Baby black holes. Strangelets. Validation for fans of What the #$*! Do We Know?!?. The Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, Switzerland could produce any or all of these unlikely apocalyptic events, unless scientists in Hawaii can succeed in their lawsuit against the European Center for Nuclear Research(CERN).
CERN recently finished the Hadron Collider, saying excitedly in a blog post on February 22, "Soon, the first protons will be smashed together and the secrets of our universe will begin to unravel." The lawsuit alleges that the planned experiments have the potential to unravel more than just secrets. It states that there is a possibility that the particle accelerator could create a tiny black hole that would expand and eventually swallow the earth. Is it likely? No. Are the secrets of the Big Bang so sought after that the experiments are worth the risk? I have no idea. I'm not Lisa Randall.
CERN's response to these concerns is short and glib: Microscopic Black Hole Will Not Eat You, the website says. I'm inclined to let these dedicated physicists smash away under the ground, but I may change my mind when things start to feel a little heavy.