Search FQXi


If you are aware of an interesting new academic paper (that has been published in a peer-reviewed journal or has appeared on the arXiv), a conference talk (at an official professional scientific meeting), an external blog post (by a professional scientist) or a news item (in the mainstream news media), which you think might make an interesting topic for an FQXi blog post, then please contact us at forums@fqxi.org with a link to the original source and a sentence about why you think that the work is worthy of discussion. Please note that we receive many such suggestions and while we endeavour to respond to them, we may not be able to reply to all suggestions.

Please also note that we do not accept unsolicited posts and we cannot review, or open new threads for, unsolicited articles or papers. Requests to review or post such materials will not be answered. If you have your own novel physics theory or model, which you would like to post for further discussion among then FQXi community, then please add them directly to the "Alternative Models of Reality" thread, or to the "Alternative Models of Cosmology" thread. Thank you.

Forum Home
Introduction
Terms of Use

Order posts by:
 chronological order
 most recent first

Posts by the blogger are highlighted in orange; posts by FQXi Members are highlighted in blue.

By using the FQXi Forum, you acknowledge reading and agree to abide by the Terms of Use

 RSS feed | RSS help
RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

songjoong df: on 12/27/17 at 7:03am UTC, wrote cara menjadi reseller qnc jelly gamat Cara Menjadi Agen Qnc Jelly Gamat ...

Jesse: on 8/4/09 at 19:25pm UTC, wrote Brian, My point was to clear up what it was the Pope is advocating, not...

Brian Beverly: on 7/12/09 at 4:08am UTC, wrote Jesse, Do you have a study to back that claim up?

Jesse: on 7/9/09 at 21:12pm UTC, wrote The Pope's declaration that contraceptives cause AIDS is not rooted in a...

Jason Wolfe/wulphstein@gmail.com: on 5/26/09 at 19:32pm UTC, wrote Thanks Kevin. I'm curious: In your physics opinion, can the protons, as...

Kevin: on 5/26/09 at 18:21pm UTC, wrote Thanks Jason - in fact it would be essentially impossible for any rouge...

Lawrence B. Crowell: on 5/26/09 at 1:56am UTC, wrote The amount of anti-protons produced is very small. A 100% conversion of...

Jason Wolfe/wulphstein@gmail.com: on 5/25/09 at 17:13pm UTC, wrote I thought it was a good movie. I know what you mean about the antimatter...


RECENT FORUM POSTS

Joe Fisher: "Dear Dr. Kuhn, Today’s Closer To Truth Facebook page contained this..." in Can Time Be Saved From...

Hanvi jobs: "Yes i am totally agreed with this article and i just want say that this..." in Can Time Be Saved From...

Robert McEachern: ""all experiments have pointed towards this and there is no way to avoid..." in Review of "Foundations of...

James Putnam: "Light bends because it is accelerating. It accelerates toward an object..." in Black Hole Photographed...

Robert McEachern: "Lorenzo, The nature of "information" is well understood outside of..." in Review of "Foundations of...

Georgina Woodward: "Steve, Lorraine is writing about a simpler "knowing " rather than the..." in The Nature of Time

Steve Agnew: "Knowing information necessarily means neural action potentials. Atom and..." in The Nature of Time


RECENT ARTICLES
click titles to read articles

Can Time Be Saved From Physics?
Philosophers, physicists and neuroscientists discuss how our sense of time’s flow might arise through our interactions with external stimuli—despite suggestions from Einstein's relativity that our perception of the passage of time is an illusion.

Thermo-Demonics
A devilish new framework of thermodynamics that focuses on how we observe information could help illuminate our understanding of probability and rewrite quantum theory.

Gravity's Residue
An unusual approach to unifying the laws of physics could solve Hawking's black-hole information paradox—and its predicted gravitational "memory effect" could be picked up by LIGO.

Could Mind Forge the Universe?
Objective reality, and the laws of physics themselves, emerge from our observations, according to a new framework that turns what we think of as fundamental on its head.

Dissolving Quantum Paradoxes
The impossibility of building a perfect clock could help explain away microscale weirdness.


