How does the Large Hadron Collider work?
Will the Large Hadron Collider Destroy the Earth?
The LHC is extremely impressive and huge but these are the
exact reasons that many critics are concerned about the machine. There is a lot
of fear about the results the machine will produce and reason for the fears are
very varied but most of them revolve around the belief that the machine will
ultimately result in the end of the world.
One of the most common fears is that the LHC will
produce black holes, which are large and infinite spaces that seem to ‘swallow’
objects that happen to fall into them. CERN does not deny that LHC will create
black holes but these black holes will not be able to exist and will collapse in
on themselves and deteriorate seconds after they have been created. This is very
different than what people normally think of when they imagine black holes,
which are generally in space and are a result of stars collapsing in on
Another fear about the LHC is that it is feared
that the machine may produce strangelets, which is a material that could hold
strong gravitational fields which would change all of life into something
entirely different. Believers in the LHC dismiss this theory as well stating
that not only are strangelets only hypothesized materials, meaning that they may
not even exist, but they also say that even if they are in existence, the
electromagnetic field around them would repel matter, not transform it into
something else altogether. It’s also thought that even if the LHC did produce
strangelets, these would be extremely weak and would not be able to exist for
more than a few seconds before being completely destroyed.
The third fear surrounding the mystery revolving
around the LHC is that it may produce a monopole. Monopoles are particles that
only have one magnetic charge rather than two, like other magnetic poles. These
poles would only include north or south and so the argument is that the result
from the LHC could be to actually tear matter apart and destroy virtually
everything on earth. Researchers believe that there are no such things as
monopoles connected with the LHC and that even if there were, they would not
have any negative effects. Some scientists are actually hoping to find monopoles
in order to provide more information and learn new things.
Lastly, people are concerned about the amount of
radiation that the LHC will produce. Those at CERN and researchers who believe
in their cause claim that there is no need for those on earth to worry about the
negative effects of radiation. They say that this is because the machine is
buried 100 meters deep below the earth and that nothing would be able to
penetrate that depth.
There is much unknown about the Large Hadron
Collider, even after its first test run in September 2008. What was anticipated
as a highly global event came down to a few flashing lights on computer screens.
While this may seem anticlimactic to many, it was a huge scientific advancement
as now researchers can move forward in their studies knowing that the machine
works and that it has already completed a number of tests. This may be the
machine that shows that there are no limits to science or, if you’re a
non-believer of the LHC, what could ultimately be the end of life on earth as we
How the Large Hadron Collider Experiments Work
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