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he most powerful atom-smasher ever built could make some bizarre discoveries, such as invisible matter or extra dimensions in space, after it is switched on in August.
But some critics fear the Large Hadron Collider could exceed physicists' wildest conjectures: Will it spawn a black hole that could swallow Earth?
Or spit out particles that could turn the planet into a hot dead clump?
Ridiculous, say scientists at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, known by its French initials CERN -- some of whom have been working for a generation on the $5.8 billion collider, or LHC.
"Obviously, the world will not end when the LHC switches on," said project leader Lyn Evans.
David Francis, a physicist on the collider's huge ATLAS particle detector, smiled when asked whether he worried about black holes and hypothetical killer particles known as strangelets.
"If I thought that this was going to happen, I would be well away from here," he said.
Originally posted by ben420
The biggest fear obviously is a blackhole being created, escaping from the LHC, and not collapsing under its own weight. If all these unlikely things happened, the black hole would need a microscope t be seen. It would also take a couple thousand for it to grow big enough to pose a threat.