by Alan Gillis
12 August 2008
About Alan Gillis
I'm a journalist,
photographer, and novelist in cottage country, Muskoka
Canada. Science is such a big issue in our lives, I feel
obliged to investigate big science megaprojects, that
can have a devastating impact on life as we know it. See
my full profile and some of my related work in my blog,
The Science of Conundrums.
On the vast
CERN landscape outside Geneva, there’s only one major
figure in science tilting at the LHC windmill, Dr Otto E Rössler (Roessler).
An aged veteran with some 300 research papers
under his belt, sometimes called the father of Chaos theory, he
looks the part of a sprightly campaigner for human rights, for
knowledge and the imagination, poised now to do battle with the
fiercest demons of all, the dreaded micro black holes from the Large Hadron Collider
(LHC), should they appear. He worries they will consume
the earth for breakfast.
CERN, the arch enchanter of nuclear physics, isn’t much concerned,
with an underground lab to rival any fortress ever built, bolstered
by an army of 2,500 physicists and another 6,000 worldwide just in
If you do the math, there’s not much chance Rössler can delay the
firing of the first round of protons, delayed over and over again by
CERN itself, due to construction and technical problems for three
years now, though again expected perhaps this September. This June
CERN released its own review of LHC Safety concerns, the
Report, that includes a discussion of micro black holes and other
dangerous objects that might be produced. It denies the probability
of any such theoretical problems, including mBH.
So far the scientific community and the public at large haven’t
heard much about Rössler’s new theories. Those who have say he
hasn’t the credentials in physics, though his accomplishments are
many, and in several fields, including physics papers he’s
published, and teaching Theoretical Physics.
Starting out in 1966
with a degree in medicine, then a post-doctorate at the Max Planck
Institute in Behavioral Physiology, he began his teaching career in
Theoretical Biology at SUNY, Buffalo, in 1969, and then became
professor of Theoretical Biochemistry at the University of Tübingen
in 1970, where he still teaches today.
In recognition of his accomplishments in chemistry, he was made a
Professor of Chemistry by Decree.
As a visiting professor he’s taught at several universities in
Canada, the U.S. and Denmark. What’s remarkable is each appointment
was for a different discipline: Visiting Professor of Mathematics,
of Nonlinear Studies, of Chemical Engineering, of Theoretical
Physics, and of Complexity Research.
Currently teaching Chaos Theory
and Brain Theory at the University of Tübingen, he also collaborates
with ATOMOSYD, a French research group studying Topological Analysis
and Modeling of Dynamical Systems.
So far he has published 5 books,
In physics you’ve got to be a physicist, especially a pre-eminent
one, if you want to challenge CERN, which of course is loaded with
them, including Nobel Laureates. It’s not just snobbery, but it’s
more or less the club rules today. If they had been applied to
Albert Einstein when he was drudging as a clerk at the Swiss Patent
Office, he would have dwelt in obscurity.
Actually as it happens,
Einstein’s logic informs much of Rössler’s thinking on
Rather than let the matter drop, as other scientists do when they’re
outgunned, Rössler continues to drum up support for a delay in LHC
start-up, seriously alarmed at the prospect of runaway black holes
being created that could destroy this planet.
To that end he’s
called for a Conference on LHC Safety, and has submitted his
theories directly to CERN for evaluation. His latest foray is more
political. In mid-August he is to meet the Swiss President, Pascal Couchepin.
Recently, I had the pleasure of talking with Dr Rössler.
Gillis: How did you arrive at the
idea that mBH, if produced at the Large Hadron Collider, could
Early on, the idea that the LHC could be dangerous did not
arrive in my brain. A Relativist friend of mine who was
correcting this paper on my new interpretation of the
Schwarzschild metric, asked me just as a joke if this wouldn't
have repercussions on the LHC. I didn't know what the LHC was.
It forced me to think whether this was a good question or a
joke. Then it might mean that black holes or mini black holes
cannot evaporate. The mathematics are the same. I tried to
falsify (disprove) it, but I couldn't.
