Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Will Scotland (and England) be spared as the Earth ends?

Being part of an island nation, Scotland (still attached to England of course) might just float away, and survive the beginning of the end of the earth next week, currently scheduled to take place on Wednesday, September 10, 2008.

That’s the date currently set for the Large Hadron Collider to begin operation. The LHC is exactly what its name suggests – a large collider of hadrons. Strictly, LHC refers to the collider; a machine that deserves to be labelled ‘large’, it not only weighs more than 38,000 tonnes, but runs for 27 kilometres (16.5 mi) in a circular tunnel 100 metres beneath the Swiss/French border at Geneva. You may have seen it featured in a couple of programmes aired by the BBC this week, as part of their Big Bang special.

You might also want to hurry up and read Why the fascination with the end of the world?, which is a fairly comprehensive summary of all the naysayers and their prophecies of doom, and will be available at least until Wednesday. I suspect it may still be available after Wednesday, as none of the prophecies about the ende of the world that it describes seemed to be anything more than the ramblings of the demented, or really smart people that worked out how to sell a book, attract donations, or just plain con people out of their money.

Large Hadron Collider startup

Everything is now ready for the first injection of proton beams into the LHC on the 10th September 2008.

This major milestone in the LHC project will be covered live by international broadcasters. UK media organisations will be at CERN and at a simultaneous media event in London.

CERN will webcast the startup (the link is on the CERN “first beam” page).

BBC Radio 4 will devote a day of programming to the LHC, including covering first injection of beams live on the Today programme. See the BBC website for programming, background etc.

In the weeks preceeding the start up, this web page and the CERN and STFC websites will carry information on the plans for coverage of the event.

Press Release announcing start up date.

Dr Tara Shears talks about some of the scientific questions that the LHC project will help us answer, on the website.

Woe, Woe, and thrice Woe – The end of the earth is nigh (again)

But a handful of scientists believe that the experiment could create a shower of unstable black holes that could ‘eat’ the planet from within, and they are launching last-ditch efforts to halt it in the courts.

One of them, Professor Otto Rossler, a retired German chemist, said he feared the experiment may create a devastating quasar – a mass of energy fuelled by black holes – inside the Earth.

‘Nothing will happen for at least four years,’ he said. ‘Then someone will spot a light ray coming out of the Indian Ocean during the night and no one will be able to explain it.

‘A few weeks later, we will see a similar beam of particles coming out of the soil on the other side of the planet. Then we will know there is a little quasar inside the planet.’

Prof Rossler said that as the spinning-top-like quasar devoured the world from within, the two jets emanating from it would grow and catastrophes such as earthquakes and tsunamis would occur at the points they emerged from the Earth.

‘The weather will change completely, wiping out life, and very soon the whole planet will be eaten in a magnificent scenario – if you could watch it from the moon. A Biblical Armageddon. Even cloud and fire will form, as it says in the Bible.’

He said that attempts were still being made in the European Court of Human Rights to halt the experiment on the grounds that it violated the right to life. The court has, however, already rejected calls for a temporary delay in the project, and it is unlikely to come to a speedy decision about whether the CERN experiment should be halted for good.

Meanwhile Dr Walter Wagner, an American scientist who has been warning about the dangers of particle accelerators for 20 years, is awaiting a ruling on a lawsuit he filed a fortnight ago in his home state of Hawaii.

He fears the experiments might unwittingly create something he calls a ‘strangelet’ that could result in a fusion reaction that might ultimately turn the Earth into a supernova, or an exploding star.

But Dr Evans, the leader of the project, who has devoted 14 years of his life to building the vast particle accelerator, is dismissive of the doom-mongers.

The A-Bomb was supposed to do this too

Your scribe won’t be dropping his trousers and kissing selected parts of his anatomy goodbye on Wednesday, but he will be despairing of how easily the nuts ans pseudo-scientists can gain the ear of the establishment and be given a hearing. It’s even sadder if they were once professionals that should know better.

When the Manhattan Project was nearing completion during World War II, there was a group predicting that the first detonation of an atomic bomb would destroy the Earth, setting fire to it in a series of uncontrollable atomic reactions triggered by the bomb, which would eventually consume the planet. This was, to a degree, understandable at the time. Nothing like this had ever been done before, there was no natural counterpart to refer to, and if you ignore quantum physics (and the small, but possibly significant aspect that the Earth is not made of something like uranium 235, a fissionable material), then the chances of that first bomb setting up and uncontrollable chain reaction do indeed start to have the ring of truth.

While I may have studied quantum physics for a couple of years, the stuff of LHC operation is way over my head, but I suspect that the same poor science forms the same basis for the doom-mongers of the LHC to make their crazed claims. Most noticeable in their mutterings is the long time-scale involved in their predictions – very handy for them since it means that if they are wrong, and nothing happens, everyone will have forgotten about them (so we won’t see them lined up against a handy wall), and if they’re right, we’ll all be too busy trying to survive, and won’t care about them as they wander about waving signs saying “We told you so!”

I also suspect – if they are actually correct – that the timescale involved in the ceation of a “spinning-top-like quasar” in the centre of the Earth would be somewhat more rapid than they suggest, and if did come to pass, the Earth would be devoured on the timescale of an atomic reaction (which is, after all, what they are predicting) not an oceanic hurricane or weather front.

For my part, I’ll simply be keeping an eye on the LHC for the next decade or two (or three or…) to see if it comes up with any evidence of the Higgs boson or BEH Mechanism, popularised as the “God Particle”, a hypothetical massive scalar elementary particle predicted to exist by the Standard Model of particle physics; the only Standard Model particle not yet observed.


