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Monday, March 07, 2005

Large Hadron Collider to hasten world's demise 

Some really cool research in particle physics will be enabled by the completion of the Large Hadron Collider, a... well, large particle accelerator in Switzerland. Today the 27-km tunnel got a key component.

The first of some 5,000 magnets that will bend particles at near light-speed around a huge tunnel under Switzerland has been lowered into place.
What is the purpose of this behemoth? To probe particle physics at previously unreachable energies. The work done there could reveal a lot of important things, including the extra dimensions predicted by string theory and the Higgs Boson.

But I'm worried about bigger things than extra dimensions and the God particle. I'm worried about black holes.

Researchers may even find new dimensions and generate mini-black holes.
Mini black holes? What's to keep their intense gravity from drawing in other nearby matter, growing until the entire earth is swallowed? Wouldn't it be the ultimate irony if the neutral Swiss, who have diligently stayed out of Europe's wars since the 17th century, end up destroying the planet?

In all seriousness, as an extreme layperson when it comes to such things, I'm looking forward to seeing what the LHC can do. And don't worry, the black holes will be too tiny and weak to persist for more than a tiny sliver of a second.

Just don't tell these people.
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