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Man-Made Black Holes Looming?

michael posted more than 12 years ago | from the danger-will-robinson dept.

News 300

camusflage writes: "The New York Times has a story that some physicists think it might be possible to make black holes at the under construction Large Hadron Collider at CERN, slated to come online in 2006. Trying to allay concerns about a man-made black hole blipping us out of existence, they say "The same calculations ... predict that around 100 such black holes a year are `organically' and apparently safely produced in the earth's atmosphere in cosmic ray collisions." As long as we can keep critters from building nests in the singularity, we should be okay."

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300 comments

I guess this is useless (-1)

forkspoon (116573) | more than 12 years ago | (#2290759)

Who cares? I used care. No it doesn't seem to matter as fucking much, right.

Kill All Muslims and Dune Coons (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2290946)

Death to all Islam. Shit on Mohammed. Piss on on the Koran.

Kill Muslims. Kill them now. Kill them here. Kill them there. Kill Muslims everywhere.

I got a good use for em (0, Flamebait)

Dolly_Llama (267016) | more than 12 years ago | (#2290760)

May I suggest the first black hole should be placed right on those responsible for yesterday's attck?

End of the World. (0, Troll)

dashmaul (108555) | more than 12 years ago | (#2290763)

Nuclar power was once thought to be the greatest thing ever. It would be safe reliable and the cure all for everything. Just look at chernolye (however it's spelled). I just don't think trying to make a black hole is a good idea. I know the odd's are astronical that it destroy the world.
But then again what are the odd's two jumbo jets would run into the WTC.

Re:End of the World. (-1, Troll)

forkspoon (116573) | more than 12 years ago | (#2290772)

"Nuclar power was once thought to be the greatest thing ever. It would be safe reliable and the cure all for everything. Just look at chernolye (however it's spelled). I just don't think trying to make a black hole is a good idea. I know the odd's are astronical that it destroy the world.
But then again what are the odd's two jumbo jets would run into the WTC."

You have said it well. Probability doesn't work with humans, their behavior isn't based on simple statistics, it's based on desires. There have been, and will be many people who want to destroy the world. So behavior must be judged on how enticing the worse use of something would be to the lowest possible human, not just the chance that something will go wrong on it's own.

Travis

Re:End of the World. (2, Insightful)

The Grey Mouser (14648) | more than 12 years ago | (#2290882)

Nuclar power was once thought to be the greatest thing ever. It would be safe reliable and the cure all for everything. Just look at chernolye (however it's spelled). I just don't think trying to make a black hole is a good idea. I know the odd's are astronical that it destroy the world.

I might suggest that you learn a thing or two about quantum field theory and relativity, before assuming that your opinion on the formation of quantum singularities is even remotely relevant. Given that this goes against the entire spirit of slashdot, I guess I forgive you ;-)

Seriously, though, these do apparently occur naturally, and evapourate quite quickly (generally speaking, a black hole evapourates more quickly as its radius shrinks). The problem will not be preventing the hole from growing out of control and consuming the planet, but keeping it around long enough to learn anything from it.

But then again what are the odd's two jumbo jets would run into the WTC.

Well, the odds are pretty good when they're being willfully directed to do so by the person at the controls. You can hardly claim it to be a random event.

Regards,

Michael

Re:End of the World. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2290885)

My quantum field theory is non-existant. Is there any possible why someone could make a dangeous black hole intentionally? Do they apparently occur in nature? do they theoretically occur in nature? do they occur in nature?

Not lucky enough (1)

CptnKirk (109622) | more than 12 years ago | (#2290903)

As the article mentioned. It would take so much energy just to create these small black holes that the odds of creating the earth sucking ones are statistically negligable. In other words we're not lucky enough to destory ourselves. :)

Re:End of the World. (2, Insightful)

NitsujTPU (19263) | more than 12 years ago | (#2291043)

Uhmm, compared to other forms of energy measured by quantity, nuclear is still the lowest environmentally impacting and one of the safest. Chernobyl had a LOT of problems. 3 Mile Island was not as bad as it was made out to be. People just WANT you to be scared. I used to live near a fossile fuel powered plant. Currently I live near a nuclear one. The air is cleaner here, and the water is better. The plant is safer, there were was a rather large accident at the coal plant while I was there.

People seem to think that nuclear plants are introducing a hazard to our planet. Perhaps it is prudent to remind ourselves that prior to nuclear power, the stuff was covering the planet. The reason it's hard to find these days is that it was mined out. It's similar to the gold rush, but everyone knows where it is.

Think about it, if someone told you that dryer lint was valuable tommorow, your lint trap would never be full again, you'd sell it all right off. It's just that instead of having radioactive mountains & deserts, we have radioactive risers.

We should make Afganistan a black hole. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2290766)


This is a reply to the many posts in previous US terror stories, who are sympathetic to the Muslims of Palestine. Yes, in this one post, I am an "Anonymous Coward", just as anonymous as the weak muslims of the World who carry their heads behind veils of shame and cowardice. I am not willing to allow my family be hurt or killed by local Muslims, just to get my message across on Slashdot.


I am a white, Australian atheist. Not Jewish, Christian or American. I feel compelled to write here, to get the message across, that the muslims of our World are far from innocent.