September 7, 2008 - Posted by | Civilian | , , , ,


  1. I find the opposition science more credible than CERN’s reliance on debunked conjecture such as Hawking Radiation[1][3] and apparently greater interest in public relations than safety.

    The safety opposition alleges CERN is not being fully open and honest about the facts, about the certainty of safety or the credibility of the scientists who calculate a reasonable probability of catastrophic danger.

    The safety arguments are based on disputed physics including Hawking Radiation (refuted by multiple papers as flawed conjecture, does not exist[1][3]) and disputed cosmic ray arguments (if micro black holes are created by head-on collissions in particle colliders they might travel too slowly to escape Earth, unlike cosmic ray created particles that may not be stopped by any of the stable bodies we see in the universe[7][9][10]).

    A Brief History of LHC safety issues follows:

    In 2004 CERN announced the possibility that micro black holes might be created by the Large Hadron Collider possibly at a rate of one per second but believed they would evaporate.[2]

    Several physicists wrote papers concluding that black holes do not radiate.[1][3][10]

    In 2007, former cosmic ray researcher and Nuclear Safety Officer Walter L. Wagner discovered flaws with CERN’s safety arguments. He believes that the Large Hadron Collider might create dangerous particles including strangelets possibly with Earth destroying potential, he filed a US Federal law suit to require proof of safety after CERN failed to deliver a promised safety report.[5]

    In response, CERN scientists created a safety report in 2008 that argues no real chance of danger. [6]

    After review, German Astrophysicist (Physics PHD) Dr. Rainer Plaga argues that CERN’s new report does not prove safety. Dr. Plaga proposes that CERN follow additional safety procedures to help reduce the danger, including proceeding slowly. [7]

    On August 14th, CERN’s Dr. Jonathan Ellis stated that there is no real danger and they will not proceed slowly, collisions will begin in a few weeks. [8] (Collisions are probably not possible that soon, CERN does not tend to meet their own time schedules).

    Another German scientist famous for contributions to Chaos theory, founder of Endophysics and visiting professor of physics Dr. Otto E. Rössler theorizes that if micro black holes are created in the Large Hadron Collider, they could grow large enough to destroy Earth in decades or centuries.[9]

    Dr. Rössler requests that an emergency safety conference be held before collisions begin.[11]

    On August 26, 2008, suit was filed against CERN in the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg alleging the Large Hadron Collider poses grave safety risks.[12]

    [1] Do black holes radiate?. Dr. Adam Helfer (2003)

    [2] The case for mini black holes, CERN Courier (2004)

    [3], On the existence of black hole evaporationyet again, Prof. VA Belinski (2006)

    [4] What the Experts Say (2008)

    [5] US Federal Lawsuit Filings – Walter L. Wagner (2008)

    [6] The safety of the LHC, Web Site – CERN (2008)

    [7] On the potential catastrophic risk from metastable quantum-black holes produced at particle colliders – Rainer Plaga Rebuttal (2008)

    [8] CERN?s Dr. Ellis tells only half of the story – (2008)

    [9] Abraham-Solution to Schwarzschild Metric Implies That CERN Miniblack Holes Pose a Planetary Risk, Prof. Dr. Otto Rossler (2008)

    [10] A Rational and Moral and Spiritual Dilemma – Otto E. Rössler Safety Counter Arguments (2008)

    [11] Safety of the Large Hadron Collider (2008)

    [12] European Legal Action (2008)

    [13] Scientific Peer Review to Inform Regulatory Decision Making: A European Perspective (2006)


    Comment by jtankers | September 7, 2008

  2. It’s all very interesting, and all very plausible, in a Revisionist sort of way (turning largely established facts on their heads to validate a counterpoint), so much of the above can be declared invalid in much the way it seeks to invalidate the LHC safety claims.

    I’m also slightly concerned that a poke around some of the items, eg [10] quickly referred to Trinity (the A-Bomb “the earth will catch fire – we’ll all be killed” scare) which not only didn’t happen, but was in fact a load of absolute tosh.

    I may be wrong, and most probably am since I’m not employed as a theoretical physicist, but Hawking Radiation is not “debunked”, but is “debated”, as we cannot currently observe it experimantally, so with such a basic error, I won’t be reading too much more into the above, but am grateful for the listing for anyone else that may wish to read further.


    Comment by Apollo | September 8, 2008

  3. The article state that the “Higgs boson… predicted to exist by the Standard Model of particle physics; the only Standard Model particle not yet observed.” How about the graviton? Has it been observed?


    Comment by Aeronautics Doc | September 10, 2008

  4. Sorry Doc, but you’ll have to wait for that one, the graviton doesn’t seem to be high on anyone’s list at the moment. Nor does it seem likely to be for practical reasons. ( – Can Gravitons be Detected?)

    The Standard Model is not a complete theory of particle physics, and does not include gravity, hence does not cater for the graviton.

    At the moment, “we’re” working through the four fundemental interactions of the Stong Nuclear, Electromagnetic, Weak, and Gravitation forces.

    For the moment, gravity is (I understand) considered to be adequately covered by general relativity, which any (gravitational) theory ultimately reduces to, but there are further particle models postulated which could link the two (relativity and the Standard Model) together. There seems to be a problem in the Standard Model due to infinities caused by quantum effect, but these can be catered for by using String Theory – but that’s where my knowledge runs out, string theory taxes my maths capabilities and moves into “hand-waving”.

    Thanks for the thought, I haven’t come across the graviton for a while.


    Comment by Apollo | September 10, 2008

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