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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pazuzu View Post
They are not trying to make black holes.

There is a zoo of elementary particles that are postulated to exist (or have existed). The Standard Model of subatomic physics gives approximate energy levels for each of these. Since Einstein showed us that mass and energy are equivalent, that means that if you can produce that much energy in a small area, there would be enough "mass" for the particle to form.

We're now to the point where they're searching for particles with such high energy, that they haven't existed in any appreciable amounts in the Universe since there was that much energy...the Big Bang, and possible in the core of some super-massive supernovae.

So, we make high energy accelerators, and slowly stumble across new, higher energy particles, hoping that (a) they exist on our zoological list and (b) are at a proper energy level. They're ticking off the shopping list. If they can get everything on the list, it was found where they expected it, and nothing different shows up, then the Standard Model would be pretty well verified.

Now, this seems like it would be easy to check, right? Maybe the Higgs bozon is postulated to have (make up numbers here) a weight of 40 pounds. Calculations show that you need a 20 mile circumference accelerator to get that energy. However, we only have a 17 mile unit. Basic atomic physics says that we will never see the Higgs.

However! Quantum Mechanics now steps in. It says that the energy/mass correlation can FLUCTUATE. You can give 35 pounds of accelerator energy, and it'll steal 5 pounds from the space-time fabric, and make that 40 pound Higg's bozon with your 17 mile accelerator...SOMETIMES. The more energy it needs to steal, the less likely it is, and the faster that particle disintegrates back into 35 pounds of energy and pays back the 5 pounds borrowed.

THAT is what they're looking for. They are hoping that the Higgs appears, for ever so short of a time, every millionth or billionth or trillionth collision. They hope that the probability catches up with them because of the volume of collisions they will do.

Now, the curse of this "borrowed" energy is that in an EXCEPTIONALLY small percentage of collisions, the energy borrowed will be so large that you exceed the mass requirements for a black hole in the center of that collision. It's postulated that this happened A LOT during the Big Bang...numerous uber-tiny black holes spawning out of the energy that existed then. Some might still exist, but many/most/all don't, according to Hawkings. His Hawking Radiation says that black holes slowly bleed energy back out into the Universe. Big ones (from stars) would take millions of times the age of the Universe to bleed out, but tiny ones are small enough that they might have evaporated already (over the past 15 billion years).

Take a breath...
I think I follow you with this. 17 miles is not long enough for the tunnel to actively produce the Higgs bozon, so they compensate a bit, hoping it will still appear.

Is the Higgs bozon black matter?
How exactly will the scientists know it when it occurs?
How many times will the scientists run these tests before they achieve their desired results? Or, if not, will there come a time when they'll just give up and call it a day?
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Old 09-10-2008, 08:43 AM
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