Here in Australia, muslims (esp. Lebanese), have been getting out of hand for the past few years, with gang warfare, thefts, home invasions, vandalism and general terror in the streets against ANYONE who does not appear to share their beliefs of Mohammad. Over a period of about the last year or so, a particular group of Lebanese Muslims, had set up a safe-house, with supplies of condoms. They were systematically abducting non-Muslim girls from Sydney, taking them to this house and pack raping these girls, who have stated that when they asked these Muslim men why they were doing this, the reply was that "because you are Australian". These Lebanese immigrants, perhaps looking for a better life over here, instead of bringing hope for a brighter future, have brought extremely barbaric beliefs and attitudes to our peaceful and once almost utopian society where many different races were welcomed by the people and government of Australia. Australians are on the whole NOT racists, as the World media seems to be purporting in the past, which is proven in the failure of our "One Nation Party" becoming elected into a position of power. "Aussies" "take the piss" (joke about) with others, but most importantly "we take the piss out of ourselves". We have a larakin nature, that should not be mistaken for racism. Although, these girls that were abducted at knife point and pack raped (70 rapes), did not fit the stereotypical "anglo Aussie" image, of the ones I have seen, they appear to be of mediteranean origin, perhaps Italian or Greek. These Muslims don't care for anyone but themselves.


These Muslims in Australia have shot up Sydney police stations with Uzi sub machine guns. They trade in drugs, guns and stolen goods and wish to use force to instill thier beliefs onto us. Muslim students in our schools cheer in the schoolyards at the news of what occured in NYC. We non-Muslim Australians are peacefull! We don't bomb or shoot them, let alone do anything like this because they are Muslim. A friend on mine (Egyptian origin), fled Egypt, because he and his family were Christian. He was told, become Muslim, or die. Look at what the Taliban did to the peacefull Budhists and thier shrines in Afganistan! Anyone remember the mass killings of a bus load of Greeks in Egypt? Killed because they are most likely Orthodox and not Muslim. THIS IS NOT A WAR AGAINST THE US CAPATILISTS, THIS IS A WAR AGAINST ALL NON-MUSLIMS. If anyone thinks, for one moment, that Israel is not justified in thier war against Palestine, they are simply either ignorant of the facts or are Muslim. I've seen Muslim mothers loudly state, "I want my son to die! For Allah!". These weak bastards follow the tradition of brainwashing this mental disease called Islam, into thier sons, who they then send in to attack and fight on front lines against Israel, and then some morons of the World look on Israel in shame for having to "kill children". You think Israel has a choice?


Here is a little bit of history to chew on for you.


In the 7th century, a merchant by the name of Mohammed preached that, "There is no god but Allah.", which brought him conflict with the citizens of Mecca. In 622 he left to live in Medina, which is when the Arab world starts its calendar. The word "Islam" means "submission". Mohammed taught that Christians and Jews where "people of the book" and that they and thier religion should be treated with respect, but would have to accept Muslim rule, but not be persecuted or converted by force. Persia fell to the united Arabs and Byzantium was pushed back. Jerusalem fell in 638. It looked like Constantinople would fall in 717 but the Arab armies were driven back from the city walls. At this stage the Arabs controlled the Near East, North Africa and the whole of Spain. They were even crossing the Pyrenees, going into the plains of Europe, where they found the cold weather too hard to bear. They carried the beliefs of Islam with them throughout this, Christianity disappeared from North Africa. In 750, the rulers of Islam moved the capital to Baghdad. In the 11th century, for 300 years, Arab civilization would be subjected to assaults by Christians from Europe and nomads from Asia, who were much more threatening, and brought the days of Near Eastern civilization to an end.


They, are far from innocent. And seeing what they are willing to do to completely innocent men, woman and children of other civilizations, I beleive that the time has come, to erradicate completely, the Muslims of our World. Now we should turn the books on them, instruct them to burn their Korans and give up their faith, or suffer absolute genocide. I am feel sorrow for their innocent children, but if the question is their children or ours, then the choice should be obvious.


I, as an innocent victim in my own land, am willing to carry out mass murder of these animals and support the US and our allies. The time has come to rid the World of this cancer, I hope for a nuclear retribution against this evil.

Re:We should make Afganistan a black hole. (-1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2290822)

<rant>
You are one sick guy. Lemme tell you something. I too live in a place where Muslims are in a distinct minority *and* have caused enough law-and-order problems. (Hint, there are only a few places in the world which have a large Muslim population but where they are still in a minority)

But to blame all Muslims for the deeds of a bigoted few, or to tar all Muslims with the same 'fundamentalist' brush, is WRONG. How would you feel if I told you that all Aussies are racist? That's tarring all Aussies with the same brush, isn't it? (And don't you dare deny that there are *no* racist Aussies... but that's another topic altogether)

Yes, percentage wise, there probably are *more* Muslim fundamentalists than Christian or Jewish fundamentalists. But to suggest the slaughter of muslims as you do, is no better than what the National Socialist Party did in Germany.

Get real. Killing people is not the solution. Violence only breeds a vicious cycle of more violence.
</rant>

Re:We should make Afganistan a black hole. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2290861)

This was moderated as a troll? Troll??!!! Great, Slashdot, keep it up. Yeah, it's *off-topic*, but I don't see how the fsck some bonehead could have seen this as a troll!

Or is it that any post that does not advocate the total annihilation of Muslims gets moderated as a "troll" these days?

Note to Moderators: an appropriate moderation of this topic may be "flamebait". or "interesting".

MODERATORS = FUCKING DICKHEADS (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2290900)

TROLL?

(Score 4, Interesting) at LEAST.

missile defense? (1)

Maskirovka (255712) | more than 12 years ago | (#2290770)

if they really can control them, then this might have some potenial for swallowing up balistic missiles. just a thought.

maskirovka

Re:missile defense? (2)

Bronster (13157) | more than 12 years ago | (#2290800)

if they really can control them, then this might have some potenial for swallowing up balistic missiles. just a thought.

