Martin Rees, the distinguished English cosmologist, made a very bold statement on the topic of particle accelerators: there is a small but real possibility of disaster. Particle accelerators like the Large hadron Collider shoots particles with incredibly high speed, push them together, and scientists are looking at what's left of them.
These high-speed collisions have helped us to discover many new particles, but according to Rice, it is fraught with risks. In his new book ‘On The Future: the Prospects for Humanity’, he shares a disappointing forecast.
"Maybe, will form a black hole and will suck everything around it," he writes. "There is also the possibility that the quarks themselves in a custom Linux compressed objects stripelike".
"That in itself would be harmless. But in some hypotheses straplike would infect everything around and transform into a new form of matter, turning the entire Earth into a superdense sphere a hundred meters across".
This is the approximate length of a football field.
And that's not all. The third way in which particle accelerators can destroy the Earth, according to Rice, this is a "catastrophe that engulfs space itself".
"the Empty space, which physicists called vacuum is not quite empty. This is the area where anything can happen. It contains all the forces and particles that govern the physical world. The gap can be fragile and unstable".
"Some people believe that concentrated energy which appears when the particles collide among themselves, may lead to a phase transition, which will tear the fabric of space. It will be a cosmic catastrophe, not only of the earth."
Sounds scary. But should we worry, really? In my opinion, smart people at the Large hadron Collider do not knowingly eat their own bread.
"Group assessment of the safety TANK (LSAG) confirms and extends the conclusion of 2003 that collisions at the LHC present no danger and that the reason for concern," writes CERN on its website.
"whatever BUCK did, nature already did many times throughout the existence of the Earth and other astronomical bodies."
It is important aspect is that cosmic rays are essentially a natural version of what the TANK and other particle accelerators. And these rays constantly bombard the Earth.
The team TANK is the answer to the question of straplike.
"Can straplike to merge with ordinary matter and turn it into a strange? This issue was raised even before the start of the RHIC Collider in 2000, the United States," they explain.
"At that time, the study showed that the reasons for concern, and RHIC has been running for eight years, looking for stripelike and not yet finding".
Even Stephen Hawking has blessed particle accelerators.
"the World will not come to an end when it goes to the TANK. The TANK is completely safe. Collisions releasing energy and more and happen millions of times a day in the Earth's atmosphere and nothing terrible happens," says Hawking.
In a sense, Rice is right. We can't be 100% sure and never will. But, as he explained, many scientific advances are fraught with risk that we can not eradicate 100%.
"Innovation is often fraught with danger, but if we refuse the risk, we may forego the benefits," he writes in his book. "In any case, physicists must be careful in conducting experiments, creating unprecedented conditions, even in space."
"Many of us dismiss these risks as from science fiction, but some effects can not be ignored even if they seem extremely unlikely."
Leave this task to the physicists of particles? Tell us in our
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