Lhc 20080804
We had a commenter that was really upset about the Large Hadron Collider (or as I like to call it, the biggest refrigerator ever made). I also received a few emails, with the same concerns. Here’s what the commenter said and below that, the latest from Science Daily…

This experiment is sick and those that think it a joke are sick. The scientists are terrorists in threatening mass destruction. They have no right to veto my existence, the lives of my children, life on earth in all its wonderous beauty and complexity. They have no right to threaten the people of Earth with mega death. The experiment has to be stopped at all costs. No data or knowledge is worth this kind of risk. Science has reached its limitation. People were quite happy in the past with simple pleasures. No one needs this science or data. we have too much already. Humans need to return to simple and sustainable living and not be threatened by a minority of freaks with over sized brains and no appreciation of Nature and everyday things like mountains, birds, insects, flowers or the sunrise.

And here’s a snippet from Science Daily & The Review of the Safety of LHC Collisions. Journal of Physics G: Nuclear and Particle Physics, September 5, 2008.

A new report provides the most comprehensive evidence available to confirm that the Large Hadron Collider (LHC)’s switch-on, due on Wednesday next week, poses no threat to mankind. Nature’s own cosmic rays regularly produce more powerful particle collisions than those planned within the LHC, which will enable nature’s laws to be studied in controlled experiments.

The LHC Safety Assessment Group have reviewed and updated a study first completed in 2003, which dispels fears of universe-gobbling black holes and of other possibly dangerous new forms of matter, and confirms that the switch-on will be completely safe.

The report explains that if particle collisions at the LHC had the power to destroy the Earth, we would never have been given the chance to exist, because regular interactions with more energetic cosmic rays would already have destroyed the Earth or other astronomical bodies.

The Safety Assessment Group writes, “Nature has already conducted the equivalent of about a hundred thousand LHC experimental programmes on Earth – and the planet still exists.”

I think the problem is that when you ask a scientist “is there *any* chance things could go wrong” – they will always say well, sure a 0.000000000x chance… it’s not zero, but it’s also not exactly like pulling the slot machine handle when this machine is fired up either. I do agree with the commenter though, “they have no right to threaten the people of Earth with mega death”.