September 10, 2008
Large Hadron Collider part 1
It’s finally happening, they are testing out the particle exelerator and we are all waiting with baited breath to see if we are still all going to be here tomorrow. No need to worry if you read a quote from CNET news as shown below.
Remember the fear that the Trinity test of the first atomic bomb in 1945 might ignite the atmosphere? The Large Hadron Collider, a massive particle accelerator 17 miles in circumference that will begin operation Wednesday, comes with its own apocalyptic possibility: teensy black holes with gravitational appetites voracious enough to swallow the Earth.
Images: Where particles, physics theories collide
But you can breathe easy, because some scientists believe that worry is just as baseless as the A-bomb’s flaming atmosphere.
On Tuesday, the American Institute of Physics’ news update presented evidence from Steve Giddings of the University of California, Santa Barbara and Michelangelo Mangano of CERN–the European nuclear physics lab where the LHC is housed–concluding there’s no threat from little black holes. If such black holes were to be created by a chance cosmic ray, for example, their runaway growth would be most evident from feasting on the super-dense matter of white dwarfs and neutron stars, but there are plenty of those stars that are very old.
Scientists once believed black holes’ inescapable gravitational forces meant they’d grow inexorably, but renowned physicist Stephen Hawking later countered with the view that energy can in fact leak away from black holes, causing them to effectively “evaporate.”
Large Hadron Collider part 2
So you might ask what happened to part 3, well maybe we need to wait and see what the outcome of the experiment is, stay tuned.