Earth and Space

The collider panic

Stories from Physics for 11-14 14-16 IOP RESOURCES

Following sensational media reports that the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) might produce a black hole when switched on, James Gillies, the head of public relations at CERN, had to field phone calls from tearful members of the public expressing fears for their children. The Nobel Prize winning physicist, Frank Wilczek, received death threats from people fearful about the consequences of the LHC’s experiments. The CERN website reassured visitors that: “If micro black holes do appear in the collisions created by the LHC, they would disintegrate rapidly, in around 10 27 seconds.”

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