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The Night Owl
08-18-2008, 07:34 PM
Hawking nemesis Leonard Susskind speaks
Stanford University physicist Leonard Susskind went from a being a plumber in the South Bronx to becoming an authority on black holes.

In 'The Black Hole War,' Stanford University physicist Susskind recounts his long history of scientific conflict with famed cosmologist Stephen Hawking (whose concession letter he prints).

By John Johnson Jr., Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
July 26, 2008

For two decades, Stanford University physicist Leonard Susskind battled cosmologist Stephen Hawking over the behavior of black holes. Hawking said that when black holes eat their fill, they disappear, taking with them everything they consumed over their billions of years of existence. Susskind found this idea so disturbing that he publicly declared war -- a conflict he describes in his new book, "The Black Hole War." In a conversation before a recent appearance at the Los Angeles Public Library, Susskind recounted his long struggle to "make the world safe for quantum mechanics."

How did this war with Stephen Hawking come about?

I was a particle physicist when I was invited to an event at Werner Erhard's house in 1981. Erhard [founder of the est self-awareness movement] admired scientists and liked to listen to them debate. At one of his events, I met Stephen Hawking. Stephen discovered an amazing fact, which is that black holes evaporate. It's like a puddle of water out in the sun.

...

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-sci-susskind26-2008jul26,0,7978363.story

Goldwater
08-18-2008, 07:58 PM
I remember reading about how experiments on black holes in Switzerland and France could swallow the world, it scared the hell out of me.

The Night Owl
08-18-2008, 08:10 PM
I remember reading about how experiments on black holes in Switzerland and France could swallow the world, it scared the hell out of me.

Don't believe rumors about artificial black holes created at CERN labs swallowing the Earth. The kind of black hole which the Large Hadron Collider could theoretically make would decay too rapidly to pose a threat.

Supposedly, something like a black hole was created a few years ago at Brookhaven National Laboratory but I don't remember if it was ever confirmed.

Cold Warrior
08-18-2008, 08:31 PM
Thanks for posting this, TNO. Very interesting article; I may have to buy the book. On the fiction side of the equation, the most disturbing book I ever read regarding black holes was...


http://images.barnesandnoble.com/images/14750000/14750882.JPG

FlaGator
08-20-2008, 01:19 PM
Don't believe rumors about artificial black holes created at CERN labs swallowing the Earth. The kind of black hole which the Large Hadron Collider could theoretically make would decay too rapidly to pose a threat.

Supposedly, something like a black hole was created a few years ago at Brookhaven National Laboratory but I don't remember if it was ever confirmed.

A stable, yet controlled microscopic black hole would be an incredible energy source.

The Night Owl
08-21-2008, 06:59 PM
A stable, yet controlled microscopic black hole would be an incredible energy source.

If you or anyone is interested in Leonard Susskind, FORA.tv has video of a really good talk he gave at the Commonwealth Club...

http://fora.tv/2007/01/24/Cosmic_Landscape

Bubba Dawg
08-21-2008, 08:23 PM
I remember reading about how experiments on black holes in Switzerland and France could swallow the world, it scared the hell out of me.


It's the one in Calcutta that scares me.