The Cernier Company or CERN, the world’s largest physics research firm, is currently in the process of building what would be the world’s largest working supercollider. Known as “Large Hadron Collider,” or LHC, the device is 27 kilometers (16.7 miles) long and resides in a tunnel approximately 100 meters beneath the Franco-Swiss border, just outside of Geneva.
By accelerating protons toward each other at 99.999999% the speed of light the LHC can recreate conditions similar to those that resulted from the Big Bang, ultimately alighting a great deal about the particles and forces that comprise our Universe.
These supercolliders have been around for awhile, but there has never been one on this scale. Scientists say this supercollider will have the ability to ability to create tiny black holes as well. I was quite stunned to hear they were considering creating one of these when this massive machine is completed.
And while Physicists have the logistics of the LHC well in hand ideas about its outcome are strictly theoretical. According to one scenario tiny black holes could be produced which hopefully would decay into what is known as Hawking radiation (the tinier the black hole, the faster it evaporates). If these black holes fail to decay, however, the consequences could be disasterous.
I know that when the first atomic bomb was built there were rumors/concerns of it starting off a chain reaction, in turn destroying earth. But this is a black hole we are talking about. There are no guarantees that it will decay after it's created. If anything went wrong, it could end up devouring our whole planet.
While I'm sure much could be learned from such experiments, I don't think the rewards outweigh the risks on this one. What do you all think?