A European court says the idea a new supercollider project could create a “celestial vacuum” and eventually consume the Earth is worth discussing, but the project can move forward on schedule anyway.
The Large Hadron Collider
At dispute is what could happen should planned experiments at the supercollider built near Geneva by the European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, go awry when the massive atomic particle smasher is fired up about this time next week.
Several scientists led by spokesman Otto Rossler, a German chemist, have filed a case in the European Court of Human Rights seeking a delay in the project’s opening while the potential problems are studied further.
Rossler said in a report in the Telegraph that the sponsoring organization has admitted its work will create black holes – but it doesn’t think that will be a risk. He has another opinion.
“My own calculations have shown it is quite plausible that these little black holes survive and will grow exponentially and eat the planet from the inside. I have been calling for CERN to hold a safety conference to prove my conclusions wrong but they have not been willing,” he said.
WND also reported on an earlier lawsuit over whether the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland, which is built to slam protons together at an unprecedented peak energy of 14 trillion electron volts, could spark, literally, the end of the world.
Critics at that time had filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government and the CERN. A hearing is scheduled later this week in the case.
Co-plaintiffs Walter Wagner and Luis Sancho said the collider could create black holes – or strangelets – that would grow and eventually consume Earth. A black hole is a region of space so dense that light cannot escape its gravitational pull. Scientists have not proved the existence of strangelets, a hypothetical cosmological object containing an exotic form of matter.
Physicists at CERN and similar research facilities dismiss the doomsday claims as nonsense.
And a spokeswoman for the European Court of Human Rights told the Telegraph the latest lawsuit, brought by Rossler and others, had been lodged but a petition for an emergency injunction against the project was rejected.
“There will therefore be no bar to CERN carrying out these experiments but the applicants can continue with this case here at the ECHR,” she said.
The goal of the project is to re-create the conditions scientists believe existed in a fraction of a second after the universe was created. They are looking for evidence of the building blocks of life.
The nearly $9 billion project has been funded by more than a dozen nations, and CERN spokesman James Gillies said “extensive safety assessments” have been completed.
“The Large Hadron Collider will not be producing anything that does not happen routinely in nature due to cosmic rays,” he told the Sunday Telegraph. “If they were dangerous we would know about it already.”
Other colliders already have been operating for years, but the CERN project is raising questions anew because of its size. It is a circular tunnel about 300 feet underground that runs for about 18 miles. The more than 5,000 magnets inside are expected to accelerate tiny particles almost to the speed of light, dispatching them around the tunnel in one-11,000th of a second, according to the Daily Mail.
The particles then will smash headon in collisions that will generate enough heat to melt a small car. Scientists hope the collisions will produce new scientific information.
Rossler said the scientists sought court help because CERN operators are not taking “all the precautions they should be in order to protect human life.”