Who is afraid of the black hole?

With the LHC of the nuclear research center CERN also tiny black holes could be produced, in the USA because of alleged risks for the whole earth a complaint was submitted

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world’s largest particle accelerator, will soon be completed at the European nuclear research center CERN. The ring accelerator with its 1.700 magnets has a circumference of 27 km. Not everyone, however, buries the planned experiments with the LHC, with which insight into the universe shortly after the Big Bang is to be obtained, for example, by the production of antimatter.

Representation of the decay of a black hole in the ATLAS detector. Image: CERN

In particular, critics are upset about the project to create black holes with the particle accelerator. With the huge, 46m long and 25m wide and high ATLAS detector not only the detection of the Higgs boson is planned (Has the Higgs boson been discovered??), but also the production of microscopic, lightning-fast decaying black holes, which can be detected from the traces of particles forming and decaying in the detector after the collisions of protons (The case for mini black holes).

A black hole could be created, for example, when gluons or quarks come so close to each other that a bond is formed by the gravitational force. A black hole could then be created between the particles, but due to quantum effects it decays again so quickly that hardly any matter can be absorbed by auben, which is why this is not dangerous – at least that’s what most physicists say. They refer to Hawking radiation, according to which they had to lose mass, or to similar high-energy particle collisions, which constantly occur not only in space, but also in the atmosphere (miniature black holes). A report published in 2003 by the LHC Safety Study Group stated that there are no discernible risks. Whether it is possible to create black holes artificially remains to be seen.

Who's afraid of the black hole?

Illustration of the decay of a black hole. Picture: CERN

Nevertheless, some people have been concerned for years that the tiny black holes, if they could be created in particle accelerators at all, could do any harm. CERN has therefore already set up a web page on safety and reared that the energies that can be produced in the particle accelerator are extremely modest compared to those that occur in the universe. Even though, according to CERN, each proton beam in the LHC is like a 400-ton bullet train traveling at 150 km/h, only a tiny fraction of this energy is converted into particles in each collision: "Danger the equivalent of the energy of a dozen flying mosquitoes." Since the black holes also arose from the energy of colliding particles, this muck energy did not have the power to attract matter. Even the possible creation of strange matter (strangelet), if it exists, did not pose any danger.

That’s what Walter Wagner and Luis Sancho, who call themselves the "Experts in physics and other scientific fields" The scientists, who do not take the results at face value, have filed a lawsuit in Hawaii against CERN as well as against the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation and Fermilab, all of which are involved in the LHC, on 21 December 2009. Marz filed a lawsuit to obtain a temporary restraining order. The third safety report is not yet available, and the plaintiffs will need several months to review it once it is available.

Different scientific theories, the lawsuit claims, were predicting different outcomes of collisions in the LHC. What exactly will come out is not known. Theoretically, strange matter could be created, which absorbs matter and continues to grow. Repeated experiments could make this process more complicated, so that the Earth could be in danger of being swallowed up by the Strange Matter. Also with the mini black holes, which cause an irreversible implosion, the danger existed that the earth would be endangered. Wagner and Sancho point furthermore to magnetic monopoles, hypothetical particles, which were not proven so far. These monopoles, they feared, could trigger the decay of protons and atoms, which in turn could evolve uncontrollably into other forms of matter.

Up to now, these risky possibilities had not been used "absolutely" reject. Wagner accuses CERN of only claiming that everything is safe. But that was only propaganda. However, CERN disagrees with this, but last year it set up an anonymous Safety Assessment Group to rule out all eventualities.

Wagner is no stranger to particle physicists. He filed similar lawsuits eight years ago against Brookhaven National Laboratory, which operates the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider, but failed in 2001. This was allowed to happen to him again with his lawsuit filed in Hawaii, especially since his evidence for the risk of the end of the world is dark. Wagner himself had studied physics, later earned a doctorate in law and worked as a radiation safety officer for the Veterans Administration. His lawsuits apparently merged his two areas of interest. His partner Sanchez is from Spain, and describes himself as an author and time researcher.

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