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Colliding Particles Can Make Black Holes After All 269

cremeglace writes with this excerpt from ScienceNOW: "You've heard the controversy. Particle physicists predict the world's new highest-energy atom smasher, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) near Geneva, Switzerland, might create tiny black holes, which they say would be a fantastic discovery. Some doomsayers fear those black holes might gobble up the Earth — physicists say that's impossible — and have petitioned the United Nations to stop the $5.5 billion LHC. Curiously, though, nobody had ever shown that the prevailing theory of gravity, Einstein's theory of general relativity, actually predicts that a black hole can be made this way. Now a computer model shows conclusively for the first time that a particle collision really can make a black hole." That said, they estimate the required energy for creating a black hole this way to be roughly "a quintillion times higher than the LHC's maximum"; though if one of the theories requiring compact extra dimensions is true, the energy could be lower.

Comment Re:projection (Score 1) 596

While this is an interesting example, I don't have any doubt that there are plenty of other things that you would like to store than just video. And many of them may require *much* more storage capacity.

Let's take just one example: chess. As far as I know, most endgame databases currently in use are up to 5 or maybe 6 pieces remaining on the board. A 6-men endgame database is about 1TB. And as you increase the number of pieces, the size of the database grows very fast.

I don't event talk about storing all possible chess positions ... But here's a quote from this article, including some new numbers for you to play with:

"Allis also estimated the game-tree complexity to be at least 10^123, "based on an average branching factor of 35 and an average game length of 80". As a comparison, the number of atoms in the Universe, to which it is often compared, is estimated to be between 4x10^79 and 10^81."

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