The problem with a small black hole that eats up a balistic missile is that it suddenly becomes a much bigger black hole.

From the site may be able to produce miniature black holes on demand.

Notice they say miniature black holes - I'm presuming these are the sort of thing that you look at with a microscope (or not in this case since there won't be any light escaping...), not the sort of thing that captures a balistic missile.

Of course is you can manouver one of these things into the way of a balistic missile, then hold it in place against the kinetic energy imparted by said missile, you already have the technology required to stop the missile, so the black hole itself is rather pointless.

Pity really, it sounds like a good plot for a SciFi story.

Re:missile defense? (1)

smaughster (227985) | more than 12 years ago | (#2290815)

>Pity really, it sounds like a good plot for a SciFi story.

Check out the relatively unknown SciFi series called Star Wars. The newer books, telling the story approximately 20 years after the death of the emperor, already include using black holes as offensive and defensive weapons. Quite interesting, since it is suggested that these holes can also be controlled sizewize. Not impossible *if* you know how to extract energy from a black hole. Interested? Check out the "New Jedi Order" books.

Star Wars (2)

Bronster (13157) | more than 12 years ago | (#2290848)

Check out the relatively unknown SciFi series called Star Wars. The newer books, telling the story approximately 20 years after the death of the emperor, already include using black holes as offensive and defensive weapons

Of course I wouldn't consider Star Wars to be 'hard SciFi'. Doesn't George Lucas say that the books (I'm presuming you mean the official books here) are second only to the movie in 'correctness' about the Star Wars universe.

Still I'm glad I don't live there, without midichlorines(sp?) in my blood, I'd be one of those extras that get killed off early for effect.

Re:Star Wars (1)

smaughster (227985) | more than 12 years ago | (#2290858)

Indeed it is fairly safe to say that SW isn't hard ScFi, but cool to read anyway. The best thing, which keeps it soft scifi, is that the authors do not pretend that the technological advances are possible and try to convince me by overloading me with pages of possible explanations of future tech bits. I want that that, I'll read J. Verne :-)

Not hard sci-fi, but (2)

einhverfr (238914) | more than 12 years ago | (#2290984)

Check out the relatively unknown SciFi series called Star Wars. The newer books, telling the story approximately 20 years after the death of the emperor, already include using black holes as offensive and defensive weapons. Quite interesting, since it is suggested that these holes can also be controlled sizewize. Not impossible *if* you know how to extract energy from a black hole. Interested? Check out the "New Jedi Order" books.

So-called Hawkings Radiation is the only energy known to extract itself from black holes. The problem is that even if drastically accellerated, it would be a lengthy process and there is reason to believe that as a black hole might decay, it might actually eventually explode. Cool, we get rid of the ICBM and get something much more dangerous which will either:

1: Eat us and everyone else alive or

2: Explode with near perfect matter to energy conversion making the ICBM threat look pretty minor.

Either way, it would be a very bad idea.

well... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2290771)

is that anything like a man made bunghole?! :P

Man-Made Black Hole (fucking obvious) (-1, Offtopic)

Cmdr (Fuck You) Taco (469621) | more than 12 years ago | (#2290776)


* g o a t s e x * g o a t s e x * g o a t s e x *
g g
o / \ \ / \ o
a| | \ | | a
t| `. | | : t
s` | | \| | s
e \ | / / \\\ -- \\ : e
x \ \/ --~~ ~--| \ | x
* \ \-~ ~-\ | *
g \ \ .--------.__\| | g
o \ \_// ((> \ | o
a \ . C ) _ ((> | / a
t /\ | C )/ \ (> |/ t
s / /\| C) | (> / \ s
e | ( C__)\__/ // / / \ e
x | \ | \\__// (/ | x
* | \ \) `---- --' | *
g | \ \ / / | g
o | / | | \ | o
a | | / \ \ | a
t | / / | | \ |t
s | / / \/\/ | |s
e | / / | | | |e
x | | | | | |x
* g o a t s e x * g o a t s e x * g o a t s e x *

Fuck it all (-1)

forkspoon (116573) | more than 12 years ago | (#2290780)

If Slashdotters had any decency, we wouldn't post on anything trivial and tasteless for about a week.

heh... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2290801)

If Slashdotters had any decency...

That's funny... :)

Wrong (-1)

core10k (196263) | more than 12 years ago | (#2290783)

fucking episode. You're thinking of the one where they're bitchslapped down to Warp 5 for the rest of eternity due to distortions caused by heavy warp usage.

Fp, not quiete (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2290791)

I couldn't FP I guess I wan't logged in.

Anyway, I remember seen a show on time travel on which (theoretically) they would use 2 man made wormholes to go back in time, but then tehy theorized that it wouldn't work, that the wormholes would collapse right before you would pass trough.

We live in wounderous times indeed.

- DarkMoon -
www.itl.tv [www.itl.tv]

Cool, but why? (3, Funny)

smaughster (227985) | more than 12 years ago | (#2290795)

Ok, I can see a certain (vast) amount of coolness in building a black hole, but what I interested in is practical applications of this. How about:

  • Your own little black hole instead of a trash can.
    Placing your black hole between you and your mother in law to suck in the boring conversation.
    No more standing in line in shops or outside disco's.
    A good excuse when your boss comes complaining about all the budget you are eating: "It wasn't me, it was the company black hole!"

Not to worry... (2, Interesting)

TH4L35 (310071) | more than 12 years ago | (#2290796)

The particle physicists say there are only very, very small chances that these singularities could be dangerous. Of course, IIRC, not all physicists believe that small black holes evaporate. Some cosmologists argue that the "missing" dark matter needed to account for the universe's decelerating expansion will be found in many, many mini black holes, so they have found ways to explain how black holes might stick around.

