A German woman has failed to successfully shut down CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC), after taking her case to court and claiming that the particle accelerator would generate a black hole, swallowing Earth into oblivion.
Her claim went before a German court on Tuesday, where it was rejected citing “no evidence to doubt the correctness of [CERN’s] safety reports.”
“The plaintiff…was worried that the experiments could produce so-called ‘black holes’ which could eventually lead to the destruction of all life on Earth.”
This, of course, isn’t the first time someone has attempted to stop the LHC.
Before it began operation in 2008, a lawsuit was filed to prevent the LHC from being “switched on.” That one was also thrown out. And, if you want to go even farther back in time, these very same concerns were raised over the Brookhaven National Laboratory’s Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) before it began operation in 2000.
Now, here’s a question: Is it really possible that physicists could conjure something terrible at the LHC? Well, sure. I guess. I doubt most scientists would claim it’s outright impossible. It’s also not unlikely that a particle accelerator could generate very tiny black holes, although they would evaporate almost instantly.
However, the probability that an Earth-ending event would occur is so close to 0% that it isn’t a real concern.
As far as we know…
Image courtesy Christophe Delaere.