Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Quantum Age Frankenstein

Gauging a Collider’s Odds of Creating a Black Hole

Could the earth be destroyed by a physics experiment in a particle collider? It's a scenario played-out in a number of science fiction stories:

...In a paper published in 2000 with the title “Might a Laboratory Experiment Destroy Planet Earth?” Francesco Calogero, a nuclear physicist at the University of Rome and co-winner of the 1995 Nobel Peace Prize...deplored a tendency among his colleagues to promulgate a “leave it to the experts” attitude. Fears about the Brookhaven collider first centered on black holes but soon shifted to the danger posed by weird hypothetical particles, strangelets, that critics said could transform the Earth almost instantly into a dead, dense lump...

Kinda reminds me of the last episode of The Lexx.

(image: stardestroyer )

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