(alos, if little harmless singularities are popping up all the time in our atmosphere due to cosmic rays, then how come those neutrino detector counts are always coming up short?)

Re:Not to worry... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2290849)

They're not popping up all the time; the article says it's 100 times a year. Which is very rarely.

Re:Not to worry... (5, Insightful)

dragons_flight (515217) | more than 12 years ago | (#2290850)

The simple fact is that nature still does better at creating high energy particles than anything we can do in the lab. The reason a 100 blackholes might be created in the atomsphere is because cosmic rays are still more powerful than accelerators. In fact rare extremely powerful cosmic rays, believed to be extra-galatic in origin, are still several orders of magnitude beyond what we can make.

Since these high energy cosmic rays will have the same types of collisions as they want to produce in the lab, you would expect them to produce black holes if that is possible. Any such black holes that might be produced obviously haven't destroyed the Earth thus far, so these energies are probably safe to use in a lab. Of course this may just mean that they never actually create black holes.

Regarding your other issue, nuetrinos. The reason they didn't come out right is because Super Kamiokande and the other 1st generation experiments could only detect electron and muon nuetrinos. The next generation results, which came out in the last two years, show that when you account for the number of tao nuetrinos, the total flux from the sun turns out to be right where it should be according to the theories for what goes on in stellar fusion.

The surprise here is that nuetrinos of one type can apparently turn into another type. We knew from theory how many electron nuetrinos to expect but they were hidden by changing into the other two varieties. Thus the appearance of low nuetrino counts. Flavor mixing, as it's called, is exactly what is predicted and required if nuetrinos have a non-zero mass. So we simple have to accept that nuetrinos have small but non-zero mass and figure out how this revises the "Standard Model" of particle physics.

Re:Not to worry... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2291020)

Your reasoning is so seriously flawed that I almost imagine you're doing this for the heck of it.

You say "Of course this may just mean that they never actually create black holes." That doesn't imply that the accelerator attempt will not succeed creating such a thing neither.

It would not be the first time calculations have been shown to make wrong predictions. We cannot even predict the weather, let alone an event that so far has never ever been observed...

PRIMERO POST! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2290797)

Frost pist!

This does not inspire confidence.. (4, Funny)

IvyMike (178408) | more than 12 years ago | (#2290798)

From the article: We've been trying for a century, and we still don't fully understand black holes," said Dr. Andrew Strominger. And then he goes on to conclude that we need to make some.

If they're going to do something which at least sounds dangerous, I would really like it if they could say, "Nothing can possibly go wrong", not, "Our understanding is incomplete."

Re:This does not inspire confidence.. (3, Funny)

Steeltoe (98226) | more than 12 years ago | (#2290854)

"Nothing can possibly go wrong", not, "Our understanding is incomplete."

If watching movies gain any insight, these two comments are logically equal. Each time someone says "Don't worry, everything's under control", you bet it's time to panic and flee the scene as fast as you can.

- Steeltoe

Re:This does not inspire confidence.. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2290942)

Yeah, let's not become a statistic. I mean, who's to say that the universe's existing black holes weren't all created by intelligent beings who smugly thought "the chances of this wiping us out gotta be pretty slim, right George?".

Nothing can possibly go wrong! (2)

Per Abrahamsen (1397) | more than 12 years ago | (#2291025)

does not inspire confidence. Not just because of the hybris (or the movie indoctrination where nemesis always follows that kind of hybris). But because it is not the sort of thing real scientists say.

Real scientists know their understanding is always (and will always be, it is mathematically proven (by Gödel)) incomplete.

And they are not shy of saying so. "Our understanding is now complete" is no way to ensure funding for new reasearch. Think about it.

Fermi Lab (1)

uigrad_2000 (398500) | more than 12 years ago | (#2290799)

From the article:

"Dr. Greg Landsberg, a Brown University physicist who works at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Ill., is part of a team planning for black hole production."

Batavia is also the home of Aldi [aldifoods.com] . It's interesting that we're expecting a city to control the black holes the make, when the most disgusting refried beans ever produced come from the same town!

Black Holes should be regulated (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2290803)

We cannot let terrorists get hold of them!

Everyone knows... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2290805)

Everyone knows there's already a singularity in the web. Try www.com it's where the web begins!

I was *just* discussing this (1)

Inthewire (521207) | more than 12 years ago | (#2290806)

Speculation on the ultimate weapon at my house settled on countdown controlled blackholes...some small high energy device that, when triggered, creates a black hole that swallows all available matter until a saturation point is reached...tactical black holes, strategic black holes, etc. Of course this is a long tradition, first encountered in my experience with the D&D 'portable holes' and such.
Still, the synchronicity is interesting...and now that a method seems to exist all that remains is shrinking the power source. Which is a problem this may incidentally solve.
And forget cemetaries!

..... (1)

Rakefighter (147924) | more than 12 years ago | (#2290808)

Big or little...You'll never convince me that making a singularity is a good idea.

What if, in the future, they have the ability to make bigger singularities...Maybe not "star sized"...But big enough to get started on the world...what then?

Will we be held hostage by a terrorist, threatening to "eat the world?" It seems farfetched...but, christ, we're talking about black holes, here.

Re:..... (1)

deathcow (455995) | more than 12 years ago | (#2291007)

No kidding....! Except, you would see him coming from a mile away with that 26 mile diameter concrete supercollider headgear.

