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Yes, but something usually said in reply to this is that those interactions would involve any by-products moving away from the earth at near the speed of light. The products of the LHC will, apparently, remain more or less where they are.

Now before you explode and say 'total gobblydegook!', please understand that I am only a layman and that the argument is not actually mine. I do not even know if it makes any sense. That is why I ask the people here.

I would like to see someone debunk that particular objection, because any time I see anyone 'debate' these things it goes like this:

'The LHC could destroy the world!'

'No it couldn't, interactions like that happen all the time from cosmic rays and nothing has gone wrong so far, has it.'

'But the cases aren't the same, because LHC products can be expected to remain in the vicinity of the Earth, unlike those produced by cosmic rays!'


You can see why it is frustrating for me. I cannot follow physics, but I can follow an argument, and there is usually something missing in this one, i.e. the step that says 'Bollocks, because ...'

So can someone here provide that? Thanks.

by wing26 on Thu Feb 21st, 2008 at 08:10:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually the fallout of cosmic ray impacts goes all the way through the earth (what is not absorbed quickly in the atmosphere and crust). The LHC will generate more carefully calibrated events (angle, energy band), and its particular band, it will generate in a few years more events than cosmic rays in centuries. But cosmic rays generate every years a few events that are several orders of magnitude larger than anything LHC can produce.

by Pierre on Fri Feb 22nd, 2008 at 05:58:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
When you say "aren't the same," (let's assume it is true) you actually mean that the probability of a similar reaction happening at any given time is really low.
But space is big, the universe is old, and if there was a non-trivial probability of a cataclysmic occurence happening when the LHC's switched on, it would have had happen, and it would have been spotted, somewhere.
Now that I think of it, Supernovæ might actually be alien-built Large Hadron Colliders ...

A 'centrist' is someone who's neither on the left, nor on the left.
by nicta (nico@altiva․fr) on Sun Feb 24th, 2008 at 12:59:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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