Another thing that occurred to me is that we can now predict the
existence of non-point shaped black holes using El Naschie’s
Fractal theory. Once we know they are string-shaped then we can
ask what is their size. It occurred to me only a few days ago
that we might use El Naschie’s theory to calculate their size.
Gillis: So you think that String theory is basically correct?
Yes. I never believed in String theory until quite recently,
when I found this result. That electrons cannot be essentially
point-shaped. For if they were, they would necessarily be little
black holes at the same time, which indeed no one else finds
objectionable. But black holes are uncharged according to my new
reading of the Schwarzschild metric. Strings then must already
exist in front of our eyes - in the form of electrons. This
makes string-shaped mini black holes much more likely.
Gillis: Are you suggesting that you think electrons are actually
elementary black holes?
No, it is everybody else who implicitly thinks so. They could of
course also be clouds of smaller charged particles, in
principle, although I doubt it. This would only reiterate the
Gillis: Then you agree that like all particles in String theory,
electrons are string-shaped and not point-shaped in real space?
That is too hard a question for me to answer definitively. In
real space, there would only be a size increase, I guess. But so
perhaps, more or less the same one for all mini particles, from
neutrinos to mini black holes?
Gillis: There are still no experimental confirmations of String
theory, not from collider data or any other experiments. CERN is
hoping to find evidence of Strings at the much higher energies
of the LHC.
Yes, it is one of the two big goals, besides the Higgs.
Gillis: There are a lot of String theorists at CERN. Given that
String theory supports the formation of mBH at much lower
energies than what you would need to produce a Planck mass size
Black Hole, perhaps within reach of LHC collision energies, then
why isn’t CERN taking this seriously? They did earlier, with
their "Micro Black Hole Factory". Now the recent safety
assessment by CERN, the LSAG report, discounts them, quoting
Einstein’s Relativity, that they are an impossibility.
They’re less enthusiastic than they were before. The String
theorists don’t believe in String theory anymore. That was my
impression when I met Dr Landua at CERN, but maybe I
misunderstood him. They don’t talk about black holes anymore
since I started saying they are dangerous. They even abandoned
String theory just to say they don’t believe in them anymore.
Gillis: What do you think the probabilities are of mBH being
produced at the LHC with proton to proton collisions at 10 TeV,
before winter this year?
I would almost say something like 10%. Maybe 16% or 16.6%.
Russian Roulette has 6 probabilities.
Gillis: If they load the collider 6 times with protons? But
seriously, at 14 TeV ordinary operating energies next year, and
then much higher energy collisions planned for lead ions at
1,150 TeV, then the probability would be higher?
No, not in the second stage. Because quark-quark collision
energies will still be low in that case.
Gillis: You wrote to Stephen Hawking recently on this subject,
asking him to contact CERN, if he agreed there was room for
doubt about black hole evaporation through Hawking radiation,
and so some risk with mBH produced at the LHC. Did you get a
Not that I know of. I sent him the tape, actually on CD, of my
long talk on this problem on January 31st in Berlin at the
Transmediale, a big conference, an art conference. It was from
the keynote address I gave. He asked his secretary to send a
reply card which she did. I also asked several people to make
contact with him. It’s a pity, really. I’m a big fan of his.
Gillis: You mentioned Dr Rolf Landua earlier. You had an
interview with him at CERN this July 4th about your black hole
theories. What happened?
It was an amiable meeting. When I arrived at the airport there
were two ladies from Zurich expecting me. In order for me not to
be alone. They were LHC activists. They accompanied me to CERN.
When Landua came, he offered all three of us a ride to the ATLAS
Detector. So there were four of us at the meeting later in the
CERN cafeteria, with the view of Mount Blanc.
He promised, since
he couldn’t disprove my Relativity argument, that he knew
several famous people in Relativity working at CERN that would
talk to me. I was happy that there would be another discussion.
Before we left, I reminded Landua of our next meeting with the
Relativists. He didn't recall suggesting one, that it wasn't
necessary. He said he would send my paper along to an expert.
The matter is still pending. If I am wrong, I want at least to
know where I am wrong.
