Lad mig bare citere, hvad jeg i går citerede en fysiker for: “Look, it’s a 10^-19 chance, and you’ve got a 10^-11 chance of suddenly evaporating while shaving.”
En ting man overser i denne diskussion – eller som nogen overser – er, at naturen har udført denne type højenergi-eksperimenter i millioner af år uden at det har medført særligt katastrofale resultater. Hvis der havde været noget om snakken, ville månen have været væk for længe siden …
The safety of collisions at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) was studied in 2003 by the LHC Safety Study Group, who concluded that they presented no danger. Here we review their 2003 analysis in light of additional experimental results and theoretical understanding, which enable us to confirm, update and extend the conclusions of the LHC Safety Study Group. The LHC reproduces in the laboratory, under controlled conditions, collisions at centre-of-mass energies, less than those reached in the atmosphere by some of the cosmic rays that have been bombarding the Earth for billions of years. We recall the rates for the collisions of cosmic rays with the Earth, Sun, neutron stars, white dwarfs and other astronomical bodies at energies higher than the LHC. The stability of astronomical bodies indicates that such collisions cannot be dangerous. Specifically, we study the possible production at the LHC of hypothetical objects such as vacuum bubbles, magnetic monopoles, microscopic black holes and strangelets, and find no associated risks. Any microscopic black holes produced at the LHC are expected to decay by Hawking radiation before they reach the detector walls. If some microscopic black holes were stable, those produced by cosmic rays would be stopped inside the Earth or other astronomical bodies. The stability of astronomical bodies strongly constrains the possible rate of accretion by any such microscopic black holes, so that they present no conceivable danger. In the case of strangelets, the good agreement of measurements of particle production at RHIC with simple thermodynamic models severely constrains the production of strangelets in heavy-ion collisions at the LHC, which also present no danger.
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