All we need is some bored kid patent examiner with a genius wife to make some new 'thought experiments' and come up with more definitive proof for currently oddball theories (For the vegetarian pacifist, it was E=mc^w). A bunch of other guys can jump on the bandwagon. Through in soe impoverished country full of angry war veterans, nutball ideology, world wide warfare, and we got a new manhattan project.
Ok. So ingredient number one is the physics breakthrough. Like Bronze/Iron, or Gunpowder. Or nuclear fission / fusion.
Farting around wikipedia led me to 'color confinement' and 'quark nova'. In case ya dunno,, they think that quarks are what make up the parts of the atoms... neutrons, protons, and such.. all made of quarks and gluons.
"When a neutron star spins down, it can convert to a quark star through a process known as quark deconfinement. which powers the quark nova.
. . .
The quark de-confinement process should release immense amounts of energy, perhaps explaining the most energetic explosions in the universe; " Quark Nova at wikipedia
Quark Deconfinement, wikipedia
"When two quarks become separated, as happens in particle accelerator collisions, at some point it is more energetically favorable for a new quark/anti-quark pair to spontaneously appear out of the vacuum, than to allow the quarks to separate further. As a result of this, when quarks are produced in particle accelerators, instead of seeing the individual quarks in detectors, scientists see "jets" of many color-neutral particles (mesons and baryons), clustered together. This process is called hadronization, fragmentation or string breaking, and is one of the least understood processes in particle physics."
Great. So once we do understand it, we can make our own Gamma Ray Bursts, and fry the planet in a few minutes.
Better yet, lets build a base on the moon, then aim our quark blaster at the earths ozone layer, extort the UN for 'one million american dollars', and wait.
I didn't find much on the web about 'quark bombs', except for one thread on a physics website. A distinguished person, obviously alamred at the 'political' nature of comments saying 'we shouldnt be figuring out how to build new bombs', said it was the 'responsibility' of scientists to research these things, and it was not their problem if others chose to use it to destroy the planet, since , of course, the first people to make clubs, were not responsible for the violence clubs participted in.
Of course. We scientists are not resposnible for anything. Of corse, when science goes right we want to claim responsibility - its our research that led to , say, cancer treatments, or cures for malaria or genetic diseases. but, nuclear bombs? oh, scientists had nothing to do with that. not their problem. Or to paraphrase one of my CS professors, 'this stuff was sort of icky, but the money was green' (she did some kind of battlefield simulation research. - no doubt, im sure that came in handy fighting al-qaeda in iraq. massive battlefields everywhere. mmhmm).
Another person in the thread said that one of his professors went insane, and before he was fired, he would rant about 'quark bombs' in the classroom.
I have this theory about Einstein. He probably could have figured out the unified field theory. He just didnt want to.
The atomic weapons, for him, must have been devastating. . . . this devoted pacifist who would refuse conscription and had to flee his home country,... (was it twice?)... to watch the atomic age unfold not for power but for death, and to have had to play part in it by sending a letter to Roosevelt. . .
It would have broken many men. What did he do? People say that he said once that if hew knew what his inventions were used for, he would have become a clockmaker. . . . . . . And so, after the trinity test... he must have known.
A unified field theory would be used for exactly what he had seen atomic theories used for. Super weapons to annihilate the planet. Watching the Soviets and USians build up an arsenal of nuclear warheads that could render the planet uninhabitable in a few hours... perhaps knowing of the several times that we came hair triggers away from it happening...
How could he honestly put his all into the UFT?
Maybe he even threw people off track, on purpose!
He is long dead, though, and all the others too.
Now our new generation, amoral, that spits in his face... even as they post pictures of him on their walls and call him 'hero' without knowing a thing about his philosophy of life , or science, his dogged adherence to the idea that ones personal behavior makes you personally responsibile for the effect it has on the larger world....
He is relegated to some doting old nutjob. They extract from him 'thought experiment' and 'relativity', as men 'extracting' the treasures of nature, but without a thought as to conservation or respect for the earth whence those treasures came. Einstein's mind is grazed and clear cut, his social and political stances treated like waste products.
On to the quark gluon plasma, on to quantum chromodynamics, on to de-confinement, and on to quark energy. Not our problem if someone can destroy a planet.
