Wednesday, June 11, 2008

GLAST to Blast Off Today!

All fingers crossed! GLAST is ready for lift off today!

In a final meeting of scientists, engineers, technicians and officials, NASA's Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST) received the final "Ready to Go!" from all teams. GLAST is scheduled to launch on a United Launch Alliance's Delta II Heavy rocket with a launch window from 11:45 a.m. - 1:40 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, June 11.

You can read more about GLAST at its official website. More info from Physics World can be found here.


Edit: Update - GLAST was successfully launched!

Photo credit: NASA/ULA


JTankers said...

I see that the GLAST telescope has been launched today.

How much time might be required before analysis of GLAST data might indicate proof or rejection of Hawking Radiation theory?

This could be critical in determining the safety of the Large Hadron Collider, due to begin collisions later this year.

Unlike what CERN tells the public, the Large Hadron Collider Safety Assessment Group (LSAG) writes that current safety arguments are not valid proof of safety. Micro black holes might be created by the Large Hadron Collider, they might not evaporate, they might grow quickly and we have not been damaged by cosmic rays because cosmic rays pass harmlessly through Earth. CERN also tells the public that a new safety report has been completed, but so far the final report has not been released for review by world’s scientists.

The legal complaint before US Federal Court in Hawaii demands 4 months to review this safety report and a permanent injunction if safety can not be assured to within reasonable industry standards. First hearing is scheduled for June 16, 2008.

Learn more at

ZapperZ said...

I'm sorry, but we have had this discussion already related to the LHC. So please don't derail this topic into the LHC-blackhole again.

"Followers" of should not go around other people's blog and spamming such links repeatedly.

For your information, cosmic rays doesn't just "pass harmlessly" through the earth. The FACT that Auger Observatories can detect the most energetic ones from the AGN's when they enter our atmosphere means that they DO interact significantly around us.


JTankers said...

ZapperZ writes: "cosmic rays doesn't just "pass harmlessly" through the earth... they DO interact significantly around us."

Yes they interact, but the LHC Safety Assessment Group (LSAG) concedes that results of cosmic ray collisions with Earth travel at relativistic speeds and results exit Earth safely into space, unlike results from head-on collider collisions:

LHC: what if ... ? Michelangelo Mangano CERN, TH-PH

"Problems with using “cosmic rays hitting the Earth” to rule out Black Holes"

"• CR-produced BHs have large velocity γ ~ M/mp 􃸠 1000"

"• At production BHs have small cross section σ ~ R2 ~ 1/TeV2
they fly through the Earth like a neutrino (unless it is charged!!)
➡ no limit can be set

"At the LHC, some of them will have v<10 km/s, will be gravitationally trapped, and could start growing"

More details about the safety arguments here: (depending on the verity of Hawking Radiation and MBH growth rates...) Could the Real Risk to the Planet be closer to 100%?


ZapperZ said...

This is the last time you'll get this warning. If you continue to cite your "lhcfacts" website for your source, I will delete your comments.

GLAST has a lot of things to look at, and I doubt that its top priority will be to determine the safety of the LHC. This blog entry is NOT a discussion of LHC safety.


JTankers said...

I will make a note not to quote my site on your blog, but would it not be more fair to delete the reference rather than the message?

I am very concerned about this safety issue and the lack of serious attention from most physicists, and so are many highly credible science PHDs that are making comments like Teresa E Tutt, (Ph.D, Nuclear Engineering Texas A&M University)

"Unfortunately, I don't have the clout to put a stop to this insanity"

May I add the reference to the quote on a site that is not mine?


ZapperZ said...

So you listen to one set of PhD's and ignore the rest?

And how dare you accuse of physicists not paying attention to it. Do you think these people, who WORK THERE, would knowingly risk their lives, and the lives of their loved ones (many of them have families nearby)? Just who do you think you are that you somehow have a higher moral superiority than them?