Re:..... (1)

an ominous cow ward (443574) | more than 12 years ago | (#2291056)

A black hole wouldn't necessarily be all that dangerous. Most people think of black holes as big, efficient vacuums, quickly sucking in everything around them. The truth is, they have a very weak gravitational effect, and most matter swirls around for hundreds of millions of years before being swallowed up. A black hole in our solar system might not swallow us up until long after our sun had died. What would happen if one was right on top of us, though, I'm not so sure about. So, I guess this is the kind of experiment ideally suited to be carried out on Mars.

David Brin (3, Interesting)

weaselgrrl (204976) | more than 12 years ago | (#2290811)

Perhaps we should send these guys a few copies of David Brin's wonderful novel "Earth", 1990.


For those of you who haven't read it, its a story about a group of scientists accidentally dropping a lab-made black hole into the center of the earth. Whoops! Quite a good deal more goes on which and it all makes quite a good read.

Re:David Brin (2, Interesting)

qubezz (520511) | more than 12 years ago | (#2290911)

Larry Niven wrote about exactly the same thing 17 years before in The Hole Man [fictionwise.com] - it earned him a Hugo Award to (spoiler) postulate that a black hole dropped into Mars would oscillate back and forth through the planet until it eventually all was eaten up and entered the singularity.

Rudy Rucker (1)

gabriel_aristos (265988) | more than 12 years ago | (#2290962)

I'm actually reminded of a part in "Spacetime Donuts" by Rudy Rucker, where the main character is hanging out with an eccentric, mad-scientist type acquaintance, where he picks up a strange device and fiddles with it for a moment, and accidentally creates a mini black hole, which then drops through the floor on a journey to and through the earth's core. Oops.

-j

Worst idea ever (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2290823)

On one hand if you can create a temporary black hole, you can go ooh, neat, we created a black hole.

On the other hand if it turns out not to be temporary, you just destroyed earth.

Negative risk just slightly outweighs the positive doesn't it?

How would we get rid of it (2)

iomud (241310) | more than 12 years ago | (#2290828)

Since there's a relatively concentrated ammount of ambient particles and whatnot here on earth, how would we get rid of the black hole? I know at least that they dissapate naturally when no energy is availible to feed them but since our environment is not that case what can we do? Could we transport it elsewhere?

Re:How would we get rid of it (3, Insightful)

dragons_flight (515217) | more than 12 years ago | (#2290895)

We get to cheat. In order for a black hole to "eat" something the potential munchie needs to have a De Broglie wavelength no larger than the diameter of the black hole (according to prevailing wisdom in how black holes and quantum mechanics will interact). 1 TeV particles have a de Broglie wavelength of about 1.9 * 10^-19 m, and presumably the threshold for creating a blackhole will make ones of roughly this size or slightly smaller (this is the one point I don't know for sure).

Typical atomic matter at rest has a de Broglie wavelength on the order of 10^-15 m and larger. So if the first blackholes have a 10^-19 m threshold size then they can't eat anything when removed from the beam.

Secondly the beams are highly charged by nature. We fully expect that black holes can carry electrical charge if there is a charge imbalance in what they eat. So we will presumably have a charged black hole which is a very good thing because charged objects can be trapped in magnetic bubbles and moved according to electrical forces.

In any case I fully expect that the things will boil off due to Hawking radiation far faster than they can grow from eating matter. Hawking effects are small for large holes but IIRC go as something like 1/R^4 which gets big very fast when R is near 0.

Re:How would we get rid of it (2)

tbo (35008) | more than 12 years ago | (#2290987)

We get to cheat. In order for a black hole to "eat" something the potential munchie needs to have a De Broglie wavelength no larger than the diameter of the black hole (according to prevailing wisdom in how black holes and quantum mechanics will interact).

That's prevailing wisdom. Problem is, gravity is the one remaining fundamental force that hasn't been reconcilled with the others. The strong, weak, and electromagnetic forces all "play nice" in a theoretical sense, but we don't have a quantum theory of gravity that fits with the standard model. We don't really know, in other words. Still, I tend to think it would just "boil off" via Hawking radiation before it became a problem.

Your point about electric charge is a good one. Presumably, if the beamline was tuned just right (and that's by no means trivial), the black hole could be accelerated back out of the accelerator, and probably into orbit. I suppose it could be contained by magnetic fields until we were ready to launch it (or we could just wait until it boiled off). Not sure whether it would hit much stuff on the way out--I'm too tired to do the calculations. Also, LHC isn't my specialty--I was just working at a cyclotron, which is a horse of a different colour.

Re:How would we get rid of it (0)

philipm (106664) | more than 12 years ago | (#2291050)

So lets see, one force is F=kx, the other force is F=kx*x and your idea of reconciliation is to say that Force in general = ax + bx*x where a or b might be zero?

Gravity is a really weak force... (5, Informative)

dido (9125) | more than 12 years ago | (#2290829)

As everyone knows, gravity is the weakest of all the fundamental forces by a very very long way, something like 40 orders of magnitude weaker than the weakest of the nuclear forces. I remember reading an article here long ago (can't find it and put a link to it because Slashdot search is down...grr) that talked about some speculation that gravity is so weak because the universe has more dimensions than the four that we see (this is also a prediction of superstring theory), and while the other three forces are only capable of propagating there, gravity is able to propagate through these extra dimensions, making it seem weaker. These dimensions are supposed to be curled up small so we don't normally notice them, so one of the implications of this theory is that the value of the universal gravitational "constant" should shoot up dramatically when you try to measure it at smaller scales; the smallest scale at which gravity has been measured so far is on the order of centimeters only. Another implication is that it should be possible to create low mass black holes with less energy than the weakness of gravity as we know it predicts. So if these scientists are successful in making such small black holes, it could go a long way to validating this theory.

