Feb 6, 2009 | 11
Here we go again. Giving doomsayers yet more time to predict the end of the Earth, the perpetually delayed restart of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has once again been pushed back. CERN, the European lab for particle physics that manages the mega particle accelerator, has nudged the start-up from this summer to some point later in the year at the earliest. The lab is still dealing with repercussions from a September electrical malfunction that put the kibosh on the collider's operation shortly after its initial start-up.
According to CERN, some of the magnets in the LHC's 17-mile- (27-kilometer-) long tunnel will not be ready for testing until September; the lab had previously said it planned to have the collider operating by the end of June. CERN's top brass are set to meet Monday to decide on an advisory panel's recommendations for a repair-and-restart timeline that would have the LHC running by the end of the year.*
Jan 29, 2009 | 13
One corollary of the delayed start-up of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world's largest particle accelerator, is that it gives physicists—and the rest of the world—more time to mull the much-discussed possibility that the LHC could produce Earth-gobbling black holes.
In a paper posted recently to arxiv.org, physicist Roberto Casadio of the University of Bologna in Italy and his co-authors argue against such a scenario. But the bulk of the attention following their analysis has focused on their observation that microscopic LHC black holes, should they arise, could persist for seconds before decaying. (To wit, Fox News's story headlined: "Scientists Not So Sure 'Doomsday Machine' Won't Destroy World.")
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