Archive for March, 2008

Particle smasher ‘not a threat to the Earth’

March 29, 2008

We’ve all heard it before: The Core, Earth (by David Brin), and many Star Trek episodes. Scientists go too far and create rip in the space/time continuum, or an anomaly in the fabric of reality, or a miniature black hole. The abhorant creation sinks into the Earth’s core and eventually we all die, consumed by the ever-growing threat that eats away at the inside of the planet. There is always one handsom young (or wizened old) hero who tries to stop the arrogant scientists before it is too late. But we are all doomed when the scientists utter their famous last words. Something like:

The lawsuit’s claims are “complete nonsense”, James Gillies, a spokesman for CERN, told New Scientist. “The LHC will start up this year, and it will produce all sorts of exciting new physics and knowledge about the universe,” he said, adding: “A year from now, the world will still be here.”

Except you couldn’t actually use that in a story, since it is so cliche.

Could the new Large Hadron Collider (LHC) have a catastrophic accident that annihilates the Earth? Possibly. Should we be worried? No. You should be more worried about the Earth getting struck by a killer asteroid and us going the way of the dinosaurs. Or perhaps you should be more worried that we’ll use up all the water in the aquifers and wars will break out over fresh water sources while millions starve. Or global warming. Or rainforest destruction. Those things are much more likely to destroy human life on Earth.

Also this.