a possibility of humans causing the destruction of the Earth imminently, although the probability of it happening, according to those
involved, is minute.
The Large Hadron Collider becomes operational on 9th November, just a week away, and the physicists with the keys regard the real possibility it may
produce subatomic black holes as "exciting". Another bonus is the possibility of the production of ultra-dense matter made from types of subatomic
particle found in nature only under highly extreme conditions, such as in neutron stars and the final moments of stars which go supernova.
That the probability of these outcomes is claimed to be slight is irrelevant. The relative
probability of them occurring, relative that is to
the case where the LHC was not powered up, is massive.
However, the physics crowd are relying on the belief that singularities - black holes - of the size expected will a) be travelling faster than the
Earth's escape velocity - at least "most" of them and b) will in any case radiate away as Hawking radiation. Hence they should not be able to consume
the Earth since they will either leave it or evaporate. Most of them.
The second possibility, the production of exotic matter or "strangelet" is thought by mainstream physicists to be capable of starting a chain
reaction, rapidly converting the entire planet into a small ultra-dense ball of the same material. However, the physicists at the LHC also do not
think the risk of this is worth stopping their experiment for.
In these circumstances, I should not be surprised if extraterrestrial people do decide to make their presence known. If they met one, most people
these days would probably just giggle and offer it their mobile - "wanna phone home mate?" "Yeah, I get that a lot..."
If it does happen, it'll provide an unusual alternative to the Queen's speech. I expect they'll have it on Channe 4.
edit on 2-11-2010 by
plishman because: An alternative word for "giggle" got censored! Sorry!