March 21, 2005
I'm very pro-research and I can't
wait to hear all the new findings coming out of the big, new machines. But
to be fair, scientists have to explain this stuff to average people when there's
any whiff of danger. The situation is a little like the one in the 1950s
when we were performing bigger and bigger hydrogen bomb tests. Some were
concerned that the atmosphere might ignite, or that a worldwide nuclear chain
reaction would occur. It's pretty important to settle such issues before
you run the test.
Here's a link to Brookhaven National
Laboratory's website addressing the concern over creating black holes in their
Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC):
Additional discussion about the
Discussion about other disaster scenarios:
Below is a link to the best one. It covers each proposed apocalyptic scenario. I'm glad someone is at least addressing these concerns. We're not talking about an ordinary ecological disaster. They avoid alarming us by using language like this:
The exposed nucleus would then be absorbed by the ever growing strangelet.
This process would continue until all available material had been converted to
strange matter. We know of no barrier to the rapid growth of a dangerous
strangelet. It is indeed fortunate that they will not be produced at RHIC.
In other words, the worst-case
scenario is the annihilation of Earth and even the entire
universe. It makes me wonder if any other technological civilizations
elsewhere in the universe crossed this line and vanished. Whoa.