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Space

+ - Atom-smasher not to be feared->

Submitted by
T3Tech
T3Tech writes "Set to be fired up in August, the Large Hadron Collider, a 17 mile in circumference ring of supercooled magnets attached to huge barrel-shaped detectors, located 330 feet underground on the French and Swiss border, could apparently take months to get up to full power.

Scientists plan to hunt for signs of the invisible "dark matter" and "dark energy" that make up more than 96 percent of the universe, and hope to glimpse the elusive Higgs boson, a so-far undiscovered particle thought to give matter its mass.
...
Critics of the LHC filed a lawsuit in a Hawaiian court in March seeking to block its startup, alleging that there was "a significant risk that ... operation of the Collider may have unintended consequences which could ultimately result in the destruction of our planet." One of the plaintiffs, Walter L. Wagner, a physicist and lawyer, said Wednesday CERN's safety report, released June 20, "has several major flaws," and his views on the risks of using the particle accelerator had not changed.
...
Critics like Wagner have said the collisions caused by accelerators could be more hazardous than those of cosmic rays. Both may produce micro black holes, subatomic versions of cosmic black holes collapsed stars whose gravity fields are so powerful that they can suck in planets and other stars.


But not to worry say the scientists. Though if a black hole ends up swallowing the planet I guess we should just sit back and enjoy the ride as well as get used to weightlessness.
An interesting aside from TFA is the apparent data requirements of the LHC:

Each year the detectors will generate 15 petabytes of data, the equivalent of a stack of CDs 12 miles tall. The data will require a high speed global network of computers for analysis.

"

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Sigmund Freud is alleged to have said that in the last analysis the entire field of psychology may reduce to biological electrochemistry.

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