Imagining this crazy professor, on and on about quark bombs. And the film 'the big red one', mark hamill's movie he -should- be remebered for... his unit in world war ii, italy, they come upon an insane asylum. as the germans infiltrate, everyone grabs guns, nobody can tell what is going on. "how do you know you're in a war? when you can't tell the crazy people from the sane."
The 'sane' people are building the foundations of a planet-destroying bomb, and saying its not their fault if it is used. The 'crazy' people are holding candlelight vigils against war, and studying pointless 'fluff' subjects, things like history or art.
No. The 'reality based community' suffers another loss... while the true believers, in the religion called progress, decide to impose their reality on us. for while they may understand the nature of matter they understand little about the nature of man.
oh but im wrong. quark research will lead to wonderful things. things like nearly free energy, solving global warming, making fantastic ne computers, medical imaging, sniffing for boombs etc etc etc.
no, it wont. nuclear power did not lead us to solve global warming. it lead to chornobyl and to the war in iraq (wmds baby), problems in north korea and iran... and so forth. aq khan the pakistani oppenheimer, released god knows what nuclear materials into god knows what corners of central asia. the soviet collapse did the same. we have no idea where that stuff is, we dont eeven know where the scientists are. we dont even care. support the troops, spend a trillion dollars. but god forbid we scan incoming shipping containers for nuclear signatures.
a billion people dont have access to clean drinking water. there are people dying of diseases we figured out how to cure decades ago. children, even.
let me ask these people, if we devoted our brainpower to analyzing and understanding the nature of man, then this 'ultimate question of science' might be answered better?
And what is that ultimate question? The ultimate question is not to discover the truth about the universe.... it is ... to what end?
new york times, dirk johnson
But there is another 'saftey risk' of the LHC in my opinion.
For what was the result of our last foray into the fundamental nature of matter? In the 19th century and arly 20th century, people figured out there were these 'atom' things, they had something called a 'nucleus'. Electrons, protons, and neutrons followed. And what was this 'radiation' thing?
Nuclear decay, in essence the dram of ancients - to trans mute one element into another. . but this time we are not changing lead into gold. We are smashing Uranium and transforming it into random junk... with a by product being the physical manifestation of the equation Energy=mass times the square of the speed of light, first proven to actually be true, by a pacifist vegetarian socialist. It happens naturally, but as we are wont to do, naturre is not good enough, and so we purify Uranium, condense it, and chain react it, so that we may destroy one another's cities without all that tedious seiging and invasion.
Now, at wikipedia, apparently there is some kerfuffle over the safety of the LHC, since the rticle on the 'safety of he lhc' has been locked against editing. But not only the article on the 'saftey of the hc' has been locked, the 'talk' page discussing the article itself has a stern warning, that this page is not to be used to discuss the saftey of the lhc.
I am not quite sure why someone wans to shut down discussion of this topic. Many less important, in my opinion, pages have not had their talk page 'restricted' like that. In fact, i can't remember any page having its 'talk' page restricted.
I didnt care. I edited it anyways. Here is what I posted to wikipedia about the 'safety of the LHC'.
I think it would be good to discuss the possibility of new and horrifying weapons that might come from the research results of the LHC. Einstein said if he knew what his work would be used for, he would have become a clockmaker. Obviously, we know what is going to happen, if some fundamental new insight is provided by the LHC - someone will weaponize it.
The situation can be seen if you consider the impact of atomic theories on society. The United States eventually developed nuclear weapons that weighed less than 100 pounds, and could be carried by a single person. The cold war between the US and Soviets was the direct cause of the the small hot wars - the Korean war, vietnam war, afghanistan soviet, chile coup, and many other tiny wars. McNamara discusses the impact of the Russian Tsar Bomba on his thinking in his interview with Errol Morris. The spinoffs from these wars are stil causing 'saftey problems' today -- the afghan soviet war led directly to the creation of the Taliban, Al-Qaeda, and 9/11, which led directly to the US invading Iraq. The whole question of nukes is behind the dangerous situations with Iran and North Korea.
If the LHC leads to the invention of a low cost high power new type of weapon, the world will be completely destabilized. If it leads to a high cost high power type of weapon, it will lead to a massive world wide arms race amongst wealthy nations. This is not speculation, it is a simple fact of history, and has been repeated many times with everything from the bronze-iron transition, to gunpowder.