FQXi BLOGS
May 22, 2019

CATEGORY: Blog [back]
TOPIC: Angels and Demons... [refresh]
Bookmark and Share
Login or create account to post reply or comment.

Blogger Kevin Black wrote on May. 25, 2009 @ 11:42 GMT
...or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Pseudo-Science.

Spaceships inexplicably whizzing by in space with mysterious 'anti-gravity' forces keeping everything nicely in place. Ordinary people transformed to superheros by ridiculously high exposure to radioactivity. Alien creatures that look mysteriously human (except for the green skin and claws) speaking impeccable English.

The typical scientific blunders that form the usual fodder of low (and high!) budget Hollywood productions have always left me suppressing a cringe as I try to get lost in cinema magic. However, none of this can hold a candle to the opening scene of 'Angels and Demons' released last weekend. As the crane shot zoomed down the 100 meter shaft down into the cavern where the ATLAS experiment at CERN is located, a small sideways smile formed on my face as they showed one of the wheels of the muon spectrometer that I have been working on for the last 4 years.

As surprising as it was to see that the Hollywood version of my experiment had a control room built into the wall of the cavern only protected from the intense radioactivity by a slim piece of glass, there was a bigger shock to come. As I scanned the imaginary control room for the next Bruce Banner candidate (of incredible Hulk fame), I discovered that the experiment (that a few thousand of my fellow physicists have spent decades designing, building, and now operating) had a secret. The secret dual purpose of the LHC is apparently to siphon off enough anti-matter and destroy the pope and Vatican City along with it!

Ok, to be fair that isn't quite the plot of the movie. Nonetheless, the basic premise of the movie is centered on the idea that a large amount of anti-matter is produced and stored by CERN scientists. Everything seems to be going well until one of the scientists is brutally murdered and his eye removed to pass through the retina scanners within the LHC tunnels (an aspect of CERN security which IS actually used).

Enter Robert Langdon. Although still peeved from their previous encounter as transcribed by Dan Brown's previous novel where he helps reveal the apparent truth of the Gospel of Mary, the Vatican is in a bind. After all, when searching for an antimatter bomb hidden in Vatican City who better to call than a bookish symbologist from just north of Boston (I guess the Ghostbusters were on vacation). However, it is soon revealed that the Vatican comes calling on him because it is suspected that an ancient scientific sect may be responsible and seeking retribution for the treatment the Vatican gave Galileo all those years ago.

Talk about holding a grudge.

Fortunately, I didn't have to cringe in horror of the scientific inaccuracies too many times during the film. The rest of the movie was filled with the typical Hollywood plot twists—trying to subtly manipulate the audience into thinking they had solved the puzzle when in fact there was yet another twist around the corner.

In fact, CERN does produce a fair amount of antimatter colliding high energy particles together. As far as I can surmise there are a few major scientific inaccuracies with the antimatter bomb premise: (1) in order to produce enough antimatter for the explosion that the (curiously model-like) female scientist describes, it would, in fact, take roughly 100 million years of LHC running; and (2) storing anti-mater is a bit more complicated than going to Radio Shack and getting one of those fancy glass containers with the flashing LEDs. Actually, the ATRAP experiment at CERN has produced and confined very small amounts of antihydrogen. However, storing it requires a complicated configuration of magnetic fields known as a Penning-Ioffe trap (see image, right). Unfortunately, it's not something you can power with a pair of AA batteries and slip into your pocket.

If you think that propagating false scientific information is harmless think of the recent proclamation of the pope that contraceptives actually cause AIDS. At least no one is likely to die because of the intricacies of a Penning-Ioffe trap being misrepresented. Not wanting to ruin the movie for those who haven't seen it, I won't rant about how the movie ends but only comment that Obi Won Konobi's successful skydive is, to say the least, highly improbable.

The book, which I didn't read, apparently includes Robert Langdon flying across the Atlantic in CERN's space plane which can travel "at themind-numbing speed of 11,000 mph." The effect was that the public CERN webpage included a long FAQ indicating that in fact the space plane was only Brown's ambitious dream.

