Was the LHC Science being given to Dangerous Terrorists?

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by TheMasterOfOrion, Oct 13, 2009.

  1. TheMasterOfOrion

    TheMasterOfOrion Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Fermi Paradox: Where are all the Aliens? http://www.universetoday.com/guide-to-space/aliens/fermi-paradox/ Maybe Aliens, like Human have a self destructive streak and nuked themselves to death before they became an interstellar race?
     
  2. PurpleBuddha

    PurpleBuddha Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Nothing to see here folks. Just a terrorist playing with anti matter and sub atomic particles. Move along.

    Edit: On an only marginally more serious note, it has always been a little pet peeve of mine that this idea about aliens is called a paradox. Let's see here, on the one side we have the claim that aliens exist. On the other side it is pointed out that we have yet to find them. How are these two ideas contradictory? I could claim that there is probably some life in the ocean we have yet to discover. If you claim that he have yet to find them, that does not mean we have hit a contradiction of sorts. It only means that I am either wrong about my first assertion, or that we simply have not found said life yet. The resolution is simple. A paradox should not have such an easy and apparent resolution if it has one at all.
     
  3. ProtoAvatar

    ProtoAvatar Fleet Captain

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    The Fermi paradox:

    The Milky Way galaxy is so vast and old that, according to all we know about physics, chemistry and probability (see the Drake equation), life should have arisen in many different places.

    If aliens exist, why are they not here?
    The speed of light limit is NOT the answer to this question - you see, an intelligent species can colonize the entire Milky Way in a few tens of millions of years and the galaxy is BILLIONS of years old.

    If aliens don't exist, then why don't they exist? What's the reason for life's scarcity?
    And why is there life on Earth? Are we the winners of a lottery with practically non-existent chances of success?

    These unanswered questions (no one was able to offer a reasonable answer to them) are what make the Fermi paradox a paradox.
     
  4. SilentP

    SilentP Commodore Commodore

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    As I see it, it may be a case that life (if it exists anywhere besides here) is not evenly distributed throughout the universe. I mean, look at the Earth, life is not evenly distributed whatsoever, though life can survive in the most unusual (from our perspective) locations. What's to say that Earth is one of the few outposts of life in our galactic/universal neck of the woods.

    I find the assertation that an intelligent species can colonize the entire Milky Way in the timeframe available somewhat...unhelpful, since it implies it's the only thing that will happen with an intelligent spacefaring race. A timeframe of billions of years for the Milky Way's existance is enough time for a galaxy spanning civilization to collapse and all evidence wiped out by the passages of time. (see the amount of sci-fis with this concept of resurgences of intelligent species and it happening in cycles?)

    It could be perfectly reasonable to suppose that we could be at any point in this 'cycle' where intelligent life is only restarting it's journey across the stars, and hence there is either:
    -no one yet to meet out there, humanity could be the 'first', this time round.
    -intelligent life is out there, we're just in a bit of a backwater and yet to be found.

    The worst bit could be finding out that humanity is the first species to be hitting the stars out of this galaxy, and it's a sparsely populated, or totally uninhabited, and everywhere else is teeming with life.

    It's a big place, the universe, anything is possible.
     
  5. ProtoAvatar

    ProtoAvatar Fleet Captain

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    About Milky way colonization and the cycles of alien civilizations:

    Let's say you have an alien species that just learned to travel close to light speed (and let's assume lightspeed is an absolute speed limit).
    This species now has ships that can reach the nearest stars in a few decades. Also, this species will be composed from various factions with various motivations (if it's anything like humanity). This means that some of the factions will have motivations that include sending colonizing ships to the nearest inhabitable systems.
    These inhabitable systems will be inhabited in ~100 years, and the colonies will thrive in, let's say, ~500 years. These colonies will send their own ships (in addition to the ones being sent by the home system) around this time.
    In another 600 years, the colonies created by this new colonizing wave will begin to send heir own ships - which will be added to the ships being sent by the home system and the first established colonies.
    And so forth - the rate of exploration/colonization will increase exponentially as new colonies are established/the alien species expands.

    In a few million years, this alien species will have colonies EVERYWHERE in the galaxy - Milky way is 100.000 in diameter!

    And these colonies will be only very tenuously linked with the home system; in a few million years they will be completely different civilizations! Their values and perhaps their biology will be different - think star trek humanoids, at the very least.
    Let's say the original alien civilization collapses - this will have NO EFFECT on the civilizations fathered by it! There can be no such thing as a "galactic middle age" when the galaxy is filled with thousands of different civilizations! Some will collapse, but some will be at their peak!

    And I'm assuming that, at the beginning, there existed only one alien species - anywhere in the galaxy!
    What if there are hundreds/thousands of alien species! Even if one assumes that a species is completely unlike humanity/has no desire to colonize the galaxy, a few of hundreds/thousands will do it.