Gillis: Did you have time to counter CERN's main safety
A little bit. We came to discussing neutron stars, the hardest
conundrum. According to CERN, neutron stars should not exist if
there were natural analogs to the LHC mini black holes. Neutron
stars, consumed at first by mini black holes, would be black
holes themselves. The CERN argument looks like a good one, but
it is demonstrably wrong. I had brought this to CERN's attention
in May. Mini black holes can exist. In the most susceptible
stars to mini black holes, the neutron stars, they are so dense
there is no hope at first sight that any fast particle can pass
through without getting stuck. This is CERN's safety net
argument. Or was.
Gillis: Then how do these super dense neutron stars survive
attack by natural mBH? What is your theory?
Neutron stars are in a macroscopic quantum state called
superfluidity. And this state protects them because it makes
them transparent to fast particles.
Gillis: Because these stars are in a strange quantum state, like
a Bose-Einstein Condensate?
Gillis: Did Landua accept your argument?
I think so, after I had told him that my counter-argument had
been accepted by a famous Nobel Laureate in the field: That
neutron stars, which alone are susceptible to this CERN argument
in the last instance, are protected due to their superfluidity,
by being transparent to the stipulated fast mini black holes.
And then, Dr. Landua realized that this stipulated new quantum
effect was just the opposite to the famous Mossbauer rigidity -
which insight greatly impressed me.
Then he and I suddenly saw
that the predicted new transparency could actually be tested at
CERN, in a separate experiment. For they have the largest
amounts of a superfluid anywhere on the planet, in the form of
their coolant, Helium II. Thus, fast mini particles - I thought
of neutrinos - could for comparison, be shot through a long
pipe of this superfluid and through an analogous pipe containing
ordinary fluid helium. To see whether there is a difference in
the cross section. But then, we both realized that this would
probably take years to accomplish.
Gillis: Dr. Landua agrees with you, that this experiment is
important? That it could show that superfluidity protects
neutron stars from mBH?
On this point it seems. But unfortunately, superfluidity will
not protect this planet from artificial sufficiently slow mini
black holes, likely or possibly produced at the LHC.
Gillis: Did the subject of a possible bosenova implosion and
explosion come up in your discussions? Superfluid Helium II is a
quantum superfluid with strange properties, and generally
considered to be a Bose-Einstein Condensate.
Yes, but the question of this superfluid being dangerous as
such, because of the risk of bosenova formation at the LHC, I
did learn only from you today: It did not occur to us. This is
an important point, and should also be tested experimentally by
CERN, I feel. They will of course be accidentally testing it
when they switch on the LHC. This local catastrophe if occurring
would inadvertently protect the planet at large.
Gillis: That a bosenova could destroy the LHC? You're not
Not at all. My friend Artur Schmidt told me about the historical
rule that whenever there is a technology jump by a factor of ten
- the LHC's energy will be by 8 times higher than ever before
achieved, so it qualifies - always major accidents happen owing
to humanity's built-in lack of clairvoyance.
Gillis: Then you support my idea that a possible bosenova
explosion could threaten the LHC and Geneva? And a safety test
should be performed by CERN on both superfluid heliums? Recently
I learned that Helium I is also used at the LHC, to cool both
beam cryostats, in the main ring. I published an article
recently on my findings, in ScientificBlogging, Superfluids,
BECs and Bosenovas: The Ultimate Experiment.
Would I not have to say yes here? The problem is the BEC
bosenova mechanism is still unknown. CERN should be reminded of
Gillis: Considering you are one of the leading critics in
science of the safety of mBH, and CERN wasn’t prepared for the
meeting you had to discuss your theories, will CERN invite you
This has not yet happened. Perhaps the answer is implicit in
what a Nobel Laureate in physics, told me a few weeks ago. He
told me I should go on with my fight against CERN. Because CERN
needs the publicity.
Gillis: But why isn’t CERN taking you seriously? Are physicists
there or elsewhere afraid of rocking the boat? With their
reputations and jobs on the line?
No, I think there are other reasons as well. People nowadays no
longer believe in originality of single people and small groups.
Everybody believes in the big group and in the joint power. We
have a Maoism in science. Let flowers grow. It’s no longer
likely to happen. Everybody believes the ideology that it’s no
longer possible to be a Poincaré or an Einstein.
But we also
live in the Age of everybody believing in the Big Bang, which is
the greatest nonsense of all, if my co-workers are right. And
yet it’s impossible to get rid of it. We live in a dogmatic age.
People want to derive certainty from common opinions. They don’t
believe it’s possible to find something really original. It’s a
pity for our young people. They’re not allowed to believe in
Gillis: I think you hit it on the nose. In a way, this is all
about proving the Big Bang theory?
The younger physicists know it doesn’t exist. Many people knew
it’s nonsense including Hubble himself. He was denied the Nobel
Prize because of not believing in what everybody believed. Very
Gillis: Hubble discovered the redshift as proportional to
distance, which physicists think indicates the Universe is
expanding, confirming the Big Bang theory.
He stopped believing in this. He said there is a non ad-hoc
reason why light gets tired on its way through long distances.
But no one found the reason for a long time. Until some 6 years
ago when my group found the reason. I published it, but no one
has any interest in it. The paper was published last year in
Chaos, Solitons and Fractals. In August. It has a nice title
actually. Hubble Expansion without Space Expansion. But you
shouldn’t tell anyone I don’t believe in the Big Bang. Then they
won’t believe anything I say, Professor Rössler laughs.
Gillis: But there is no other real alternative theory to the Big
There are many who know it must be nonsense, but no one has
found the key. I had the good fortune to talk to a young
American-Iranian physicist who worked in Switzerland. And he
gave me the key paper by Chandrasekhar of 1943, which gives the
mechanism, but no one saw it including the author himself. But
he got a Nobel Prize later for Black Holes. It’s a very old
theory, and I just found a more general simpler explanation of
Chandrasekhar’s result. It applies not just to big stars, as he
thought, moving faster than the rest.
But any potentially
gravitationally attracted fast body gets slowed down in a
whirling cloud of heavier attracting bodies like galaxies, and
light gets red-shifted in proportion. That’s a very simple law
of physics, of classical physics essentially. But it was
overlooked since 1865. This older paper was by the discoverer of
Statistical Mechanics, Rudolf Clausius, who didn’t have a high
It was the ETH, the Swiss Polytechnic which
saved him. You could pass an exam and be allowed to study there.
The only (such) university in Europe and the world probably. It
saved him and it saved Einstein 30 years later.
Gillis: On that score CERN would show Einstein the door
today. Is that why you’re appealing to the public and
politicians? In mid-August you’ll be seeing the President of
Switzerland, Pascal Couchepin. What do you hope to achieve?
I’m trying to get a friendly contact with him, so he understands
how I think. And that I’m not an enemy of CERN, which probably
everybody believes. I’m the only friend of CERN I see around.
Everybody else is trying to destroy it. Including themselves.
They have this nice argument. We all have children. Would we do
this experiment if we didn’t believe we were safe?
But if they
are ready to sacrifice their families, they are still not
allowed to do it with the planet. CERN still hasn’t answered my
questions, or refuted my papers, though they are publicly
available on the Internet.
Here are Dr Rössler’s unanswered
questions from his Seven Reasons for Demanding an LHC Safety
Conference with minor revisions by
Dr Rössler, original paper which
will be updated soon, as below.
This paper was recently presented by Dr Rössler to more than two
hundred participants of the 20th International Conference on Systems
Research, Informatics and Cybernetics, July 24-30, 2008, in
Baden-Baden, hosted by the IIAS, the International Institute for
The conference participants and the IIAS publicly
endorsed Dr Rössler's call for an LHC Safety Conference as soon as
Seven Reasons for Demanding an LHC Safety Conference
Black holes cannot evaporate
because their horizon is effectively infinitely far away in
space-time according to my new interpretation of the
Schwarzschild metric .
Black holes are effectively
uncharged . Therefore, charged elementary
particles cannot at the same time be black holes (or
point-shaped). Hence non-point-shaped mini objects exist
already. This makes mini black holes much more likely.
