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The Future of Physics

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The Large Hadron Collider

Large Hadron Collider

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the world's largest and highest-energy particle accelerator complex, intended to collide opposing beams of protons or lead, two of several types of hadrons, at up to 99.99 percent the speed of light.

The LHC was built by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), and lies underneath the Franco-Swiss border between the Jura Mountains and the Alps near Geneva, Switzerland. It is funded by and built in collaboration with over 10,000 scientists and engineers from over 100 countries as well as hundreds of universities and laboratories with the intention of testing various predictions of high-energy physics, including the existence of the hypothesized Higgs boson.

 

 

Large Hadron Collider team announces beginning of restart

Large Hadron Collider -- Chalk Talk - NSF video

LHC sets new world record

Large Hadron Collider: Best- and Worst-Case Scenarios

Magnet Meltdown At The Large Hadron Collider

Why a Large Hadron Collider?

Safety of particle collisions at the Large Hadron Collider

Courts Weigh Doomsday Claims

LHC web site

Moments in Discovery - FutureForAll.org

 

Are The Experiments Planned at the LHC Safe?

Could experiments at the Large Hadron Collider produce a man-made black hole? Is the LHC a doomsday device?

What types of phenomena could result from the world's most powerful experiments?

Strangelets
Microscopic black holes
Vacuum bubbles
Magnetic monopoles
Bose supernovas

Although I tried to understand strangelets, vacuum bubbles and the other objects that physicists speculate could result from LHC experiments, it is darn near impossible to find extra research time during the NASCAR season.

With my limited knowledge of physics, I have no choice but to put my trust in the majority of scientists that have stated there is no risk of LHC experiments creating man-made black holes or strangelets that will devour the Earth.

The problem is that there may not be a scientist anywhere that knows with certainty what to expect from these unprecedented experiments. As far as I can tell, physicists around the world do not agree on a single "theory of everything", and our current laws of physics do not exactly fit the quantum world. Scientists are anxiously awaiting the LHC experiments to help them find those answers.

I read in one of the articles linked below, that "we need the LHC experiments because there has not been a significant breakthrough in physics in over 30 years". My question is, what's the rush? Why can't we wait for the next Newton or Einstein to come along to develop theories that could more accurately predict the outcome of these experiments?

I would feel much more at ease if physicists could say, "So and so is what we expect to happen and these tests will prove it."

Instead of, "If string theory is correct, we should see... If not, maybe we'll find..."

or

"Strangelet production is therefore less likely..."

If and less likely should never be in the same article as doomsday.

Unfortunately, the people at the LHC do not seem overly concerned about my fears. If they were, they could have started out by calling the project something a little less ominous like--The Big Hadron Get Together. They also could have hired a spin doctor, like the politicians do, to soften the blow when mishaps occur. The headline 'Magnet Meltdown at the LHC', could have read 'Proton Party Gathers Steam'. I wouldn't be any safer, but I would sleep better.

What I find most unsettling, is that technologies like the Large Hadron Collider, nanotechnology and biotechnology, are moving forward at near-light speed, whether I feel they are dangerous to humanity or not--and for the record, I do.

 

 

 

Links and articles

What are the chances that a particle collider's strangelets will destroy the Earth?

'Something may come through' dimensional 'doors' at LHC

A Black Hole Ate My Laboratory

Black Hole Production at LHC

The CERN LHC:A Black Hole Factory?

Black Holes at the LHC - What can happen?

The Safety of the LHC - Vacuum Bubbles

Particle Smasher's Black Holes Would Be Tiny

Physicists Hoping To Create Tiny Black Holes At CERN

Strangelet - Wikipedia

What is a Strangelet?

No 'strangelet soup' for you

Forget black holes, could the LHC trigger a “Bose supernova”?

Will the world end on Wednesday?

Black holes from the LHC could survive for minutes

Large Hadron Collider's Hacker Infiltration Highlights Vulnerabilities

Trying To Make A Big Bang

Invisibility cloak

Mission Invisible

I can easily imagine the things I could do if I had an invisibility cloak. However, the only solid objects I have ever seen disappear are the Statue of Liberty* and one quick-footed blind date. Soon, thanks to new metamaterials and fabrication techniques, we may all get a glimpse at the invisible.

Invisibility cloak

How to Build a Wormhole

How to Build a Wormhole

Wouldn't it be nice to have a wormhole of your own? You could build one end at your front door and the other end at your school or office. It turns out that it is not all that difficult. All you need is a decent sized neutron star, an electrical outlet (one of those 3 hole jobs), extension cords and of course, plenty of duct tape.

