Feeds

'The LHC will implode the Moon or PUT OUT THE SUN'

Proton-billiards miscue might pocket the black (hole)

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Tinfoil Tuesday Here on the Reg Large Hadron Collider (LHC) desk, where we follow the rollercoaster triumphs and disasters which occur at the world's mightiest particle-thrasher, there are occasional quiet spells. Right now, for instance, the titanic machine is shut down for a couple of days' technical tweaks.

On such days we cast about us for an entertaining LHC doom prophet - for instance the splendid though rather creepy Walter L Wagner of Hawaiian lawsuit fame, or the man known simply as "Doctor Dark Energy" and his somewhat foam-lipped plans to eliminate CERN chief Rolf Heuer "and all his bigbangers" using a nuclear weapon supplied by Osama bin Laden.

Today, however, we have a new contender. Step forward Professor Otto Rössler. The prof is perhaps the LHC doom-prophet best qualified in actual physics: though his life professorship at the University of Tübingen was awarded for achievements in chemistry, and he originally qualified as a medical doctor, the 77-year-old academic has taught theoretical physics and published papers on chaos theory. This certainly trumps Wagner's physics minor and Doctor Dark Energy's qualifications as a schoolteacher and "agricultural mechanisation specialist".

Professor Rössler wouldn't make our list just for this, however: what's really brought him up on our radar is an excellent interview he gave to Swiss anti-LHC tinfoiler blog (sorry, "non profit news agency") notepad.ch. In it, the prof reveals some new and splendid notions on how the great Collider will doom us all.

The basis of Rössler's concerns are an old friend, the idea that the LHC may create tiny black holes which could then fall into the centre of the planet, and - in his words - "eat the Earth from the inside out in a few years time". According to the prof, the entire world would then be packed down into a marble-sized sphere "a little bit smaller than 1.9 centimeters".

But that's rather old hat, and far more eminent physicists than Rössler have said that this can't happen - if it could, highly energetic cosmic-ray collisions in the upper atmosphere should have caused it to already.

Rössler counters by arguing that cosmic-ray micro black holes, created by lightspeed rays hitting stationary Earthly particles, naturally pop into existence moving extremely fast and zoom off into interstellar space - if necessary zipping straight through any planets or stars they encounter - before trouble can arise. But he says that LHC micro-holes, created by two proton beams of equal energy colliding with each other head on, could be moving so slowly when generated that they would be unable to escape the Earth's pull despite their extreme titchiness.

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
PORTAL TO ELSEWHERE scried in small galaxy far, far away
Supermassive black hole dominates titchy star formation
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
Archaeologists and robots on hunt for more Antikythera pieces
How much of the world's oldest computer can they find?
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.