    About humanity being the first intelligent species in the Milky Way:

    Milky Way has been having the ability to nurture life for ~6 BILLION YEARS. We're the first species to develop intelligence/civilization/technology? Why is intelligent life so scarce?
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    How the heck could LHC technology pose a terrorist threat? Terrorism is a tactic used by inferior forces to battle superior forces; when outfighting them is impossible, terrorism is used to dishearten them and persuade their people back home that their occupation, war, whatever is too costly to continue. It's waged using limited resources and small-scale operations performed in secret. The LHC requires great amounts of money, immense pieces of equipment, and the cooperation of thousands of people in order to do anything.

    The headline for this thread is needlessly sensationalistic. It says right there in a quote in the first post that there's nothing at CERN that has military applications. So it's pretty hypocritical to title the thread with a fearmongering question like that when you know full well that the answer is "No."
     
  7. SilentP

    SilentP Commodore Commodore

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    I'll adress this point below, by which I mean throw out a point to consider. It doesn't mean however that I think your point hasn't merit, it does. I guess I'm just trying to play Devil's Advocate here.

    I did previously mention that there is the possibility that life, especially intelligent, may not be evenly spread throughout the universe. There's nothing in evolution stating that a civilization building type intelligent species is a definite avenue of evolution, so even if life is spread evenly, highly socially and technologically advanced species may not be a very guarantee at all wherever life appears.

    It may be possible that humans are in the galaxy with among the lowest concentrations of life in the universe. There are countless galaxies in the universe, and it wouldn't surprise me if there were some places that were nearly barren even at large areas.

    I know that my argument is really just arguing from probability and statistical ideas, but the possibility can't be discounted. Hopefully its not a complete load of rambling.
     
  8. CuttingEdge100

    CuttingEdge100 Commodore Commodore

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    The Master of Orion,

    Well, that's one possibility. Nuclear weapons are not the only weapon of mass-destruction, chemical and biological also qualify. All could technically wipe out a civilization. WMD aren't the only technological development that could cause a civilization to destroy itself, four such examples I could readily think of could include: Internal combustion engines; Certain industrial chemicals, both of which could cause severe pollution resulting in massive loss of life or even extinction (An extreme case, but possible); Artificial intelligence that ends up destroying the civilization that created it; Self-replicating nano-technology that ends up consuming all life and anything consumable on the planet that could feed them.

    Other possibilities include society dying off for reasons that are not technological, such as plagues and famine, and insufficient reproductivity.

    There is a possibility that we're simply the first planet to evolve life as evolved as primates and humans.


    CuttingEdge100
     
  9. diankra

    diankra Commodore Commodore

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    Both are reasonable possibilities as solutions to the Fermi problem, but one's depressing, and one's egotistical (which doesn't mean either's wrong).
    I keep my fingers crossed for a more hopeful answer, but Steve Baxter spent four books looking for one (the Manifold series), and every extra answer was equally depressing... alone or doomed, every time!
     
  10. PurpleBuddha

    PurpleBuddha Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I like to think of it like finding a dozen cats in a forest as large as the surface area of the earth. Scatter those cats in there randomly and then take a few steps into the forest. Will you be shocked if you don't find them after a few steps in? Take five or six more? No cats? Hmmmm...must be a paradox. We know they are in there, so why aren't we finding them? Scale this up by a magnitude of a few billion.
     
  11. ProtoAvatar

    ProtoAvatar Fleet Captain

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    There are a few possibilities:

    We're the only civilization in the Milky way.
    In this case, as I said, why is life so scarce? It shouldn't be - according to what we know about how the universe works.

    There are a few civilizations in the Milky way, but they're all all recent - a few thousand/tens of thousand of years old.
    The question is - Why are there no older civilizations? What changed in recent galactic history?

    Or there is one/a few older alien species - 1 million years old or more.
    Why are this/these alien species not here? They should be, by now.

    PurpleBuddha, you forgot to give these cats an evolutionary advantage that ensures their survival and prosperity (equivalent of intelligence/technology) and to wait a few thousand years. Fulfill those two requirements and, when you walk into the forest, you'll find the cats everywhere.
    For a more detailed explanation, read my previous post from this thread.

    Technological alien species, as proven by our Cold War, could destroy themselves. My problem with this is - ALL of them?
    Let's say Milky way fathered a few thousand VERY DIFFERENT (in psychology/motivations) intelligent alien species. ALL self destructred? Without exception? Highly improbable - and that would also imply that we'll do the same thing, at one point down the road.

    A few observations about your methods for self-annihilation:
    Internal combustion engines; Certain industrial chemicals - the chances these have of eradicating a global intelligent species (via pollution) are practically 0. They're just not destructive enough/fast enoough.
    Artificial intelligence - this could destroy the organic alien species that fathered it (of course, normally, it should have no such motivations); however, AI would replace the destroyed species, creating its own civilization. From a "fermi paradox" POV, the civilization endures.
    Self-replicating nano-technology - in order to eat all life/everything on the planet, this nano-tech must fulfill some very specific conditions - some of which are, apparently, impossible to fulfill (from a technological POV).
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2009
  12. SilentP

    SilentP Commodore Commodore

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    ProtoAvatar, I think the point that Purple Buddha was making is that we have been looking for intelligent life for a very short time, relatively to the lifespan of the Milky Way. I mean, it's only been in the past 15 years or so we've even been able to detect other planets, which even then have generally been the superJovian type planets (though we have been detecting rocky planets now), so if that's as best as we can see right now, it's quite likely we don't even have the technology to even spot civilization in other systems. It may even be the case the only way to know for sure if there's civilization is to go to their system and learn 'first hand'.

