Channel 4 Report About LHC Safety (ft. Walter Wagner!)

Working on the LHC (CERN)
Working on the LHC (CERN)

The LHC is set to go online in around two months time and the scientific world waits in anticipation for the first results. However, there are a few who are more concerned than excited for the LHC experiments. On Tuesday night, I was kindly asked to join the LHC debate with the prominent LHC critic, Walter Wagner on Captain Jack’s show Paranormal Radio. To be honest, I really enjoyed the open platform provided for me to ask Walter some questions about his forthcoming lawsuit against the US partners funding CERN. Mr Wagner is far from being a fantasist or “crank” (as I’ve seen unkindly written in some of the media), but his views are more in the realms of speculation, rather than being based on the actual physics predicted to come out of the LHC.

Today, science reporter David Fuller with the UK news channel ITN contacted me to say that he had covered Walter’s story in a news item for Channel 4. He put together a very balanced report that should allay any fears that micro black holes or strangelets could be produced by this awesome experiment in the search for the Higgs boson…

I was a little uncertain about what to expect when asked to chat with Walter Wagner. I have previously covered his much publicised lawsuit, citing it as an extreme overreaction by the Hawaii-based teacher/lawyer. On listening to his answers to my questions, the first thing that struck me was the breadth of knowledge he had on the subject, but he didn’t change my optimism for the LHC.

His main concern is that insufficient safety measures have been taken when considering what might come from these high-energy collisions; Wagner wants 100% certainty that the LHC is safe. The first issue I have with this is that we can never declare any physics experiment 100% safe, after all, we are probing beyond anything we have been able to experience in history. Using the LHC to recreate some of the conditions the moment after the Big Bang is based on robust physics theory. Micro black holes and strangelets are not. These are purely speculative particles. Even if a micro black hole could be produced, robust physics theory predicts they will fizz out of existence in an instant. There is practically no way strangelets can be produced (LHC energies are too low).

Regardless, I admire Wagner’s spirit, he is following through with a lawsuit he believes in, regardless of the opposition he is facing from the vast majority of the science community. So, now for the excellent Channel 4 news report by David Fuller:

http://services.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f8/1184614595

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14 thoughts on “Channel 4 Report About LHC Safety (ft. Walter Wagner!)”

  1. Man’s technology has exceeded his grasp. – ‘The World is not Enough’
    Zealous Nobel Prize hungry Physicists are racing each other and stopping at nothing to try to find the supposed ‘Higgs Boson'(aka God) Particle, among others, and are risking nothing less than the annihilation of the Earth and all Life in endless experiments hoping to prove a theory when urgent tangible problems face the planet. The European Organization for Nuclear Research(CERN) new Large Hadron Collider(LHC) is the world’s most powerful atom smasher that will soon be firing subatomic particles at each other at nearly the speed of light to create Miniature Big Bangs producing Micro Black Holes, Strangelets and other potentially cataclysmic phenomena.
    CERN physicist Alvaro De Rújula in the BBC LHC documentary, ‘The Six Billion Dollar Experiment’, incredibly admits quote, “Will we find the Higgs particle at the LHC? That, of course, is the question. And the answer is, science is what we do when we don’t know what we’re doing.” And CERN spokesmodel Brian Cox follows with this stunning quote, “the LHC is certainly, by far, the biggest jump into the unknown.”
    The CERN-LHC website Mainpage itself states quote: “There are many theories as to what will result from these collisions,…” Again, this is because they truly don’t know what’s going to happen. They are experimenting with forces they don’t understand to obtain results they can’t comprehend. If you think like most people do that ‘They must know what they’re doing’ you could not be more wrong. Some people think the same thing about medical Dr.s but consider this by way of comparison and example from JAMA: “A recent Institute of Medicine report quoted rates estimating that medical errors kill between 44,000 and 98,000 people a year in US hospitals.” The second part of the quote reads “…but what’s for sure is that a brave new world of physics will emerge from the new accelerator,…” A molecularly changed or Black Hole consumed Lifeless World? The end of the quote reads “…as knowledge in particle physics goes on to describe the workings of the Universe.” These experiments to date have so far produced infinitely more questions than answers but there isn’t a particle physicist alive who wouldn’t gladly trade his life to glimpse the “God particle”, and sacrifice the rest of us with him.
    This quote from National Geographic exactly sums this “science” up: “That’s the essence of experimental particle physics: You smash stuff together and see what other stuff comes out.”
    Find out more about that “stuff” below;
    http://www.SaneScience.org/
    http://www.LHCFacts.org
    http://www.risk-evaluation-forum.org/anon1.htm
    http://www.lhcdefense.org/
    http://www.lhcconcerns.com
    Popular Mechanics – “World’s Biggest Science Project Aims to Unlock ‘God Particle'” – http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/extreme_machines/4216588.html

  2. Hello Dr. O’Neill.

    Are you concerned by papers that categorize Hawking Radiation as an open question or does not exist? At least one CERN employee editing the Wikipedia Safety of the Large Hadron collider has argued against inclusion of any of these references. A few of the references are noted on the TalkReferences page of the same article. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Safety_of_the_Large_Hadron_Collider)

    Could you expound on your impression of Walter Wager and his concerns other than “far from being a fantasist or “crank”” and speculative?

    Thank you,
    JTankers,
    Software Developer and founder of LHCFacts.org.

  3. If it’s safe for Ultra-high-energy cosmic rays to collide at TeV energies, then it’s safe underground. Wager, despite his claims for safety, is only looking for fame. Shame on us for giving it to him. How many people have been kept ignorant and needlessly scared by publicity of the ridiculous doomsday theories? That is a lot of psychological damage, which Wager is liable and should be held accountable.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultra-high-energy_cosmic_ray

  4. said Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency spokesman Peter Judge.
    It’s like going to a political rally and having people yell at you.
    but that’s what happens in free societies where people try to draw attention to themselves.”

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