backtop


Print 56 comment(s) - last by freeagle.. on Apr 14 at 12:30 PM

No Earth-imploding black holes at LHC this decade. Probably.

While (some of) the world watched the Large Hadron Collider power up, fault, power up again and ultimately land its first 7 TeV collisions, others may have gripped their armchairs tightly, waiting for the planet-destroying black hole that some claim the LHC is capable of creating. As one might be inclined to notice, the Earth has made it through the ordeal just fine.

However, whether these doomsday black hole concerns are credible or not, a pair of scientists from Princeton University and the University of British Columbia at Vancouver have been delving into the relativistic physics calculations just to see what might really happen. Matthew Choptuik from UBCV and Frans Pretorius from Princeton have done the grunt work to solve field equations related to soliton collisions at specific energies.

"Our calculation produced results that most were expecting, but no one had done the calculation before. People were just sort of assuming that it would work out. Now that these simulations have been done, some scientists will have a better idea of what to look for in terms of trying to see if black holes are formed in LHC collisions," explained Choptuik.

Based on string theory and its extra dimensions, Choptuik and Pretorious concluded that high-energy collisions at the LHC could indeed form black holes -- but the chances of them destroying the world are pale even in comparison to the chance that they would actually be detected by LHC equipment while they exist.

Of the events, Choptuik says, "Some are already taking this very seriously. However, I don’t think that we are likely to actually see any black holes at the LHC, even if it is possible."

Rather than directly observing such a formation, he explains that to confirm the existence of the fleeting matter-energy magnet, LHC scientists will have to study the debris from the collision rather than the particles that instantaneously exist and then disappear. A typical collision would leave jets of debris while the short-lived black hole would produce a more spherical pattern.

The duo's findings have been published in the journal 
Physical Review Letters, titled "Ultrarelativistic Particle Collisions."



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: Black Holes
By Lightsider01 on 4/7/2010 11:51:04 AM , Rating: 5
Technically, yes. Black holes would increase in mass as matter gets caught in the singularity. However, another interesting phenomenon is theorized to happen. Because of quantum effects, a black hole actually emits radiation. Called Hawking radiation after Stephen Hawking, who came up with the theory, this is thought to happen along the border of the singularity, where quantum effects cause the creation of particle-antiparticle pairs. If one of these escapes, it carries energy away from the black hole. Since, of course, mass equals energy, this reduces the mass of the black hole by a tiny amount.

In large black holes (over the mass of the moon or so, from what I hear) the amount of radiation and matter that falls into the singularity exceeds the amount of mass lost to Hawking radiation. However, for very small black holes, such as the ones that would be created in the LHC, the amount of mass lost vastly exceeds the amount of mass that falls into the black hole. Such tiny black holes might only last fractions of a second.


RE: Black Holes
By therealnickdanger on 4/7/2010 2:05:01 PM , Rating: 2
Wow, thank you for that. +1


RE: Black Holes
By freeagle on 4/7/2010 4:00:13 PM , Rating: 2
just a tiny correction. These processes are theorized to occur around the event horizon, not singularity


RE: Black Holes
By Lightsider01 on 4/8/2010 5:46:02 PM , Rating: 2
You are correct. My apologies. The singularity is the point at which the curve of spacetime becomes infinite. Essentially, the "center" of the black hole. The event horizon is the collection of points around the black hole at which the escape velocity is greater than the speed of light.

Thank you for the correction. ^_^


"I'd be pissed too, but you didn't have to go all Minority Report on his ass!" -- Jon Stewart on police raiding Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's home

Related Articles













botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki