Planetary Annihilation Chances 'Totally Miniscule'

The Large Hadron Collider, under construction in an underground circular tunnel nearly 17 miles long at the world's largest physics laboratory, CERN, near Geneva, Switzerland. Scientists could generate a black hole at a rate of one per second once it comes online in 2007.

Is it safe to have black holes on Earth? Science fiction writer David Brin explored this idea in his very cool 1991 novel Earth:

"Have you created a monster, Dr. Lustig?.. When the mob cut the power cables, Lustig... that let your black hole out of it's magnetic cage. It fell into the Earth then, no? So what happens now? Will it emerge again, blazing and incinerating some hapless place halfway around the world? What did you make here, Lustig A beast that will devour us all?"
"No, of course I didn't."
Alex remembered telling Manella on that day, and everyone else since then. Now he let go of the lie with relief.
"Yes, Mr. Hutton. I think I made the very Devil itself."
Silence stretched as Hutton stared at him. "You're saying ... the singularity didn't dissipate like the experts said? That it might still be down there, absorbing matter from the Earth's core?"
(Read more about David Brin's novel Earth)

According to experimental physicist Greg Landsberg, the chance of planetary annihilation by manufactured black holes "is totally miniscule."

How might the LHC create black holes? At its maximum, each particle beam the Large Hadron Collider fires will pack as much energy as a 400-ton train traveling at 120 mph. Brown University's Landsberg and his colleague Savas Dimopoulos at Stanford University in California calculated in 2001 that if theories about the universe containing extra dimensions other than those of space and time are correct, the accelerator might also generate black holes. Physicists Steve Giddings at the University of California, Santa Barbara and Scott Thomas at Stanford University in California came to the same conclusion.

So why is there no danger here? Physicist Stephen Hawking calculated all black holes should emit radiation, and that tiny black holes should lose more mass than they absorb, evaporating within a billionth of a trillionth of a trillionth of a second, "before they could gobble up any significant amount of matter," Landsberg said

Read more at Black Hole Factory Will Not Destroy Earth. Or, you could remember that author Brin has a Ph.D. in space science, and go hide under your bed.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 9/19/2006)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 2 )

Related News Stories - (" Engineering ")

Stick-On Tape Speakers, As Predicted By Bruce Sterling
Flexible tape speakers, someday.

Has Climate Change Already Been Solved By Aliens?
'I had explained," said Nessus, "that our civilisation was dying in its own waste heat.' - Larry Niven, 1970.

Skin Electronics 3D Printed
'June's body is a tracery of lambent lines, like some arcane capillary circuitry...' - Paul Di Filippo, 1985

Super-Resolution Microscopy Provides '4D' Views
View the magnified interior of living cells.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Superstrong Multilayer Metal-Graphene Composite Material
Negligible increase in weight increased material strength by hundreds of times.

Deepfakes Imperil Democracy (George Orwell, Right Again)
'All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary.'

String Art Courtesy Of Robot Artist
The number of different ways to span a thread between a larger number of hooks is astronomical.

Still Wondering If You'd Work For A Robot Boss?
'This is all coming to you courtesy of the simstim unit wired into your deck, of course.'

World's First Autonomous Tram In Germany
What's it like for autonomous trams when they're turned off at night?

Sleeep PRO Earplug For Maximum Rest
'Merton... placed the electrodes of the sleep-inducer on his forehead.'

Inspired By Japan, Nap Pods For Hajj
It's always a good time for a nap.

Amphibio 3D Printed Gill Shirt
'... we can descend and live down there at one of those year-round aquatic resorts.'

How Do You Put An Asteroid Into Earth Orbit? Carefully!
'...she would have to be coaxed by another series of pats into a circular orbit.'

PD Aerospace Space Plane By 2023
'The sleek, tapered space shuttle lay immobile upon the private landing field...'

Foldimate Folds Your Clothes Perfectly
Look ma, my room is clean! I can hear you now.

Robots Help People Get Dressed, As Predicted In 1931
Yes, people of the future, robots will dress you.

International Space Station Leak Plugged - With Finger
'These tag-alongs search out stray leaks.'

Robot Snake Flies, Fights Fires
Just a prototype, but still amazing.

IPAL Chinese Robot Babysitter
'But Nanny is different...'

ZKZM-500 LASER Assault Rifle
'The Iranian reached back into the locker and got a pair of laserifles.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.