• LHC Wins Lawsuit, Okay To Blow Us Up

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    This one cracked me up…
    LHC Wins Lawsuit, Okay To Blow Us Up

    Blogs / Discoblog
    Judge: Man Can’t Sue Over LHC’s Potential “Destruction of the Earth”

    Back in 2008, a Hawaiian fellow named Walter Wagner claimed the Large Hadron Collider’s hunt for the Higgs boson would end in apocalypse, and sued to stop the collider from going online. His suit was soon dismissed by a federal judge, but with the fate of the world on the line, Wagner kept trying.

    Now an appellate judge for the United States District Court in Hawaii has foiled Wagner again by knocking down his appeal, as Symmetry reports. The judge found that Wagner failed to show “credible threat of harm” and also noted that the United States doesn’t control the collider, which spans the border of Switzerland and France:

    The European Center for Nuclear Research (“CERN”) proposed and constructed the Collider, albeit with some U.S. government support. The U.S. government enjoys only observer status on the CERN council, and has no control over CERN or its operations. Accordingly, the alleged injury, destruction of the earth, is in no way attributable to the U.S. government’s failure to draft an environmental impact statement.

    This isn’t Wagner’s first run-in with particle physics. In 1999 he got worried about the Brookhaven National Laboratory’s Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) that was then under construction, and wrote a letter to Scientific American regarding the chance that the machine could create a black hole that would swallow up Long Island–followed by the planet. Although Nobel Laureate Franck Wilcek published a response in the magazine declaring that scenario unlikely, he just happened to mention world-devouring particles called strangelets as a more likely but still very unlikely possibility, adding to Wagner’s panic and fueling a worldwide fiasco (pdf) of misrepresented science and ignorance.

    Wagner failed to stop the RHIC, and Brookhaven, with Wilcek’s help, published the charmingly-named report “Review of ‘Speculative Disaster Scenarios’ at RHIC” (pdf) detailing how the collider would not bring about the apocalypse. The LHC has a similar report spelling out why the collider will not kill us with microscopic black holes, strangelets, vacuum bubbles, or magnetic monopoles.

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    • #1279753

      It’s a bitter sweet moment for Texas physicists, who 15 years ago were working on the Superconducting Super Collider project, a $4 billion effort near Waxahatchie that would have created a particle accelerator three times larger than the LHC.
      After spending $2 billion on the effort, Congress pulled the plug in 1993, handing off future leadership in a vital scientific field to the CERN laboratory near Geneva. It resulted in an exodus of American scientists to Europe to work on the hottest physics project on Earth. Former President Bill Clinton, who signed the legislation killing the project, later admitted he thought the cancellation was a mistake.
      Although Americans are contributing to the LHC experiment, it will not have the impact on U.S. scientific development or the economic and academic benefits for Texas that would have come with the Supercollider.
      We wish the venture scientific success, and no black holes, but we can’t help regretting that it didn’t happen in Texas.

      Read more: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/editorial/5992574.html#ixzz1MdmHGMWG
      quoted from http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/editorial/5992574.html

      and i think it is good to see our government stop spending money when halfway through large projects, rather than stick with a decision.

    • #1279776

      Texas is generally considered a Republican state, but I’m “sure” politics had nothing to do with the decision. Just like the “well-thought out” decision to stop flying the shuttle before the US has an alternative launch capability. So what if the Soviets have jacked up the per-seat price since the decision was announced. That’s just another US export – capitalism!

    • #1279832

      Above was a quote from that site. I did not mean to imply that it was or was not a political decision to cancel.

      Obviously politics had something to do with it. Politics always has something to do with it. The cancellation had nothing to do with Texas being conservative though, it had to do with money and religious concerns. The church was concerned that this would give more ammo to the ‘no god’ argument.

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