    Expanding Buddha's analogy, imagine if the cats were blind and could only find each other by literally bumping into each other, which at this scale, is probably a close analogy. Either that or the cat that represents humanity is both deaf and blind, and can't tell that the other cats can see us :P
     
  13. strongmind

    strongmind Ensign

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    I am very worried terrorists could infiltrate the LHC and destroy the planet with its mega gun particle beam which could cause a fusion reaction in solid rock turning the planet into fireball.

    How can we stop this?
     
  14. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    With magic pixie dust?
     
  15. ProtoAvatar

    ProtoAvatar Fleet Captain

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    SilentP, it souldn't be necessary to see the alien species' planet in order to confirm the the aliens' existence.
    Listening for their EM communications should be more than enough. We listened since the 1960s - and so far, nothing. The stars are strangely quiet.

    To be fair - most EM signals we have so far emitted should be incomprehensible to any alien astronomer (due to interference from the sun). But the carrier wave could be identified as being artificial.
    And, of course, we should be listening to EM signals from civilizations much more advanced than our own - the assumtion being that a more efficient/undetectable for us means for transmitting information (faster than light, that is) does not exist (according to relativity, such a thing can't exist).

    Another way to confirm the existance of alien spacefaring species is to detect one of their vessels/probes - at present, this is possible only if said probe is near/in our solar system. If these aliens use Von Neumann probes to explore the galaxy, the probability of a Von Neumann probe reaching our solar system is significant - a Von Neumann probe is a robot that multiplies itself when it reaches a solar system/a place with prime materials, energy; the newly constructed probes are sent to other systems where they will multiply etc; in other words, their numbers increase exponentially.

    About Purple Buddha's analogy - imagine there are millions of cats in the forest (as my expansion of the analogy indicates should be).
    What is the chance of one stumbling onto another - blind or not? In my opinion, there is a really good chance of such a thing happening frequently.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2009
  16. SilentP

    SilentP Commodore Commodore

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    Here's your first problem, we've only been listening since the 1960s. That means we've only listened up to 40~50 lightyears away from ourselves. It also assumes that even if something has been transmitted in our direction in the correct timeframe that the signal even has the correct strength to even register on any particular sensor we care to use.

    See above point about signal degradation and dissappearing.

    Also, here lies the assumption that the species in question doesn't have some form of communication that isn't FTL. I'd throw out the example of the theoratical method using a 'split' particle and changing the spin on one halfs, which the other half responds to by spinning the other way. Anyone know what it is I'm thinking of?

    Also, it may be possible that a form of FTL travel exists, but no capability for signals to do the same with pure EM signals, hence some kind of messenger craft being used instead.

    Admittedly the previous two points are purely hypothetical, but then again, we can't assume that aliens haven't found ways around hurdles that we struggle with.

    This cannot be argued, though as you admit, this is incredibly difficult to detect. As we've seen with even detecting planetoids in our own system, it's very difficult to keep a track of all the objects within our solar system. However, emissions from a vessel within our space would dramatically increase the chances of such detection.

    Problem here being we don't know, since we've never tried to pull off any experiment close to this, though one could try and have a computer model try to emulate the possibilities. However, since any chaotic system is quite dependent upon initial variables (of which in this case, we have little knowledge), the whole thing can be thrown into unexpected avenues of results.
     
  17. john titor

    john titor Captain

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    The probability of earth like conditions is extremely low. We are the 88th billionth try.
     
  18. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    So terrorists are going to get hundreds of billions of dollars of funding from the wealthiest nations on Earth to build a doomsday lair which will break down after only one week? :eek: Quick everyone, to the underground shelters!
     
  19. PurpleBuddha

    PurpleBuddha Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Actually there is a flaw in my analogy. We do have an idea of how big space is, but we have no idea how widespread alien life is should that life exist. Further, even if a small percent of life has spread out from their home planet to other places, we do not know how prolific they are. Do they really spread quickly from galaxy to galaxy, or just populate a very small number (say a few thousand) planets in the scheme of things. How many of these civilizations may populate even a handful of planets, much less a thousand. How many go on to populate multiple galaxies?

    Even if life is fairly widespread, given the largeness of the universe, I do not think comparing 12 cats living on a land mass the size of the earth is any kind of obvious understatement to the population density of the universe. It seems more likely that it is an overstatement.
     
  20. PurpleBuddha

    PurpleBuddha Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    How many total tries have there been?

    And do you have any stock tips for us?