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Will the LCH in CERN create a black hole, and why should we NOT be worried about it?

Will the Large Hadron Collider in CERN create a black hole, and if so why should we NOT be worried about it?
Andy Miles from Derbyshire (Age 45-54)

I would like to ask why scientists think it is worth gambling literally everything, our past, present and future, on an experiment. I refer to the Large Hadron Collider due to be started up in May. It is simply unknown what the consequences of this will be. Hawking’s theory says it should be safe – but Hawking is not infallible and nor are any other scientists. Such an experiment should not be undertaken until we can do it at a safe distance from the earth – a few light years away perhaps?
Justine Jones from West Yorkshire (Age 45-54)

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7 Responses

  1. It’s quite possible that the LHC will create a Black Hole. Indeed, it’s thought of as one of the greatest achievements they could achieve. Stephen Hawking is hoping they will, and that he will then win the Nobel Prize.
    We need not be worried because micro-black-holes such as they might create will last for only such a short time that we won’t even see them. They will evaporate (by Hawking radiation) in a tiny fraction of a second. All we will see is the radiation.
    Mind you, that doesn’t stop science fiction authors (like me) pretending that the black holes might cause problems. It makes a great story. See http://www.timecrystal.co.uk for an excellent example.

  2. CERN has some pages of info on risks. Please refer to: http://public.web.cern.ch/Public/en/LHC/Safety-en.html which explains the situation regarding the safety of collisions at the LHC. This page also provides links to the detailed risk assessment documentation.

    Ray Mathias
    Science and Technology Facilities Council
    http://www.scitech.ac.uk

  3. […] British Association for the Advancement of Science, see the Fantastic Big Question web site, e.g. Will the LHC in CERN create a black hole, and why should we NOT be worried about it? Ian Mulvany isn’t […]

  4. One of the arguments that some scientist say is that there are lots of events of much higher energy in nature (like cosmic rays) than the ones that are going to happen on the LHC. This cosmic rays, they say, happen millions of times so they figure that perhaps all kinds of possible variations that could derive into a earth sucking black hole are covered because we wouldn’t exist by now.

    I read that, I’m not scientist and I don’t pretend to be, I just like the subject!.

    If you like to see a simple sketch of what could happen if it turns to a blackhole check my blog:
    http://angelfelix.wordpress.com/

  5. I think the LHC at CERN is fascinating, however, like many areas of Science it has been over hyped. Ian Mulvany has a nice piece to bring it all back down to earth a bit titled why the LHC is not really that impressive. So (to answer the question above) if you’re feeling cynical about it all, we shouldn’t worry about the LHC plunging us all into a black hole – because some scientists might have over-stated the case a bit in order to win funding. Then again, I could be wrong, maybe the end is nigh after all?

  6. I have looked at the safty notes by CERN and I would like to belive these guys know what there doing but that doesn’t mean I’m not worried. Creating temperatures hotter then the core of the sun on/in our own planet can’t be a good thing, and with the added possibility of the occassional black hole makes me very nervouse.

    The biggest concern however is that the scientists involved can give no more of a definate answer as to what will happen then I can. So I would say the risk is not worth it and these people have no right to make that decision for the rest of the planet.

  7. A black hole is pure gravity. It has more gravity than anything around it and its event horizon is its life. If there is a black hole created by the LCH then all that the scientists (and all life in this galaxy) have to worry about is for the black hole not to have an event horizon (lol- not possible for a black hole not to have an event horizon). So take it from me there is no chance of a black hole being created by the LCH, NO MATTER HOW SMALL (well I hope not because I’m good enough to admit I don’t know). Only an absolute insane idiot would attempt to make a black hole. (By the way they do know that black holes grow straight away as soon as they are formed)

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