Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Swiss Scientists May Destroy Earth!

The CERN lab near Geneva, Switzerland, is currently building the world's largest particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider. Some scientists believe that when operational (next year), the collider may actually create miniature black holes.

Sounds intriguing!

However, the Lifeboat Foundation, a group "dedicated to helping humanity survive existential risks and possible misuse of increasingly powerful technologies," is concerned that those gravity wells could actually consume the entire planet!

Doh! That would be bad.

Ah, but fear not, as a LiveScience article explains:
...the chance of planetary annihilation by this means "is totally miniscule," experimental physicist Greg Landsberg at Brown University....

...any fears that such black holes will consume the Earth are groundless, Landsberg said.
For one thing, theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking calculated all black holes should emit radiation, and that tiny black holes should lose more mass than they absorb, evaporating within a billionth of a trillionth of a trillionth of a second, "before they could gobble up any significant amount of matter," Landsberg said.
Well, that's certainly a relief. I hope they're right.

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