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Conspiracy ’87 Personal Journal :

So I learned this weekend at a session on anti-matter that empty space isn’t really empty and there is a theory that there are these things called “virtual particles” that are popping in and out of existence all the time and they always exist as a pair. I tried to ask the speaker after the talk that if these virtual particles were constantly appearing and disappearing what would happen if they appeared at the exact point in space around the Earth so that one half of the pair fell in to the gravitational well of the Earth and the other didn’t what would happen? He explained that both particles would disappear shortly afterwards and the Earth doesn’t have an event horizon. I tried to convince him it did but that the event horizon unlike that of a Black Hole doesn’t capture everything. So then I pressed him to answer what would happen if they popped in to existence on the event horizon of a Black Hole. One falls in to the Black Hole, going beyond the event horizon beyond which nothing can escape, the other doesn’t and possibly shoots off in to space. Wouldn’t the black hole then seem to be radiating energy, even though no actual energy was escaping from the black hole? That would allow us to detect a black hole then, to look for the energy signature of these escaping virtual particles. He argued that the virtual particle pair disappears almost instantaneously. I argued that even a very small black hole could capture something but I don’t think he was listening by then. Wondering if anyone else has thought of this…

Hung out with a couple of new friends today in the lobby bar area, trying to remember everyone’s name, there was  Gardener (can’t remember his last name) who edits his own magazine which is really awesome (awesome as in he bought me three ciders), there was some guy called Clive Barker, I didn’t find out what he did, someone called Mike something, an author by the name of Iain Banks (never heard of him) and a couple of other people, mostly obnoxious Americans. Apparently editing a magazine allows you to expense a lot of things on your credit card so I didn’t have to buy a drink all night.

I placed “joint first” in the video game competition. I beat everyone else’s scores but the judges decided that because someone was able to beat me in the ice breaking competition on the Karate Kid game that they would also be “first.” What ever. I won five games and made a couple of trading contacts for Atari ST software for when I get back home.

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