There was also the character of the CERN director general (a suspected villain who was only posthumously redeemed) that got written out of the movie. Curiously, Tom Hanks has recently been asked to return to CERN and press the ceremonial start up button later this year. I thought about calling up the Symbology department at Harvard but somehow this mystery doesn't seem to require it.

Bookmark and Share
this post has been edited by the author since its original submission

report post as inappropriate


Leonardo Da Vinci wrote on May. 25, 2009 @ 11:54 GMT
"...one of the scientists is brutally murdered and his eye removed to pass through the retina scanners within the LHC tunnels (an aspect of CERN security which IS actually used)."

Harsh. Guess that explains all the eye-patch-wearing physicists at CERN though...

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Jason Wolfe/wulphstein@gmail.com wrote on May. 25, 2009 @ 17:13 GMT
I thought it was a good movie. I know what you mean about the antimatter plot. I kept thinking, how do you build something like a Hadron Supercollider and somehow overlook anti-matter "nuke" capability (and the required military

security)?

Which reminds me: do you know if they're going to turn it on and start smashing protons? If you do produce a black hole (and it doesn't swallow the earth) can I borrow it?

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on May. 26, 2009 @ 01:56 GMT
The amount of anti-protons produced is very small. A 100% conversion of matter to energy by violating the baryon number is the ticket. If you can do that we would have a hell of an energy source, and potentially hyper-bombs as well.

Lawrence B. Crowell

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Kevin wrote on May. 26, 2009 @ 18:21 GMT
Thanks Jason - in fact it would be essentially impossible for any rouge element to 'piggy back' on to an existing experiment at the LHC as happens in the movie. And yes - security would be a bit tighter then a french security guard sipping his espresso and smoking a cigarette nodding you in if there was actually something weapons grade at CERN.

As to the Black Hole - i will keep you posted..

http://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/230

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Jason Wolfe/wulphstein@gmail.com wrote on May. 26, 2009 @ 19:32 GMT
Thanks Kevin.

I'm curious: In your physics opinion, can the protons, as they travel close to the speed of light around a "circular" path, be treated as very long wave functions/superstring wrappings around a very large magnetic cyclinder? Superstring theory talks about strings wrapping around tiny rolled up dimensions, n times. While I'm not sure what it would mean experimentally, but it might serve as a nice model for calculating quantum relativity. Maybe we might even notice standing waves along the circular path.

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Jesse wrote on Jul. 9, 2009 @ 21:12 GMT
The Pope's declaration that contraceptives cause AIDS is not rooted in a misunderstanding of the science...it's based on the notion that the contraceptives change human sexual behavior. The point that the Vatican is trying to make is that while condoms are pretty good at preventing pregnancy (which is a problem for them, of course) and the spread of disease, they also have a negative impact: encouraging promiscuous behavior. The Pope is asserting that the social change brought about by contraceptives negates their preventative benefit.

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Brian Beverly wrote on Jul. 12, 2009 @ 04:08 GMT
Jesse,

Do you have a study to back that claim up?

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Jesse wrote on Aug. 4, 2009 @ 19:25 GMT
Brian,

My point was to clear up what it was the Pope is advocating, not necessarily to advocate that position myself.

quick article on the issue:

http://tinyurl.com/dkan6z

Cheers,

Jesse

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


songjoong sdfsd df wrote on Dec. 27, 2017 @ 07:03 GMT
cara menjadi reseller qnc jelly gamat

Cara Menjadi Agen Qnc Jelly Gamat

manfaat qnc jelly gamat

Obat Tradisional Kista Nabothian Tanpa Operasi

cara menjadi agen qnc jelly gamat

cara menjadi reseller qnc jelly gamat

cara mengobati gondongan pada anak

cara mengobati kanker nasofaring secara alami

obat pembersih sisa janin setelah keguguran

cara mengobati kanker pankreas secara tradisional

obat tradisional benjolan di leher sebelah kanan

obat tradisional tipes untuk orang dewasa

obat tradisional untuk menghentikan haid berkepanjangan

Obat Tradisional Pembekuan Darah Di Otak

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Login or create account to post reply or comment.

Please enter your e-mail address:
Note: Joining the FQXi mailing list does not give you a login account or constitute membership in the organization.