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Large Hadron Collider Black Holes

  1. Mar 26, 2008 #1
    I understand that if black holes were created in the LHC, they should evaporate in 10^-100 seconds and be created at 1 black hole per second. The collider produces 10^8 collisions per second. The lifespan of a black hole increases with mass^3.
    I was wondering whether it would be possible for a small black hole to be 'pumped up' with additional collisions until it had a much longer lifespan.
    I realize that the likelihood of the first collision happening at all would be something on the order of 10^-92, and the increased charge of the black hole would make it less likely for another ion to bump into it..
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 1, 2008 #2
    Large Hadron Collider - A Solution to the Fermi Paradox?

    Setting aside all the questions about whether the LHC presents a significant environmental danger (questions it is bound to answer one way or another during its operational career), suppose for the sake of argument that it is. If it is as dangerous as the recent lawsuit against Fermilab and CERN, et. al. would suggest it might be, then it represents a class of solutions to the Fermi Paradox. The Fermi Paradox asks why no large-scale, highly advanced extraterrestrial civilizations have ever been detected given the preponderance of statistical evidence in favor of such a detection, even when prognosticated using the most restrictive underlying assumptions. ** IF ** the LHC could in fact produce black holes stable and robust enough to gobble up the Earth, ** THEN ** this could represent one of the civilization extinction mechanisms answering to the Fermi Paradox.

    To investigate this question empirically, without having to delve into the questions of particle physics the LHC was designed in part to answer, we first ask ourselves what such an extinction event would look like from a distance of many light years as it plays out over time. Then we search the astronomical archives for observational evidence consistent with such an event or its aftermath whose natural explanations have been less than satisfactory. The main problem with this approach is of course the characteristic tendency of black holes to destroy evidence of the civilizations they encounter - even the ones that may have created them.
  4. Apr 2, 2008 #3


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    Based on the numbers in the OP, it would seem impossible. If the collider produces only 10^8 collisions per second, and any miniature black hole produced survives for only 10^ -100 seconds, then the ads of another collision happening anywhere within the collider during the lifespan of the black hole are extremely small. The odds of that collision taking place in close enough proximity to "feed" the black hole are many orders of magnitude smaller.

    However, if such an event did take place, in spite of the long odds, the fact that one collision added to the mass of the miniature black hole would, indeed, extend the lifespan of that black hole. It would also increase the improbability of another collision happening in that same location. With each new collision, the odds against additional collisions occurring within the time and space needed increases more rapidly than the lifespan of the black hole.

    Again, this is just my personal assessment based on information given in the original post.
  5. Apr 8, 2008 #4
    Large Hadron Collider - Exobiological Gedankenexperiments

    Hopefully the LHC poses no significant environmental threat. Keep in mind, however, that a highly improbable sequence of events can become statistically inevitable given enough opportunities to occur, and can be expected quite soon when those opportunities are created at very high rates.

    "Smoking guns" to look for in the astronomical records (setting aside current limitations in observational capabilities):

    In General:
    - black holes having masses below the Chandrasekhar limit (and therefore originally the product of an explosive rather than a gravitational compression). These might be produced naturally in a supernova or by the Big Bang, but perhaps also in a supercollider mishap.

    More Specifically, e.g.:
    - black holes on the order of one earth mass, orbiting on the order of one AU from a red or yellow main sequence star (perhaps even encircled by the remnants of a nascent satellite technology).

    Not that we're anywhere near the kind of astronomical resolution or fidelity needed to detect such phenomena, but that's the sort of thing we'd want to look for in order to test the Large Hadron Collider astronomically (rather than experimentally) against the Fermi Paradox.
  6. Apr 8, 2008 #5

    Vanadium 50

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    We have that astronomical data. If the LHC could make a world-destroying black hole, then the same interactions in cosmic rays could do the same. The only thing new about the LHC is that we can produce these collisions in places where we know there is a detector to monitor what happens rather than the upper atmosphere. The fact that we still have a moon shows us that there is no measurable risk.
  7. Apr 8, 2008 #6
    Large Hadron Collider - Exobiological Gedankenexperiments

    My posts do not argue this point.
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