I talked to people who work at the ATLAS detector often, and ask them about these things. Many of them have discussed this at some length WAY before these things become public discussion. These people are not just physicists, but also high energy physicists who are INTIMATELY knowledgable in such area. Do you think, even for a second, that if they even remotely consider such disaster scenario to be possible, that they would knowingly continue to actually want to be there during the first collisions set for some time this September? Honestly? Do you really, truly think these people are THAT stupid?


JTankers said...

"Do you think, even for a second, that if they even remotely consider such disaster scenario to be possible, that they would knowingly continue to actually want to be there during the first collisions set for some time this September?"

I don't think any physicist would purposely harm Earth. And I don't think the managers of the last flight of the Shuttle Challenger had ANY intention of harming ANY Astronaut including a female grade school teacher who was aboard. But their sub-contractor's own technicians were LOUDLY BEGGING their managers not to launch in freezing weather.

The sub-contractor's managers believed it was "safe enough", 300% safety margin they thought, and did not forward their own technician's warnings and allowed the launch anyway.

The location does not matter, as the potential danger is to the entire planet, but not for at least years or decades according to calculations of Dr. Otto E. Rossler

And I am not just listening to 1 PHD. What about Dr. Paul J. Werbos of the National Science Foundation. He writes (shortened for brevity):

"“… stake the very survival of all life on earth on the truth of their ZPE stuff! … a gamble."

ZapperZ said...

Not even in the same ball park!

If anyone would know about such problem, it would be the people in the trenches, just like the shuttle! And the people in the trenches, which are the theorists and the experimentalists, ARE the people that I talk to, not the so-called managers. They are the ones responsible for most the design of the whole damn thing. When was the last time that YOU talk to any of them? Or do you simply restrict your source of information based on what you read and to confine yourself to citing quote and tag lines?

And just so you stop wasting your time, I am not the least big impressed by all the quotes that you did. This is a physics issue, not an issue of who said what. This leads me to believe that you actually have no understanding of the actual physics of what you are objecting here. All that you are going for is what you can quote out of these people without understanding the source, i.e. you are actually gaining only some SUPERFICIAL knowledge of things. I am MORE WORRIED about such people than I am about the LHC, because they are delusional about their state of knowledge.

Again, just who do you think you are? When was the last time you step foot on CERN's grounds and talk to these people who are going to be right there when this thing turns on?


JTankers said...

Zz writes: "When was the last time you step foot on CERN's grounds and talk to these people who are going to be right there when this thing turns on?"

I have not been to CERN, but in the last few weeks I have personally had one (very enlightening) more than 10 minute phone conversation with the winner of the 2001 Nobel Prize for Physics (Dr. Carl E. Wieman) and shared blog posts (on my blog, I will leave off the url), and emails between him and anther Nobel Laureate for Physics (Dr. Eric A. Cornell) and the MIT Professor (Department of Physics and Center for Theoretical Physics) (Professor Kerson Huang) who co-wrote in one of his recent papers about bosenova type implosions of Bose-Einstein Condensates with Attractive Interactions:

A black hole opens up at the center, …density fluctuations becomes infinite

The density in the black hole shoots up as time goes on, fed by waves of implosion

The critical number of attractive atoms to cause implosion beyond detection is calculated at between only 1251 to 1260, Wow, not many required! If the GLAST telescope can not find indications of Hawking Radiation, I wonder if experiments with Bose-Einstein condensates might provide the answer "are micro black holes stable".

According to Dr. Cornell and Dr. Wiemans Nobel Lecture
A large portion of the atoms after their bosenova implosion could not be accounted for. (Similar signature to that of stable micro black hole creation and very scary to me...)

There is a fascinating article related to this implosion in the Wikipedia article on Bose-Einstein Condensates, unusual characteristics section

I am talking to some of the most respected experts in the world, though I also want to make clear, that these same experts want the public to know that what might be created by bosenova implosions of BECs (Bose-Einstein Condensates) are more likely something other that "real micro black holes". Their quotes, blogs and emails are available, but I will not include the url at your request.

