Re: Strange catastrophe revisited

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Date: Tue Jan 30 2001 - 21:53:42 MST

"Eliezer S. Yudkowsky" wrote:
> I'd thought the issue was settled when someone pointed out that cosmic
> rays had more energy (40,000 GeV) than the gold nuclei in the Brookhaven
> accelerator, but this guy points out that the Brookhaven accelerator would
> involve head-on collisions, and says that "An incoming cosmic ray, in
> order to mimic the RHIC, would be required to have about 4,000,000 GeV,
> which would produce a COM energy of about 40,000 GeV, the same as the RHIC
> COM energy." He also points out that strangelets may grow faster in
> liquid helium. Any comments from the local physicists?

As far as I can tell from Brookhaven's article
their response is that strangelet production is intrinsically unlikely for
many reasons aside from the cosmic-ray limit, and that assuming the
center-of-momentum (COM) energy controls strangelet production is an
extremely unlikely worst-case scenario. They also make a good case that
strangelet production at RHIC requires a long sequence of simultaneous
worst-case scenarios, not just one or two. I didn't spot anything about
strangelets getting into the liquid helium of the superconductor coolant,

-- -- -- -- --
Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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