Re:Gravity is a really weak force... (3, Informative)

krazo (220290) | more than 12 years ago | (#2290862)

I know next to nothing about superstring theory and all this multiple dimensions stuff, but let me display my ignorance for everyone.

I seem to remember having read somewhere that the whole point of the multiple dimensions in string theory was that they were incredibly tiny and curled up on themselves. And they were supposed to be less than the planck length in total size, if I remember right. I understand how the dimensions could dissipate the force of gravity, but how does the gravitational force increase at small distances? Wouldn't the multiple dimensions of the two particles somehow have to collide/interact? And wouldn't that only occur if the two particles were closer than the planck length, which is closer than they could possibly get anyway? I know I am missing something here, and I am interested to hear exactly what it is.

Re:Gravity is a really weak force... (5, Informative)

dragons_flight (515217) | more than 12 years ago | (#2290919)

You're essentially right.

The original theory expected curled dimensions on the order of a Planck Length (10^-33 m), but some people later showed that is was possible to modify the theory for dimensions of arbitrary size. The question then falls to experimentalist to say how large they might be. As it turns out, it's easy to show that they aren't as large as a meter (unless you modify string theory in some really weird ways that few people consider plausible). Thus we can easily confirm everyone's ordinary perceptions that life at our scale is 3D. However the types of experiments to test this don't scale well, so the best that experiments can say so far is that there are no hidden dimensions on the order of a millimeter.

Scientists that think that hidden dimensions are really only just beyond the horizon of where we know they aren't are a pretty scant minority right now. Most people expect that they probably are down near the Planck Length and well out of reach. However, the neat experiments and effects (such as black holes) that could be done with access to large extra dimensions make them worth looking for, just in case.

Re:Gravity is a really weak force... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2290926)

As everyone knows, gravity is the weakest of all the fundamental forces by a very very long way, something like 40 orders of magnitude weaker than the weakest of the nuclear forces.

Yeah, but then knives and box cutters are the weakest of all weapons available, orders of magnitude less dangerous than UZIs and machine guns. But they still can go a long way, when employed in the right circumstances. So please, scientists, don't try to make these black holes, who knows where they might end up being "used".

Obvious Experiment (5, Funny)

krazo (220290) | more than 12 years ago | (#2290836)

Everybody already knows black holes spontaneously appear. Here's an experiment to prove it.

Place two matching socks in a washer machine. turn the washer machine on, wait for it to finish. Remove the single sock. Voila. Black holes.

Now place that single sock into the drier. Turn it on, wait for it to finish. Remove one entirely different sock, which you have never owned. Kazow. Alternate Dimensions.

The field of pairingsocks physics solved the Black Hole question years before the cosmologists or those silly particle physicists. This article is old news.

I know everyone needs a hobby... (0, Flamebait)

Jin Wicked (317953) | more than 12 years ago | (#2290841)

but wouldn't this energy be better spent trying to solve existing problems instead of opening up a whole new can of worms?



People are dying of disease, the world is going to run out of fossil fuels, the earth is warming up and animals are dying out, and some scientists are jacking off trying to make a black hole in a lab. Blah. :P

Don't diss pure science. (1)

Behrooz (302401) | more than 12 years ago | (#2290881)

Without "pure" science, you end up with a lot fewer practical applications appearing.

If you'd like to criticize mis-allocated resources, I strongly recommend that you examine the cosmetics industry.

Re:I know everyone needs a hobby... (3, Insightful)

The Grey Mouser (14648) | more than 12 years ago | (#2290906)

People are dying of disease, the world is going to run out of fossil fuels, the earth is warming up and animals are dying out, and some scientists are jacking off trying to make a black hole in a lab. Blah. :P

Ever hear of the Penrose extraction mechanism? It's a way of getting energy out of a black hole. Hardly possible with the objects being created here, but this research might be relevant decades (more likely centuries) from now, if (a big IF) and when we are capable of manipulating larger holes (or stabilising smaller ones). The amount of energy one can extract from a black hole is enormous, by any standard; more than enough to power the entire planet currently (if you'll pardon the pun).

Anyway, even disregarding such far-off potential applications, it is worthwhile to remember that quite a few of the technologies we consider invaluable today were originally questioned as being "impractical" by mundane contemporaries of the underlying basic research. The laser is a notable example, as is the electromagnet. Always a good thing to remember.

Cheers,

Michael

Re:I know everyone needs a hobby... (0)

philipm (106664) | more than 12 years ago | (#2291033)

Ever hear of the further Penrose money extraction mechanism (PMEM)? That's the one where he sits around all day and occasionally trolls funding sources with interesting sounding keywords like energy and fuel, etc. Mainly the result is nice chocolate cake for lunch and a hooker or two when he gets home.

Re:I know everyone needs a hobby... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2291011)

Remember that most (not all) physicists are gay. They are psychologically selfish and immature, only concerned with their own little play pen. Most physicists would rather spend $1 billion dollars on a new particle accelerator than reach into their pocket for one dollar to feed a hungry child.

Perfectly safe, yeah, uh-huh... (2)

Polo (30659) | more than 12 years ago | (#2290847)

Maybe they should read:

How We Lost the Moon, A True Story By Frank W. Allen

This is a sci-fi short-story about some scientists who "accidentally" created a black hole.

whoops...