However, I do think that a search for Hawking Radiation should be a priority of the GLAST telescope in my opinion.


kyle said...

I am far from being qualified to make a statement regarding the safety of the LHC but what I can say is this. I believe that zapperz is quite correct in saying that the views/opinions of the scientists working at CERN are not accounted for in jtankers arguments.

Jtankers, you make reference to the space shuttle challenger here, and numerous times on your blog. Yes the engineers did scream abort when the management didn't listen, that is because NASA management was under immense pressure to launch the shuttle and the teacher, Christa McAuliffe. Luckily, the LHC is not being run by people short of a PHD in some form of Physics and are not under any pressure from the public, the experiment is strictly scientific and not a publicity stunt.

I look forward to seeing what mysteries the GLAST telescope can uncover about our world. :)

ZapperZ said...

JTankers: And did you bother to ask them if they think the LHC will create the catastrophe that you have envisioned? Did you ask Wilzek, who also did a study on RHIC's?

But this would qualify as the "managers" in your Shuttle scenario. Did you ask those people who are the equivalent of the shuttle engineers/contractors who are working in the trenches? You are IGNORING the same group of people that you were touting as having more info then these managers! Both of those physicists you talked to would NOT be at CERN when they have their first collisions. These people in the trenches will. Who do you think will have a more vested interest in making sure the damn thing is safe?

It is very difficult for me to take you seriously, when ALL you are capable of is quoting other people's statement. We haven't even considered yet if you are doing this out of context, because, more often than not, such things ARE usually done out of context! The very fact that you THINK that physics is done this way, via a series of who-said-what, lends you almost no credibility in my book.

I'm sorry to say that you've wasted your time here, but you have. I would strongly advice that before you start to be foaming at the mouth against these things, that you first understand the physics of it, rather than rely on someone's interpretation of it that has been conveyed in a series of "quotes".


JTankers said...

ZapperZ writes "you first understand the physics of it, rather than rely on someone's interpretation of it that has been conveyed in a series of "quotes"."

I became personally concerned about the possible LHC safety issue because of my personal doubts of the veracity of Hawking Radiation, which was advertised as the primary safety mechinism to assure safety from the possible creation of slow moving micro black holes on Earth by the worlds most powerful head-on particle collider.

But I am well aware that my personal opinion does not have necessary clout to be in itself compelling... the personal opinion of a former US Army offer with a BS in computer science, one year of college physics and a few marginally notable physics achievements over the last 25 years or so.

But I can share much more credible opinions and evidence, including from CERN's own LHC Safety Assessment Group, a team that does take the safety issue very seriously and who's report has been reported by CERN as having been completed but has not yet been released for the world's scientists to validate.

I can also share credible quotes from papers questioning whether "micro black hole decay" from PHDs and Professors of Math, Physics and other theoretical sciences, such as Adam Helfer's quote from Dr. Do black holes radiate? (
"no compelling theoretical case for or against radiation by black holes", there are many similar papers...

Should the safety of Earth be decided by three coin flips: Micro Black holes (MBH) are created or not, MBH decay or not, MBH grow extremely slowly or not.

All of these assumptions have credible experts arguing both sides of all three coin flips.

Are those reasonable odds to risk Earth with? I don't think so. And when credible physicists are asked "Is it safe" they tend to only repeat the "Cosmic Ray" agument that the CERN still publishes in some form of on their public web site while their own LHC Safety Assessment Group concedes that the argument is not valid.

So no, I do not think that most physicists are giving the issue the serious attention that it deserves. With a few exceptions. CERN's LHC Safety Assessment Group is taking the issue very seriously, and trying very hard to prove reasonable safety. (Something far less than three coin flips).

I hope LSAG is able to prove reasonable safety if that is also what mother nature's laws determine, and I am very much looking forward to having the world's scientists confirmation of this proof after the final report is released, which I hope will be soon.

