The Earth Could Be Reduced To A Tiny Inhospitable Sphere By The Large Hadron Collider Cautions Scientist

The LHC almost certainly won't destroy the Earth with tiny black holes or strangelets

The Earth could be reduced to sphere of 100 metres in diameter, according to a new book by well-respected scientist Professor Lord Martin Rees.

This is all thanks to the Large Hadron Collider , which has so far been failing to destroy the planet for 10 years.

The cause of this catastrophic, but entirely theoretical, event would be quarks reassembling themselves into compressed objects called "strangelets" within the collider, Professor Rees says.

These, apparently, have the potential convert everything into a type of matter which would create a runaway effect that would compress the Earth into a football-pitch-sized ball of death.

We're being bombarded with cosmic rays already, which CERN says is proof its experiments won't destroy the planet


According to CERN , the organisation which operates the LHR, the strangelets are only hypothetical . An American experiment, called the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider, has been looking for strangelets for years but has never detected any.

CERN also says that the RHIC has conditions far more likely to create a strangelets than the LHC. It's very difficult for strange matter to stick together in the high temperatures found in both colliders but the energy in the LHC is higher, making to even less likely.

Professor Rees also raises concerns about the formation of tiny black holes. CERN has covered this many times though, especially around the time the LHC was first switched on.

Tiny black holes are a theoretical impossibility, according to Einstein's theory of relativity, says CERN. In addition to that, the particles produced in the LHC have nowhere near enough energy to form black holes.

There's very little risk of the earth shrinking into a hyperdense sphere because of the LHC


Even the theories that suggest the formation of microscopic black holes admit that they would disintegrate instantly and thus have no time to accumulate matter.

CERN also points out that the LHC is designed to simulate cosmic rays in a controlled environment. These rays hit the Earth constantly and have so far failed to produce a catastrophe of this type.

Like so much in science Professor Rees is dealing in hypothetical possibilities. While the chances of this sort of apocalyptic earth shrinkage are tiny they can't be entirely ruled out because that's not how science works.

It's a bit like worrying you'll be killed by a meteor to the head when the chances are greater by an order of magnitude that you'll die in a far more boring manner. It's not impossible, science won't rule it out, but it's very unlikely.

The book, called " On The Future, Prospects for Humanity " is actually about the great potential of science to further our species. The words of caution are more about us considering experiments properly before undertaking them.