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May 10, 2007 / D.F.Dufty

magnet milestone for black hole machine

CERN has reached a milestone. They installed the last magnet in the construction of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), an underground machine that will be the largest particle accelerator ever built.

A large dipole magnet was symbolically lowered into the tunnel, completing the basic installation of more than 1,700 magnets that make up the collider, which measures 27km in circumference and is scheduled to be commissioned at the end of 2007.

There was no mention of previous setbacks in the press release.
One of the experiments planned for CERN is the creation of tiny black holes. While some people have expressed concern that this may destroy the Earth, experts such as Stephen Hawking have stated that if any black holes are created by the LHC, they will not be dangerous.
There is a question here of risk and the reliability of scientific theory.
One reason to believe that there is no risk is that the same theory that says that black holes could be created also says that tiny black holes are bombarding the atmosphere with high frequency. This could be called the “They’re everywhere and they’re safe” theory.
On the other hand, if the theory is wrong, then perhaps black holes are dangerous but rare. What’s the chance of a hybrid theory turning out to be correct? One where, oh, the LHC machine creates a black hole that destroys the Earth?
“Nil”, say the makers of a report on the LHC.
The consensus among the panel members is that there simply is no risk of that happening.

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