Now the media is correctly reporting that some physicists believe that the Large Hadron Collider might produce mini black holes in its collisions, and that black holes are in general so powerful that they can swallow up not just the Earth, but whole star systems. The media also correctly reported that physicists, when pressed, cannot completely dismiss the chance of being eaten alive by these mini black holes from the LHC.
This in turn has sparked some rather sensational headlines, leading up to a lawsuit filed in the US District Court in Hawaii in March, where seven people are asking for a court injunction to stop the experiments at the LHC, stating that the mini black holes it produces could grow by swallowing matter until they become large enough to swallow up the entire Earth. Although the equipment is based in Europe, and is hence outside the jurisdiction of US law, many of its large magnets and key components come from the US. The lawsuit could, theoretically, cripple the project.
…and I feel fine…
Secondly, these mini black holes are not just small black holes; they are actually subatomic in size, comparable to electrons or protons. The entire energy created by these particles would not even light up a light bulb if the LHC were running for a hundred years. Although the subatomic particles produced by the LHC can have trillions of electron volts, the LHC is expected, at best, to create mini black holes at the rate of one per second, which is much too small to cause any appreciable danger to anyone.
Whew! Catastrophe averted, apparently.
The headline definitely got my full attention. :eek: