Sigh, another science reporter gripe is coming….
Here is the story about a black hole created in New York.
Now the charming tidbits:
Scientists used a particle accelerator at Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, New York, to shoot two beams of gold nuclei at each other at the speed of light.
Hmm… so they managed to accelearate gold nuclei to the speed of light. That’s enough to win the nobel prize right there since it contradicts the most basic principle of special relativity. You’d think that would be front page news. Oh, or else the reporter simply doesn’t understand that “close to the speed of light” and “the speed of light” are two significantly different things when discussing relativistic speeds of subatomic particles. I guess I’ll let you decide whether the scientists have rewritten the laws of physics or the reporter has.
The intense heat of the collision breaks down the nuclei into quarks and gluons, the most basic building blocks of all normal matter.
Hey, I guess that search for the fundamental building blocks of all normal matter is over then. We know that they are quarks and gluons now. Good, I’ve been wondering about that. I guess it’s a good thing we never built that superconducting supercollider after all, no point to it since we’ve resolved the question of what the fundamental building blocks of all normal matter are. Whew, I had thought perhaps we had missed the chance to do some more real science.
These particles then formed a ball of plasma which can be detected because it absorbs jets of particles produced by the collision, so creating a black hole.
? This is pretty much nonsensical. “We know it was there because we could detect nothing coming from it.” I’m sure this is not how the scientists explained their detection. I am guessing the explanation had more to do with the detection of particles matching the profile of a microscopic black hole giving of Hawking radiation than it matched the profile of particles being generated from a collision of gold nuclei.
Still, this is an interesting story but it is reported so badly that it is hard to know what really was accomplished, if anything at all. I’ll try to find a story that describes the experiment that was not written by the newspaper’s fashion writer…..