It relies on a quantum theory that is widely accepted, but widely regarded as strange. Einstein did not believe it. The math may describe reality, and it may not. Elaborate math is not always true, as witness epicycles, the elaborate geometry used to plot orbits before Copernicus. No math is needed to realize the one important fact: without experimental evidence, Hawking radiation cannot be trusted 100 percent.

There are other protective considerations, but their physics is also uncertain. Plausible models can be constructed in which the protective considerations do not work. For more detail and references, see http://www.risk-evaluation-forum.org.

Of the dangers facing humanity, this is the most preventable. If enough citizens complain, governments will pull the plug. Should it be pulled? Might the science we could gather solve other risks? The possible but not certain destruction of earth has philosophical and ethical and economic aspects that call for discussion and debate. If this is talked up enough, and posted on enough websites, the Cassandra complex will be overcome. We ask readers to debate this issue.
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Man-Made Black Hole May Destroy Earth
Authored by: zen8tao onWednesday, February 04 2004
If mad scientists destroy the planet before I get to go catamaraning...I will be pissed!
Man-Made Black Hole May Destroy Earth
Authored by: Anonymous onSunday, January 08 2006
i always believed that black holes were the cleaners of the universe, size is irrelevant as mass is x the amount of mass consumed by a black hole .no matter what size it would consume the planet not quite instantly but luckily, fast enough that we would never notice .
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