Disappearing into a black hole
Regular ThinkingShift readers would know that I love a doomsday story and any conspiracy theory. So I was very excited to read about the Large Hadron Collider. Yippee…looks like I don’t have to worry about the Mayan prophecy of December 21, 2012 when the world will erupt with volcanic explosions, a comet or two smacking into us and earthquakes shaking us around. Nor do I have to wait around for the Rapture when we’ll all be transported to meet our Maker.
Nope. We’re all going to be sucked into a black hole pretty soon (and for those of who work in KM in organisations, we might say we’re already well and truly in that hole!). The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is a particle accelerator that gets scientists worked up into a lather. Its purpose is to try and recreate the conditions present less than a billionth of a second after the Big Bang. Atomic particles will be whizzed around a 17 mile long tunnel at around the speed of light. Then the scientists will do something really exciting (or dangerous, take your pick) – they will smash the particles together and replicate the conditions immediately after the Big Bang.
Now, some scientists believe that tiny black holes might be created in the high energy collisions the LHC will cause. Should the black holes appear, they will (hopefully) evaporate quickly. Nature is pretty busy creating all sorts of black holes when cosmic rays collide into each other, so it’s a natural occurence and we’re all still here. But, so the theory goes, the tiny black holes could expand into huge Earth gobblers. One scientist, Professor Otto Rossler, a German chemist at the Eberhard Karis University of Tubingen, filed a lawsuit on August 26 against CERN (which built the LHC) with the European Court of Human Rights saying that the right to life of European citizens is being threatened (dude: what about non-Europeans?). Apparently, the European Court told Rossler to buzz off.
Personally, I’m turning to that great genius Stephen Hawking for some advice: is it going to be doom and gloom when the LHC is switched on on September 10? According to the phenomenon of Hawking Radiation (yep, named after him), black holes swallow up light and energy but also leak this all back out at an accelerated rate. Ergo, the black holes would evaporate before they had a chance to become Earth gobblers. What worries me is that no-one has seen black hole evaporation, it’s just a theory. But I’m inclined to think that if Nature creates black holes, we would have been sucked up already if it’s theoretically possible for black holes to expand.
If you’re into rap, here are some scientists rapping about the LHC (well, not really scientists but dressed up like them!).
What isn’t on YouTube I ask!
Ooooh, I just realised today is September 10, so if you’re reading this then no black hole has sucked us up. Oh well, onward then to the next doomsday date: December 21 2012.
Source: Science Daily
UPDATE: sadly, a young girl in India committed suicide because she was traumatised about thoughts that the world could end due to the LHC and the scientists’ experiments.