And I hope my efforts might help persuade scientists in charge of GLAST telescope experiments to make the search for Hawking Radiation a priority, to attempt to validate of invalidate this theory.

James Tankersley Jr
Middleton, WI

ZapperZ said...

That makes no sense. You are the poster child for my series of essay on "Imagination without knowledge is ignorance waiting to happen". I will leave your comments on here as an example of what happens when you mix ignorance with a little knowledge.

For example, are you SURE you have fully understood Hawking Radiation? Honestly? Beyond just what you read in pop-science books? How are you able to evaluate the validity of all the theoretical analysis of the LHC? What if I tell you that there's even a speculation that Blackholes CANNOT EXIST?

Will you then stop foaming at the mouth? It will make ALL of such arguments as MOOT.

It is one thing to have some concern about something you barely know. It is another to be RABID about your ignorance about the whole thing to actually go into people BLOGs and populate it with links to your site. And then you have the audacity to think that YOU have the market on being concerned about safety. YOu have zero data to base such claim, considering by your own admission, you have never talked to anyone that actually worked there. So how you can actually say with any conviction about these physicists not having any consideration about such scenario is beyond me.

But then again, you have shown no qualm about making such conclusion with the flimsiest of understanding. So such action is entirely consistent. Each comment you make here makes your opinion even LESS credible, if that's possible.

You should go to other blogs to spew your ignorance. I consider this discussion from you as closed. Your opinion on this is no longer welcome here.


Professor Humperdink III said...

The LHC Safety Assessment Group’s report has been created, as physicists are concerned about the probability of a catastrophic event. Non-physicists share the same concern. Non-physicists are attacked for expressing worry over a possible cataclysmic event. It seems reasonable, therefore, to attack physicists for sharing exactly the same concern.

ZapperZ said...

It's not the same. When physicists raise the same concern, they look at the issue carefully and do a careful analysis based on what we know, not based on what we can speculate! Furthermore, they understand the physics and go by the physics rather than just the ability to QUOTE this and that. That's a significant difference.

Look at how the RHIC analysis was done when the same issue was raised back then. While some members of the public (and the media) was bonkers, physicists didn't! After a careful analysis, the doomsday scenario was dismissed. Last time I checked (and I WAS at Brookhaven at the time that RHIC was switched on), RHIC and the rest of Long Island didn't get sucked up into a black hole.

I see the SAME hysteria here. It seems that the general public simply either hasn't learned, or have very poor memory, worse than elephants.

This will be THE last comment I will allow in my blog regarding the LHC blackhole. Anyone else thinking they can rehashed the same issue would be wise to go elsewhere, because your comment will not be released.


J O'Rourke said...

I'm a lay person.

How do you know that something unexpected will not happen? Has an experiment never before produced an unexpected output?

You cite other experiments, but you will admit there has never been a facility on this scale before.

Given the scale and nature of the LHC, what if the unexpected result was catastrophic?

Have scientists got the right to take this risk on behalf of us all?

J O'Rourke said...

I just left a previous comment. I know you don't wish to publish any more which is understandable. My email is if you have a response.

ZapperZ said...

There are many things we don't know, but we are usually NOT that far off, and certainly our knowledge does isn't that full of holes that we cannot predict that kind of catastrophe. In other words, while we may not know exactly what will happen, we have a very good grasp of what will NOT happen. That is how we can manage to design many experiments which, in nature, is supposed to produce a lot of unknown and unexpected results.

So while we don't know everything, we certainly know enough to know when something has such a low probability to occur. Again, look at the energy of the cosmic rays that Auger Observatory has detected. They are MANY ORDERS OF MAGNITUDE larger than anything the LHC can even get close to. So we know there are even higher energy collisions going on throughout the universe, and this occurs not only a gazillion times a second, but also for over such a long period of time. The universe is our proof that such event has almost no probability to occur.


Anonymous said...

Man, how annoying is jtankers. Seriously.