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Hadron Collider could 'shrink Earth to 330ft'


Posted on Sunday, 30 September, 2018 | Comment icon 63 comments

Could the Large Hadron Collider destroy our planet ? Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 NikoLang
Astronomer Royal Martin Rees has warned that a failed particle accelerator experiment could prove disastrous.
Doomsday predictions are certainly nothing new, but ever since the Large Hadron Collider - Cern's record-breaking atom smasher - first started operations, there have been concerns over what would happen if the particle accelerator managed to inadvertently create a black hole here on Earth.

In his latest book On The Future: Prospects for Humanity, Lord Rees has outlined several existential threats to our planet ranging from an asteroid strike to a super-advanced artificial intelligence.

In one chapter, he describes several doomsday scenarios involving the Large Hadron Collider.

"Maybe a black hole could form, and then suck in everything around it," he wrote. "The second scary possibility is that the quarks would reassemble themselves into compressed objects called strangelets."

"That in itself would be harmless. However under some hypotheses a strangelet could, by contagion, convert anything else it encounters into a new form of matter, transforming the entire earth in a hyperdense sphere about one hundred meters across."

As if this wasn't bad enough, the atom smasher might even be capable of destroying space itself.

"Some have speculated that the concentrated energy created when particles crash together could trigger a 'phase transition' that would rip the fabric of space," Rees wrote.

"This would be a cosmic calamity not just a terrestrial one."

The likelihood of these scenarios coming to pass however is thankfully extremely small.

Source: Yahoo! News | Comments (63)

Tags: Large Hadron Collider

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #54 Posted by XenoFish on 9 October, 2018, 0:09
https://www.forbes.com/sites/startswithabang/2018/10/08/for-the-last-time-the-lhc-will-not-make-an-earth-swallowing-black-hole/amp/
Comment icon #55 Posted by lost_shaman on 9 October, 2018, 5:28
Not that I don't agree with the article you posted, but it made a Scientific error. Probably just a typo but... That speed listed is only 0.09999999896% the speed of light. 299,792,455 Km/s is 99.99999896% the speed of light. 
Comment icon #56 Posted by Derek Willis on 9 October, 2018, 7:16
You have gotten me confused here. I thought the speed of light is 299,792.458 kilometers per second. Or, 299,792,458 meters per second. So, if the protons are travelling at 299,792,455 m/s - i.e. meters per second - is that not 99.99999896% the speed of light? (I increased the font size so people can see the difference between the commas and the decimal points.)
Comment icon #57 Posted by lost_shaman on 9 October, 2018, 7:25
Ok yes you are correct. I miss read that, hadn't had my coffee yet. Sorry for the mistake and subsequent confusion thanks for pointing out my mistake. 
Comment icon #58 Posted by lost_shaman on 9 October, 2018, 12:10
No he had not won awards for his work before 1905 (his so called Miracle Year) when he was a Patent Office Clerk. His first award was an Honorary Doctorate Award in 1909 from the University of Geneva. 
Comment icon #59 Posted by Derek Willis on 9 October, 2018, 12:15
We all make mistakes from time to time. I once said that gravity lenses bend gravity. That is like saying glass lenses bend glass.
Comment icon #60 Posted by lost_shaman on 9 October, 2018, 12:21
  LOL! Yes we all make mistakes here and there. We are all only Human after all. I try as best as I can not to make them but all of us do, we just correct them and move on. The one I just made is the most embarassing to me for simply misreading what I was seeing and running with it! 
Comment icon #61 Posted by lost_shaman on 9 October, 2018, 12:58
Then you are a poor judge of these things. I've been reading Papers from many different Fields of Study and Journals for 20 years.   I believe that on this Section of UM no-one besides Doug has posted as many links or citations to Papers than I have over the last 3 years, and I think Doug and I are about neck and neck in that aspect.    I don't have a PhD. I completed 2 years of College by 18 years old and had to stop attending College as I became an adoptive Father at 17 years old and simply could not afford to continue after 18 and 2 years. However, I was at the Top of my Class in Highschool... [More]
Comment icon #62 Posted by Laserburn on 22 October, 2018, 20:04
With the maximum energy of the LHC any black hole that it creates would be minuscule and would disappear within fractions of a second due to evaporation caused by Hawking radiation.
Comment icon #63 Posted by qxcontinuum on 23 October, 2018, 3:16
Not if it starts absorbing some of the energy created.


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