Rick, Sern, Physicist discussed on The End of the World with Josh Clark
It's about here where the story begins of how Sern which actively messes with the mass and energy of particles took up a longtime quest to prove that it's large Hadron collider won't do humanity. Actually, wait. It begins a little before the L H C came along. The story really starts in nineteen ninety nine. That year was as far as anybody knows the first time anyone seriously raised the idea that a particle collider might be able to end the world. Scientific American magazine published a letter from a reader who wasn't. So sure that the relativistic heavy ion collider at the Brookhaven national lab in New York nicknamed the Rick was entirely safe. The reader was concerned that the Rick might produce a microscopic black hole kind of thing the hawking proposed when particles collided inside of it. Scientific American published the reader's letter along with a response by physicist named Frank will check and we'll check pointed out classical physics doesn't allow for microscope like holes to exist at all. That's point one point two was that even if the theories that include additional dimensions theories that are beyond classical physics and actually do allow for microscopic black holes to exist. If those additional dimensional theories turn out to be true, the energies of the particle collisions in the Rick. We're still far too low to actually create a microscopic like whole so no worries. There was one Maury. At least. We'll check did mention that it was much more likely. The Rick could produce an exotic type of matter called the strange lit strange. Lists are heavy particles made of smaller vibrations called strange quarks despite their heavier size. They're actually lower energy than typical strange. Works which means that the universe would prefer them over strange corks. It's just strange lists tend to dissolve very quickly because of their higher mass. The concern over strange Litz is that if one of them didn't dissolve into elementary particles. It could conceivably set off a chain reaction lowering the energy, but increasing the mass of the matter that makes up earth converting our planet and everything on it, including us into a massive in art dead. Bolck? We'll check offhand comment at the end of his reply set off a separate years. Log tangent of uneasiness an investigation into strange. Let's and whether they have the goods to pose an existential risk themselves, but at least microscopic black hole tear was put the bed. So it seems the terribly disconcerting idea of a man may black hole has a habit of winking into existence again and again. A couple of years after the scientific American readers black hole. Question was asked and answered the looming specter of a potentially world ending black hole created in particle collider rose again, like a new universe rising to replace an old one this time the collider and questioned was the large Hadron collider which was beginning to be assembled in Europe this time around the fears weren't quite so unfounded because the energies of the collisions in the large Hadron collider for an order of magnitude higher than the Rix high enough, in fact that if any of those multidimensional theories are correct the LHC should be fully capable of producing microscopic black holes inside of it. So capable in fact that a two thousand one paper by physicist, Stephen Giddings, called the L H see a black hole factory and calculated that it could produce a microscopic black hole every second. It's pro time beams for. Crossed. Now. It's here where certain began its longstanding quest to prove the large Hadron collider safe on the one hand, the idea that the Elliott see might be able to break open, the current understanding of the universe and point. Theoretical physicists in clear. New direction is intensely exciting for the particle physics community. But on the other hand Sern was much less excited about the idea of everybody else seeing their machine as a black hole factory that could end the world. And it's pretty easy to understand why the funding for Sern at any given point is precarious enough under the best of circumstances. They count on public funds from multiple nations and work under the threat of those funds drying up at any time and the stakes for keeping the large Hadron. Collider funded are very high. This is law. Professor Eric Johnson who has written extensively on the risks that come along with high energy physics experiments..