The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is not only the biggest scientific instrument in the world; it is also the most powerful particle accelerator on the planet. This makes not only a real risk and danger to itself and its surroundings in Switzerland, but it could also be a danger to Earth and possibly reality itself.
This warning comes from a very influential astrophysicist Lord Martin Rees from Britain, who believes there are three ways that such a collider could destroy our world.
3 Ways a Particle Accelerator Could Create a Global Disaster
A Black Hole Could Suck Us In
To begin with, Lord Rees cautions us in the new book On The Future: Prospects for Humanity, it is quite possible that during one of the experiments that are conducted at the LHC, a huge black hole could be formed – one that could be big enough to “suck in everything around it”.
Earth Gets Shrunk
Believe it or not, it is conceivable that our planet could become compressed into a “hyperdense sphere about one hundred meters across,” states Lord Rees, who is an Emeritus Professor of Cosmology and Astrophysics from the University of Cambridge.
The way this could happen is when subatomic quarks that are created by the LHC begin smashing their particles against one another at extremely high speeds to start the fallout. The quarks could then reassemble into hypothetical particles that are called strangelets. These could then transform everything within their path into highly-compressed matter. In theory, this would reduce the planet Earth down to the size of a football field.
Spacetime Gets Ripped
There is a third way we could see unimaginable disaster from one of these particle accelerators like the one that is currently under construction in China which will be seven times more powerful that the one at CERN. Martin Rees believes these colliders could create a “catastrophe that engulfs space itself”.
Rees points out that contrary to what some might imagine, the vacuum in space is not actually comprised of nothing but emptiness. The vacuum, explains Rees, has within it “all the forces and particles that govern the physical world.” Therefore it is quite possible that this vacuum we are observing is very “fragile and unstable.”
So what this means to us is whenever a collider generates concentrated energy by slamming particles against one another, it can cause “phase transitions” which might actually tear the fabric of space itself. “This would be a cosmic calamity not just a terrestrial one,” says Rees.
Could this this really happen?
While there have always been fears concerning the Large Hadron Collider, authorities there have always assured the public that their work is safe. CERN, who operates the LHC, claim on its website that “LHC collisions present no danger and that there are no reasons for concern.”
They point out that according to the European nuclear research organization, there is no operations being conducted at the lab that nature has not already “done many times over during the lifetime of the Earth and other astronomical bodies.”