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World's fastest particle accelerator seeks an -

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ELEANOR HALL: Scientists are getting ready to activate the world's most powerful particle
accelerator, in an attempt to find out more about how the universe began.

The machine, near the border between Switzerland and France is 27 kilometres in circumference, and
seven times more powerful than any such machine built before it and the project has its opponents.
Indeed they have been so concerned that the accelerator could create a black hole that will swallow
the earth, that they launched a court case to stop the experiment going ahead.

But a court has now dismissed that case as Simon Lauder reports.

SIMON LAUDER: Next week the European Organisation for Nuclear Research or CERN will make its first
attempt to recreate conditions which existed a split second after the Big Bang.

Particle physicist, Dr Ulrich Felzmann, is from the physics school at Melbourne University which
has a stake in the project.

ULRICH FELZMANN: This machine accelerates proton beams to the speed of light and then smash them
into each other. The idea is to produce very high temperatures and pressures to simulate conditions
which happened during the Big Bang.

SIMON LAUDER: The hope is that the particle accelerator will produce the Higgs Boson, which is the
missing link and theory to describe how all matter is held together.

ULRICH FELZMANN: This discovery will prove that the whole theory which is the most important theory
ever, will be correct.

SIMON LAUDER: But there's a great deal of fear about the Large Hadron Collider. A website has been
devoted to a campaign to stop it.

(Excerpt from website advertisement)

WEBSITE: Several experts are concerned that these high energy collisions could create dangers
currently unknown in our universe like ever increasing microscopic black holes, anti-matter and all
consuming strangeness.

(End of extract)

SIMON LAUDER: Physicist Walter L. Wagner is a part of the campaign, and he explained why on US
radio earlier this year.

WALTER L. WAGNER: It is possible that it would allow for the creation of a miniature black hole or
a micro black hole. If that were the case, it could potentially grow larger and eventually over the
course of decades to millennia devour the earth.

RADIO INTERVIEWER: Literally suck the planet right in?

WALTER L. WAGNER: Well, yes.

SIMON LAUDER: A European court has just rejected an attempt to stop the project going ahead and Dr
Ulrich Felzmann from Melbourne University says there's nothing to worry about.

ULRICH FELZMANN: There is a very small chance that such a mini black hole as it is called can be
produced. But there have been many studies at CERN performed.

SIMON LAUDER: So these, the particle accelerator could create a black hole. Is that right?

ULRICH FELZMANN: Yes, It is possible that a mini black hole could be created at the LHD, but as I
said it won't mean any danger. It is just an interaction which can happen all the time. In fact, we
have for example, much higher radiation with much higher energy which hit the earth all the time
from out of space.

And there has never been a mini black hole seen so far in our atmosphere and never has the Earth
has been disappeared by the creation of mini block hole just in our atmosphere. So the fact that we
are still here means that the mini black holes are not any danger for us.

Nobody has to be terrified.

ELEANOR HALL: Let's hope he's right. Dr Ulrich Felzmann from the Melbourne University speaking to
Simon Lauder.