OT: Oh, great! Just what we need about now... a black hole!

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From: Y2K, ` la Carte by Dancr near Monterey, California

Atlas Shrugs

-- Dancr (addy.available@my.webpage), October 01, 1999


There are some areas of scientific exploration that should simply by left alone and this is most certainly one of them. We need a Terminator II to visit these scientists or the lab itself just before the test takes place. Remember what happened to Victor Frankenstein.

-- cody varian (cody@y2ksurvive.com), October 01, 1999.

How does one prepare for a black hole? I'm gonna make sure my bucket lids are on tight. It could be a rough ride ;-)

-- (ohsh*t@hangon.xcom), October 01, 1999.

Saved by the Void! Sounds better than living thru Y2K.

There are several other earlier threads about this experiment.

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (allaha@earthlink.net), October 01, 1999.

Maybe this is the ultimate y2k fix. The "time dilation" effects of the black hole will mean that it will take several million "years" before the clock strikes midnight on Jan. 1.

But seriously, I don't think this is going to be a problem...just a bunch of geeks trying to get some attention in the mainstream press by posing this impossibility as plausible. I hope they do discover some new and interesting things though! Good luck to them all.

-- coprolith (coprolith@rocketship.com), October 01, 1999.

A quote from the article: "All I know about black holes is that they have zero volume and infinite density."

Sounds like the definition of "politician".

Once again in a cynical mind frame,

-- winter wondering (winterwondring@yahoo.com), October 01, 1999.

BNL comment

September 17, 1999

Statement on ABCNEWS Website Article on RHIC

John Marburger, Director
Brookhaven National Laboratory

The September 14 edition of ABCNEWS.com includes an article by Fred Moody describing the views of David Melville, "an eccentric physicist and thinker," that suggests that collisions at Brookhaven Lab's Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider can create a black hole that could "eat up the earth." The origin of the black hole would be the quark-gluon plasma, whose creation, under laboratory conditions, is a primary objective of RHIC experiments. Moody quotes Melville as saying, "It has been theorized by Steven Hawking that from this quark-gluon plasma other forms of matter are also produced. The most dangerous being a black hole."

The reference to Stephen Hawking, a prominent theoretical physicist, appears to give credence to the notion that RHIC experiments might be dangerous. In fact, the ideas of Melville, as represented by Moody, are entirely incorrect. RHIC will not re-create the Big Bang, which encompassed all the matter and energy in the universe, but rather an exceedingly small quantity of matter - roughly equivalent to one atom of material - in the quark-gluon plasma state.

Black holes require enormous concentrations of gravitational force, which can only come from enormous concentrations of matter. RHIC experiments involve essentially zero amounts of matter and will produce zero disturbance of the normal gravitational field of the earth.

There is simply not enough matter or energy in the RHIC collisions to create a black hole. This conclusion does not require difficult or obscure calculations and has not been questioned by any physicist in a relevant field who has considered the matter.

Moody refers to an exchange of letters in the July 1999 Scientific American Magazine and a story in the July 18 Sunday Times of London. In Scientific American a reader asks whether the RHIC collisions might create a black hole, and physicist Frank Wilczek, of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ, responds, dismissing the possibility. This exchange motivated the Sunday Times story, to which I responded with a statement that Moody quotes correctly.

I expect that speculations about "doomsday scenarios" will continue to be discussed as RHIC experiments proceed. Some of these scenarios postulate interesting physical ideas, but they all must conform to very well confirmed laws of nature, and, therefore, their consequences can be predicted in detail. None poses any danger.

Scientists are no more willing to endanger the world, or themselves, than anyone else is. Speculations about possible dangerous consequences of RHIC collisions have been explored, analyzed and laid to rest long ago by men and women who also have families and hopes for the future. No one who is knowledgeable about the RHIC experiments believes any risks are present.

-- Jerry B (skeptic76@erols.com), October 01, 1999.

To quote Homer Simpson: "Wowwww. Think how big the donut must be"!

-- A. Hambley (a.hambley@usa.net), October 01, 1999.

Y'all just don't realize black holes have existed on this planet for years...just look in the eyes of some pollies/lawyers/ and politicians... you'll see the black holes there....

-- Billy-Boy (Rakkasn@Yahoo.com), October 01, 1999.

This might provide my only opportunity to be thin in this lifetime...reaaaaaaaalllllllllllly thin...rofl


-- beej (beej@ppbbs.com), October 01, 1999.

Here's where those tinfoil hats might come in handy.

-- Mara Wayne (MaraWayne@aol.com), October 01, 1999.

look on the bright side...it'll happen so quickly that we may not feel a thing...

hey, how about that Mars Orbitor huh? inches, feet, milimeters, kilometers, whatever...it's just a little atom afterall...just a little, itsy bitsy atom...what the heck could one little atom do, huh? Greenspan has great confidence in our NASA scientists...that's why Y2k is all hype. don't panic, sheesh.

(Our arrogance will kill us, eventually)



-- Michael Taylor (mt4design@aol.com), October 01, 1999.

"No one who is knowledgeable about the RHIC experiments believes any risks are present." Yeah, I've learned to trust those experts, by golly. I used to worry about Y2k, but apparently there's lots of experts who know more than I do, so I'll take their word for it. I bet experts designed to safety systems in that Japanese fuel-processing plant.

Alternatively, we could play it safe. We could send the test rig about four or five light-years away, and do the experiment there. We could have the thing moving away from us at, oh, half the speed of light when it happens, so that if a hole develops it would at least give us some time to evacuate. Course, there are one or two little technical hurdles to overcome on the way.

Think of placing the test rig in space as your college entrance exam, before the human race is allowed to take the course on Universe Fundamentals 101.

-- bw (home@puget.sound), October 01, 1999.

Sure wish we could get this postponed untill after Y2K. I don't think I can handle one more thing! Time out PLEASE.


-- Tommy Rogers (Been there@Just a Thought.com), October 01, 1999.

Repent, the end is near.(or something like that).

-- Betty Alice (Barn266@aol.com), October 01, 1999.

WOW. If two gold ions can do that... just imagine what a couple of Gold coins could do!

-- Y2KGardener (gardens@bigisland.net), October 01, 1999.

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