With a spectacular opening ceremony underway in Beijing, and Sarah Brightman currently centre-stage singing in Mandarin, spare a thought for the hard-working scientists at Cern. They’ll be spending their weekend testing the Super Proton Synchrotron (SPS) accelerator to ensure it’s properly synchronised with the Large Hadron Collider ahead of the official ‘switch-on’ on September 10. And there is some fascinating speculation on what the LHC will find here. All of which is more or less an excuse to repost the particle physics rap.. in case anyone missed it.. Hey, it’s Friday!
Adds I should, perhaps, identify the quote used in the title – from here.
Black Holes: 0.1%. One of the intriguing aspect of brane-world models is that gravity can become strong well below the Planck scale – even at LHC energies. Which means that if you collide particles together in just the right way, you could make a black hole! Sadly, “just the right way” seems to be asking for a lot – it seems unlikely that black holes will be produced, even if gravity does become strong. (And if you do produce them, they will quickly evaporate away.) Fortunately, the relevant models make plenty of other predictions; the black-hole business was always an amusing sidelight, never the best way to test any particular theory.
Stable Black Holes That Eat Up the Earth, Destroying All Living Organisms in the Process: 10-25%. So you’re saying there’s a chance?