Mini black holes grow
exponentially rather than linearly inside the earth:
“mini-quasar principle” . Hence the time
needed by a resident mini black hole to eat the earth is
maximally shortened – perhaps down to “50 months”. This
contrasts with the “50 million Years” obtained assuming
linear growth by BBC Horizon  and CERN’s
analogous “5 billion years” .
CERN [4, 5] counters
that if the hoped-for mini black holes are stable as claimed
, equal stable particles must arise naturally
by ultra-fast cosmic-ray protons colliding with planet bound
protons. This is correct. However, there remains a
fundamental difference: Only the man-made ones are
“symmetrically generated” and hence dangerous. For they
alone are slow enough with respect to the earth that one of
them (at less than 11 km/sec) can take residence – in
contrast to the almost luminal speeds of their natural
CERN‘s counter argument could
still hold true for more compact celestial bodies than the
earth – such that their lifetimes would be drastically
reduced in defiance of observation if mini black holes
exist. A quantitative bound can be derived from this
argument: Take white dwarfs first.
They are 105
times denser than earth while being the same size. Hence
their cross-section for a mini black hole passing-through is
by a factor of 105 greater than earth’s. They
remain safe if no more than 104 eating-type
collisions with a quark await a fast natural mini black hole
entering them (so it can pass through).
Why? Because the planned energy of 14 TeV pumped into two
colliding protons at CERN is 14,000 times the rest mass of a
proton (1 MeV). Therefore a mini black hole born of two
quarks (one from each proton) likewise has about 14,000
times the rest mass of a quark. Hence by momentum
conservation, only about 14,000 collisions with a resident
quark can be survived by a fast natural mini black hole of
LHC energy, without losing its almost luminal speed.
bound is to be heeded by nature in white dwarfs, then no
more than about 0.1 collisions must await a CERN mini black
hole on its first passage through the earth. This estimate
appears plausible - so that the continued existence of
white dwarfs cannot be construed as a counter-argument
against the dangerousness of man-made slow mini black holes.
This number presupposes that the
nonlinear growth process in point (3) above, is inapplicable
if very dense matter is passed through at almost luminal
speeds. The shorter collision intervals, by many orders of
magnitude, allow this prediction.
Finally, neutron stars have by
another factor of 109, greater density than white
dwarfs. Since they are a thousand times smaller, they are a
million times more susceptible. But they are protected by
quantum coherence effects of the superfluidity type: so mini
black holes can pass without being braked. The superfluidity
extends to the “inner crust” .
prediction, if confirmed, renders natural mini black holes
if they exist, non-dangerous. Hence, their man-made
ultra-slow cousins on earth or spreading to the sun, can
indeed have dreaded dangerous consequences that everybody
prefers not to believe in.
In order to exclude the possibility that
human-made mini black holes will endanger the earth, it will be
necessary to disprove the first of these 7 points, or if this is not
possible, the second, and so forth. Until this has been
accomplished, no one can give the “green light” to the LHC crossing
the 2 TeV barrier, as is currently planned within a few weeks.
It appears that only an immediate safety conference can save the LHC
experiment from disaster.
 O.E. Rössler, “Abraham-like
return to constant c in general relativity: Â-theorem derived in
Schwarzschild metric”. Chaos, Solitons and Fractals (publication
pending) Preprint available at www.wissensnavigator.com/documents/ottoroesslerminiblackhole.pdf
(a revision of section 5 is forthcoming)
 O.E. Rössler, “Abraham-solution to Schwarzschild metric
implies that CERN mini black holes pose a planetary risk”
(submitted on September 27, 2007). Also found on the above URL.
 BBC Horizon documentary, “The Six Billion Dollar Experiment”
 M. Mangano, in an interview with Michael Liebe, at golem.de
(in German) www.golem.de/0802157477.html
 R. Landua, in an interview with Andreas Séché (below video), pm-magazin.de
 G. Colò, “A microscopic quantal calculation of the
superfluidity of the inner crust of neutron stars” (Abstract)