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CERN to Morons: Large Hadron Collider Won't Destroy Earth. Morons.

Illustration for article titled CERN to Morons: Large Hadron Collider Wont Destroy Earth. Morons.

Contrary to the somewhat feverish claims laid out in an recent lawsuit, when our favorite particle-smashing, Force-finding Large Hadron Collider is switched on soon it will not result in the destruction of life as we know it. Such claims are "complete nonsense" say the scientists at CERN (and everywhere else,) in response to the suit. They should know: it's their machine, they designed it and they've been telling everyone for a while that their research shows it's safe.

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The lawsuit filed by a group of Hawaii residents is alleging that not enough safety checks have been made by CERN to prevent disaster when the LHC goes live in the coming weeks. It may "create unsafe conditions of physics" which may have disastrous effects. How? Well, you may imagine a micro black hole gobbling up everything unstoppably, while a strangelet (a hypothetical clump of particles including strange quarks) may run amok converting all nearby matter into strange matter, also wrecking the Earth.

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James Gillies, a CERN spokesman, suggests this is rubbish in this response to the New Scientist: "The LHC will start up this year, and it will produce all sorts of exciting new physics and knowledge about the universe." It's no threat at all, he says: "A year from now, the world will still be here." The LHC is actually designed to probe the boundaries of physics, and while a 2003 safety study did conceed that micro black holes or magnetic monopoles may be formed, they would be short-lived and offer no threat.

CERN physicists will be talking about safety in an open house discussion on April 6. [New Scientist]

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DISCUSSION

@gibson042: you have to pick a frame of reference to measure movement. if you're in a car and see the car next to you keeping pace, it hasn't moved relative to your car. stand on the side of the road and view the same car and it obviously has moved. the vague "universe" frame of reference that ripfire4 is referring to would be like standing on the side of the road. if you magically found the "unmoving" center of the universe and used it as your frame of reference, the earth (and the sun, and all the other planets) would have moved away from you in a year's time, even if the earth is in the same position it was 365.26 days ago when using the sun as a reference.

if you want a real mind blow, do some research on how frame of reference affects observations when things are moving really really really fast. (think speed of light fast). things that seem to be constant (like the "steady" passage of time, for example) don't seem to be constant anymore. example: in a way, we've already time-travelled. the russian cosmonaut that (still?) holds the record for the most time in space is 1/60th of a second in the future (kinda). because he was moving quite fast, relative to the surface of the earth, he experience time differently and is basically 1/60th of a second younger than he would have been if he'd stayed on the ground. this is why physics rocks and the LHC needs to fire up on schedule. Higgs Boson FTW. (i mean come one, they don't call it the "god particle" for nothing)

back on topic: these hawaiians are idiots and i hope i didn't join their ranks by spelling "hawaiians" incorrectly.