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LHC: Physicists vs Lawyers

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On September 10 the LHC at CERN has taken up operations with protons in the beam. There has been quite a bit of media coverage lately about the risks the machine might pose to the general population: Black mini holes (or mini black holes?) could be produced and subsequently swallow the earth. The latest news is that there’s even been a law suit filed at the European Court of Human Rights against CERN to stop the operations.

It’s a pretty interesting constellation: Physicists like to report the superlatives this new machine is capable of and now, all of a sudden, these superlatives scare people. There’s an attempt to turn the the theories against us! Of course, there are counter-theories why the bad scenarios won’t happen…

So here’s my take: All the black holes we observe in the universe are not created by suns of more than a certain size imploding at the end of their life but rather by physics experiments gone south! It appears that invariably every civilization advances to the point where they can build accelerators of sufficient size to nuke themselves and their courts are simply too slow to stop them in time. Cynics might say these civilizations were still better off than the ones where the courts or lawyers were in fact powerful enough…


Written by sas

September 10, 2008 at 15:09

Posted in physics

Tagged with , ,