Wednesday, April 16, 2008

More on the black hole

The New York Times gave more details today on the possibility that a proton smasher in Switzerland could destroy the earth.

Today we require more than prayers that a scientific experiment will not lead to the end of the world. We demand hard-headed calculations. But whom can we trust to do them? That question has been raised by the impending startup of the Large Hadron Collider. It starts smashing protons together this summer at the European Center for Nuclear Research, or Cern, outside Geneva, in hopes of grabbing a piece of the primordial fire, forces and particles that may have existed a trillionth of a second after the Big Bang. Critics have contended that the machine could produce a black hole that could eat the Earth or something equally catastrophic.

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