Turn off the Large Hadron Collider to Save the World


Valerio Mezzanotti for The New York Times

We are thrilled to report that we need no longer worry about global warming or peak oil; we will all have been eaten by a black hole long before that. It is like Arthur C. Clarke's short story The Nine Billion Names of God; science going "oops" (there is always time to say oops) as the world comes to an end. Or before Almagordo, when Oppenheimer and everyone at Los Alamos was trying to calculate if setting off the A-bomb might actually set the entire atmosphere on fire. A group scientists are afraid that firing up the new $ 8 billion Large Hadron Collider at CERN might create a tiny black hole that can eat up the earth. Or, the New York Times writes that it could spit out something called a "strangelet" that would convert our planet to a shrunken dense dead lump of something called "strange matter."

Others think the claim frivolous but note that anything can happen in quantum physics. There is some minuscule probability, said one physicist, that "the Large Hadron Collider might make dragons that might eat us up." ::New York Times