Death By Particles?

Most likely not… however, Phil Plait, the Bad Astronomer, reports

Two men are suing to stop the LHC from being switched on, saying it may be dangerous and might even destroy the Earth

As Phil states in more detail than I care to take here, there are two threatening possibilities regarding the work to be done by the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). One, it creates a black hole that.. well you know what black holes do. And two, it generates what’s called a quantum strangelet, a little quantum doo-dad that does nothing but convert normal matter into more strangelets. The fear is that they’ll start up a massive chain reaction of matter-to-strangelet conversions, eventually converting the entire universe.

First, relax. The chances of a black hole are minimal due to Hawking radiation effect, that says they would just evaporate instantly. And as far as the strangelets, a study a few years ago by physicists at MIT, Yale, and Princeton points out that..

… higher energy particles hit the Moon all the time. If strangelets could be created in this way, the Moon would have converted to a big ball of strangelets billions of years ago.

So, no worries. But if you want a little more info, check out Phil’s evaluation of the situation.

Via: Bad Astronomy.

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