The Weekly Ringer

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Staff Editorial: Dance Like the Black Hole is Watching You

2 min read

This will be the final issue of the Bullet.

By next week, if the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) on the Swiss-French border becomes fully operational on time, the Earth may be a tiny marble of anti-matter.

Popular paranoia right now says that when two streams of charged protons collide at nearly the speed of light, the ensuing primordial state of scattered sub-matter will give birth to miniature black holes instead of the elusive theoretical Higgs particle.

In the days leading up to total annihilation, you can guarantee that the Bullet editors will be finally doing all those things we’ve always wanted to do, but couldn’t find the courage. We’ll finally ask out that girl, or go skydiving, or eat at Seaco.

Of course, nobody really believes this is going to happen. Scientists working on the project are even making bets at 1:1million odds that the LHC won’t cause Armageddon.

Still, the assurances of Steven Hawking, the world’s leading expert on black holes and astrophysics, worry us at the Bullet. He says there is only a one percent chance that black holes will be formed on Earth.
But even if we do create a black hole, once out of every 100 times the LHC smashes at the foundations of the universe, according to Hawking’s theories they will disappear before they can eat the whole earth.

Oh, good.

So I guess you’ll be getting the paper next week after all, reading about unimaginable destruction and/or an exciting new step into the future of human understanding.

No matter how the experiment ends, by the end of the week the human race will be entering into a brave new world.

Perhaps that can be reason enough to do the things we’ve always wanted to take small risks for the sake of our passions and curiosity. If the LHC has taught us anything already, it’s that we don’t always need the threat of doom to inspire us. But it helps.