Mad Scientists Will Not Destroy Earth After All

Great news everyone! That gigantic super collider outside of Geneva that was going to create a black hole that would swallow the earth and and then the whole universe and all the little children has been pronounced safe! "A new particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider scheduled to go into operation this fall outside Geneva, is no threat to the Earth or the universe, according to a new safety review approved Friday by the governing council of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, or Cern, which is building the collider.'There is no basis for any concerns about the consequences of new particles or forms of matter that could possibly be produced by the LHC,' five physicists who comprised the safety assessment group wrote in their report. Whatever the collider will do, they said, Nature has already done many times over."

"In a press release, Cern's director general Robert Aymar said, "With this report, the Laboratory has fulfilled every safety and environmental evaluation necessary to ensure safe operation of this exciting new research facility."

"It is full speed ahead, they say, on the new machine, which is designed to accelerate protons, the building blocks of ordinary matter, to energies of 7 trillion electron volts and then bang them together to produce tiny primordial fireballs, miniature versions of the Big Bang. Physicists will comb the detritus from those fireballs in search of forces and particles and even new laws of nature that might have prevailed during the first trillionth of a second of time.

"Some critics have argued, however, that Cern has ignored or downplayed the risk that the collider could produce a black hole that would swallow the Earth, or that it could create some other dangerous particle.

"The safety group, however, pointed out that cosmic rays have produced equivalently energetic collisions with the Earth and other objects in the cosmos over and over again. "This means that Nature has already completed about 10^31 LHC experimental programs since the beginning of the Universe," they write. But the stars and galaxies endure." [NYT]