Re:Perfectly safe, yeah, uh-huh... (1)

Lectrik (180902) | more than 12 years ago | (#2290888)

There's always The Neutronium Alchemist by Peter F. Hamilton, the second in a long trilogy, but their blackhole weapon involved a jump-drive and a stasis feild, but they did nova a gas giant with it which was cool

Extensions on Blackholes. (4, Interesting)

Niscenus (267969) | more than 12 years ago | (#2290853)

No, we are not talking about black holes capable of swallowing matter, nor are we talking about the ability to "place them" at any particular point. Though, it does make for an interesting bit of science-fiction.

You must understand that every individual type of particles and radiants have their own, what may be referred to as, gravimetric frequency. You may note in the article that Dr. Giddings' calculations suggest that the interactions of cosmic rays and sub-atomic particles produce, what he calls, "organic," black holes, referring to naturally occurring black holes.

This team is producing the black holes from specific, fully separated subatomic particles, those being gluons and quarks. Black holes produced by collapsing stars result from still-integrated subatomic particles (matter), which remain connected gravimetrically to other large sources of gravity (fuel), are not anything to worry about here; in fact, they couldn't even be produced on the surface of the planet (the core, however, is a different idea altogether). The "man-made" varieties will only be able to effect other nearby gluons and quarks. In an vacuum-sealed accelerator, they will not be able to "find" that source of energy and will evaporate relatively quickly; though, I disagree that the result will be an abundance in the spawning of similar sub-atomic particles.

I recommend The Elegant Universe [amazon.com] , by Brian Greene. You'll learn about how the universe works according to ideas as old as "General Relativity" to as recent as the "M-Theory".

Re:Extensions on Blackholes. (2)

dragons_flight (515217) | more than 12 years ago | (#2290959)

I like the Elegant Universe, a good read.

While you've got a good number of the important ideas right, you might want to work on the presentation. It took me several reads to get what you meant, and I know what you are talking about.

FYI, you get the strean of particles coming out because the intensity of Hawking radiation gets dramatically large as the hole evaporates. All that's needed to create particle X is for the hole to be putting out enough energy equivalent to the mass of particle X. It has a large reserve of energy (and this part is key), because of the theorized change in the gravitational attraction law that makes the whole process possible.

Ordinarily gravitational potential energy goes as G*m1*m2/r but if the rate law changes energy may go as G*m1*m2/r^(n-2), where n is the number of actual dimensions. Or even some other strange law. Since the effective minimal approach is at least the wavelength of the 1 TeV particles (10^-19 m) and probably considerably less, the fact that the powers of r increase can give a dramatic increase in the kinetic energy of the particles as they approach and thus allow for enough energy to create the black hole and lots of energy for it to then radiate away.

Desiccation (1)

Niscenus (267969) | more than 12 years ago | (#2290992)

The theory that evaporation occurs with the collapse of a wavelength is that which results particle formation. This goes against the TSR (true singularity rule), however, even with displacing that rule, as I tend not to believe in it, it goes against the quantum behavioural pattern of black holes. The idea of the "tie-off" in relating theories doesn't appeal to me, and thus far, hasn't appealed to most structural theories of the universe with a conditional twist in the first law of thermodynamics. The anomaly will extend itself, and the collapse will result in an equatorial discharge of the redundant, unsustainable energy. I extend that if that is the result, these intrepid explorers of dimensions won't even realize they've created a black hole or any similar event.

the cool part here... (2)

Preposterous Coward (211739) | more than 12 years ago | (#2290866)

...aside from the obvious bragging rights -- "What did you do at the office today, honey?" "Oh, I fabricated a few black holes." -- is that, should this work, it would demonstrate that gravity does not in fact obey the inverse-square law over short distances. It blows my mind to think of it obeying, say, an inverse-seventh-power law, which I believe would imply that the universe really has eight spatial dimensions...

Yeah, that's right LEXX got it Wrong! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2290904)



Currently Playing at a SciFi Channel near you..

Type 13 planet, on the verge of measuring the
mass of the Higgs Boson, usually gets squashed
to the size of a pea ending all life on the
stupid planet.

Black holes as interdimensional travel? (1)

CptnKirk (109622) | more than 12 years ago | (#2290918)

What I thought was interesting was the part about tossing the book into the black hole and then evaporating it. Where did the book go?

The possibility that the book could be then represented by the energy given off by the hole as it vanished might mean that given a snapshot of this energy pattern another black hole could recreate the book at another place in another time.

Sure it's all Sci-fi now, but this may be the next step into figuring out more about worm holes, new dimensions and the like. And only four more years to wait for this little toy to be built.

Waste Disposal possibilities? (2)

green pizza (159161) | more than 12 years ago | (#2290937)

Is there any discussion of possible industrial applications should this in fact become both possible and controllable?

Kill All Islam. Destroy Muslims. Exterminate Them. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2290941)

Priorities:
  1. Kill all Arabs.
  2. Kill all Towel Heads.
  3. Kill all Mohammedans.
  4. Kill all Muslims.
  5. Kill all Camel Jockeys
  6. Kill all Islam.
  7. Nuke their countries to an ash heap.
  8. Nuke them again.
  9. Death to Islam.

I wipe my ass with the Koran. I spit upon Mohammed. I piss on Mecca.

wait a frickin minute! (2)

RestiffBard (110729) | more than 12 years ago | (#2290948)

I don't care how smart they might think they are or how many thought experiments they may have done but this is not an experiment I want done on my planet. I'm thinking this kind of shit should be done a deep space probe on the opposite side of the galaxy. want to make a black hole? fine. do it very far away from me. as someone else pointed out we know nothing about black holes theres no way we should be making one. if the scientists want a challenge they can try and figure out why running water makes you want to pee. there are tons of other things they could research and test without putting the entire planet at risk. anyone ever seen the episodes of Lexx on earth? we're the type planet that always ends up blinking itself out of existence.

