My friend sent me an article from MSNBC about how Fermilab and CERN are being sued for putting the entire planet at risk from mini black holes and other phenomena by building the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). I thought this article was a joke but it seems to be deadly serious.
For those non-physicists among us, the LHC is a new particle accelerator currently being built in Geneva, Switzerland. It will accelerate the basic fundamental particles of the universe to high speeds and smash them together with the aim of finding out what they are made from and learning more about the birth of the universe.
People have made all kinds of wild speculation about the LHC. The New Scientist published an article earlier this year musing on the possibility of the LHC being a time machine.
I think it would be true to say that scientists can’t say the LHC won’t produce a black hole which would gobble us all up because of their incomplete knowledge of particle physics – it’s this lack of knowledge which is leading them to build the LHC. But I don’t think the risks of the LHC are really significantly large enough to stop them from opening the LHC.