NASA's recipe for a wormhole:

First, collect a whole bunch of super-dense matter, such as matter from a neutron star. Enough to construct a ring the size of the Earth’s orbit around the Sun. Then build another ring where you want the other end of your wormhole. Next, charge ‘em up to some incredible voltage, and spin them up to near the speed of light -- both of them.

Step through worm hole. Adjust your watch if necessary as you may have arrived before you left.

Disclaimer: FFA is not responsible for the destruction of any universe or galaxies therein.

Find out more at NASA

Breaking the Law

Before anti-gravity snow boarding can appear at the next Olympics, someone has to figure out exactly what gravity is. There is still a lot that we don't know. But we have come a long way since Newton. Scientists are now working on breaking, or at least bending, the laws of gravity by creating gravity shields, gravity reflectors and mass-reducers.

Check out this heavy list of gravity sites:

American Antigravity

The Antigravity Underground - wired.com

Cryogenic Gravity Shielding

Gravity Probe B

Physics Articles, Blogs and Web Sites

All Links open in a new window. Bold = Recommended. Links do not imply endorsement.

Future Physics Articles
Title Source Date
Harry Potter-style cloaking finally possible KurzweilAi.net 04/14
Welcome to the DarkSide: Project aims to find particles of dark matter Phys.org 01/14
Cloning quantum information from the past KurzweilAi.net 01/14
Physicists aim to make transition to quantum world visible PhysOrg 10/13
Faster Than the Speed of Light? The New York Times 07/13
Dark Energy Alternatives to Einstein Are Running Out of Room University of Arizona 01/13
Higgs Boson: Mysterious Particle Could Help Unlock Secrets of the Universe NSF 12/12
Fermi Improves its Vision for Thunderstorm Gamma-Ray Flashes NASA 12/12
Wave-particle duality visualized in quantum movie KurzweilAi.net 03/12
First-ever images of atoms moving in a molecule KurzweilAi.net 03/12
Physicists Create Light From Nothingness Forbes 11/11
Thin belt of antimatter discovered above Earth io9 08/11
Manipulating Light at Will Duke University 08/11
Mystery "creation" particle evades scientists: CERN Reuters 07/11
Quantum physics lies at core of life The Santa Fe New Mexican 05/11
Earth's gravity revealed in unprecedented detail ESA 04/11
The Year of the Higgs? video NSF 02/11
New Type Of Entanglement Allows "Teleportation in Time", Say Physicists arXiv 01/11
Antimatter atoms produced and trapped at CERN CERN 11/10
Large Hadron Collider (LHC) generates a 'mini-Big Bang' BBC News 11/10
Hogan’s holometer: Testing the hypothesis of a holographic universe Fermilab 10/10
Tractor beam one step closer to reality ANU News 09/10
Physicists Build a Memory that Stores Entanglement arXiv 09/10
Physicists investigate the role of quantum entanglement in the magnetic compasses of animals PhysOrg 06/10
Seven questions that keep physicists up at night New Scientist 10/09
The Multiverse Theory Discovery 12/08
Billions of particles of anti-matter created in laboratory LLNL 11/08
Has new physics been found at the ageing Tevatron? New Scientist 11/08
Firing Up the LHC Berkeley Lab 06/08
Surfer dude stuns physicists with theory of everything Telegraph (UK) 11/07
Putting electronics in a spin BBC News 08/07
Physicists Have 'Solved' Mystery of Levitation Telegraph (UK) 08/07
Backward Research Goes Forward MSNBC 07/07
A Giant Takes On Physics’ Biggest Questions NY Times 05/07

 

Future Physics Web Sites and Blogs
Title Description
American Institute of Physics Breaking physics research news
Cocktail Party Physics Physics with a twist
Light Reading: Time Machines Discovery
Physics Today Physics magazine
Physics World Physics news, views and information
The Elegant Universe PBS Nova

 

References
Article Sources
The Large Hadron Collider Article from Wikipedia
Image from Wikimedia Commons
Are The Experiments Planned at the LHC Safe? Article by ffa
Moments in Discovery Image by ffa using clipart from:
hasslefreeclipart.com
Bensguide.gpo.gov
How to Build a Worm Hole Article paraphrased from nasa.gov
Image created by Benji64 - English Wikipedia
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