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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."



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RE: Black Holes
By kenthaman on 4/13/2010 2:04:10 PM , Rating: 2
Two thoughts on this.

First, if particle-antiparticle pairs are created at the event horizon and one-half of the pair, be it particle or antiparticle is consumed by the BH, wouldn't the counterpart likely be consumed shortly thereafter? Or is the resulting energy from unbalanced pair enough to allow the part/AP to escape?

Second, assuming that the creation of these pairs is a randomly occuring act wouldn't it be equally likely that the number of particles versus the number of antiparticles consumed by the BH would overall be equal?

Disclaimer: I am in no way, shape, or form claiming to be an expert on this subject matter. Just stating a couple of thoughts that crossed my mind based on my understanding of the Universe in a nutshell ;)


RE: Black Holes
By freeagle on 4/14/2010 12:30:46 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
First, if particle-antiparticle pairs are created at the event horizon and one-half of the pair, be it particle or antiparticle is consumed by the BH, wouldn't the counterpart likely be consumed shortly thereafter? Or is the resulting energy from unbalanced pair enough to allow the part/AP to escape?


Hmm. It's very probable that the other particle will be sucked in as well, but it's not going to be in 100% of cases. Which is enough for the BH to be loosing it's energy while not sucking in anything else.

quote:
Second, assuming that the creation of these pairs is a randomly occuring act wouldn't it be equally likely that the number of particles versus the number of antiparticles consumed by the BH would overall be equal?


I assume you think this would lead to zero net-loss of energy of the black hole. I think this should not be the case, since particles and their antiparticle counterparts have exactly the same weight and are made of the "same" energy ( there is no antienergy, or at least we think so ). This means, that it doesnt matter whether particle or antiparticle is sucked in, the black hole will always loose energy when it sucks in one of the virtual particles from pair.

quote:
Disclaimer: I am in no way, shape, or form claiming to be an expert on this subject matter. Just stating a couple of thoughts that crossed my mind based on my understanding of the Universe in a nutshell ;)


neither do I ;)


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