Extradimensional Gravity (1)

Crypthanatopsis (177252) | more than 12 years ago | (#2290954)

From the article: Why would gravity behave that way? The answer requires taking a leap of faith: when one reaches into the submillimeter realm, extra dimensions open up. And when gravity has more dimensions in which to operate, it becomes far more intense.

Doesn't this mean, however, that those subatomic particles have to be present in those extra dimensions for the extradimensional gravity to affect them?

I don't know that just because you might have six dimensions worth of gravity it will necessarily use its whole force on four dimensions worth of particles. Or does the fact that these are microdimensions mean that all subatomic particles automagically exist in all of them?

Does anyone here know?

www.sun.com taken down since yesterday. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2290958)

Their are reports that many of Sun's employees were killed in the WTC disaster. Sun's main website has been unavailable since yesterday. What the hell is happening?

Re:www.sun.com taken down since yesterday. (0)

wysoft (301924) | more than 12 years ago | (#2290983)

I can access Sun's site from Bremerton, Washington. I actually checked their site to see if they had any sort of blurb about the attack, but they're just yakking about Java again.

Re:www.sun.com taken down since yesterday. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2290994)

Thanks, I'm on the east coast and maybe it's a routing problem. WOR interviewed someone who worked for Sun and said that many of their employees at the WTC remain unaccounted for.

P.S. could you post the IP number for the Sun website which you were able to reach?

Waste management (1, Funny)

wysoft (301924) | more than 12 years ago | (#2290972)

Maybe they can figure out a way to create a black hole I can throw my trash into.

Sure, but... (0, Troll)

TermAnnex (154514) | more than 12 years ago | (#2290980)

does it run linux?

Re:Sure, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2291002)

No it does not run Linux.

Under an intense gravitational pull all your available IT bugdet is sucked into a bottomless void. Your hardware drifts at an alarming rate toward the infinite obsolesence horizon (no I can't spell, sorry). You are required to monitor these events using highly sophisticated self-audit detectors which pull IT funds from a therotical credit dimension, which may or may not exist.
Now does this sound like Linux???!!!!

Kill All Muslims. Kill All Islam. Destroy Them. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2291017)

Recent events prove that we must:
  1. Kill all Arabs.
  2. Kill all Towel Heads.
  3. Kill all Mohammedans.
  4. Kill all Muslims.
  5. Kill all Camel Jockeys
  6. Kill all Islam.
  7. Nuke their countries.
  8. Nuke them again.
  9. Death to Islam.

I piss on Mecca. I wipe my ass with the Koran. I spit upon Mohammed.

I hope they remember the basic rules... (5, Funny)

IronChef (164482) | more than 12 years ago | (#2291018)

They better not try to put their pet black hole in a bag of holding.

//wild spec: Not just physicists. (think CS) (2, Interesting)

rlsnow (147406) | more than 12 years ago | (#2291036)

..CS might well stand for crackpots, but definitely some interesting material. Not recommended for philosophobes. may we live in (exponentially acceleratingly) interesting times!

http://www.ugcs.caltech.edu/~phoenix/vinge/vinge-s ing.html [caltech.edu]
http://singularitywatch.com [singularitywatch.com]
http://singinst.org [singinst.org]

for the love of Life!
*(r)

memes don't exist. tell all your friends.
(enlightened by na-fun)

Important news from George W Bush (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2291039)

He's just stated to the world in a conference to

Kill all Arabs.
Kill all Towel Heads.
Kill all Mohammedans.
Kill all Muslims.
Kill all Camel Jockeys
Kill all Islam.
Nuke their countries.
Nuke them again.
Death to Islam.
Piss on Mecca. I wipe his ass with the Koran, and spit upon Mohammed.

Re:Important news from George W Bush (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2291046)

inclusion of sig is significant!

If Sun were a black hole we wouldn't be sucked in (4, Informative)

jesterzog (189797) | more than 12 years ago | (#2291042)

Black holes have a reputation for being mass-gobbling irreversible singularities, and they are. But this doesn't mean a black hole where the Sun is would swallow the Earth. I'm not an expert so someone can correct me if they know it better or more accurately.

Any amount of mass can be turned into a black hole - you just have to crush it into a small enough space. This is because every bit of matter has an event horizon, including the Sun (or the Earth for that matter). The difference with the Sun and most things is that the event horizon for the amount of matter in the sun is smaller than the Sun. If you crushed all of Sun's matter into a sufficiently tiny space that it was all inside, then everything else that moved inside would collapse and not return.

What most people don't realise is that if the Sun spontaneously turned into a black hole, we wouldn't die from being sucked in. We'd die from lack of solar energy. Because the Sun-black-hole would have the same mass, everything orbiting it would continue to orbit it the same way it is at the moment. The only big difference would be when something happened to wander inside the event horizon at which point it wouldn't leave, if you ignore all the wierd relativity things that go on at that point at least.

So I guess the point is that just because someone says they might be able to make a black hole, it doesn't mean you'll be instantly sucked in tommorrow without any warning.

Science making black-holes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2291044)

Ya know, it's theorized by some SF authors that our universe teems with life. Others argue "if this were the case, why haven't they made contact with us yet?"

Well, if cultures develop the know-how to MAKE blackholes, and they do not just go away, that might explain it.

And astronomers are always saying how many of these are floating around...

name one experiment... (0)

philipm (106664) | more than 12 years ago | (#2291052)

name one experiment that you can do on earth right now, that you would think of, and then NOT request funding for because it was too dangerous.

Come one, name one.
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