How Does the Large Hadron Collider Create a Black Hole?


Quick Answer

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has never created a black hole and is highly unlikely to do so. The collider works by accelerating subatomic particles into each other at a significant fraction of the speed of light. Scientists then observe the debris created by the impacts. This process happens constantly in nature, frequently at far higher energies, such as when charged particles from the solar winds collide with the Earth.

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Full Answer

In the unlikely event that a collision at the LHC created a black hole, the extremely small scale of the collisions ensures that it would be a very small quantum black hole. As of 2014, these have not yet been observed, though physicists can model some of their attributes and the conditions required to produce them. If the sort of particle interactions that take place at the LHC were capable of generating these quantum black holes, it seems likely that Earth would be regularly showered with them, as solar winds accelerate particles to energies much greater than those the LHC can generate. The fact that no such phenomenon has been observed, and that the underlying physics seem to rule out relatively low-energy impacts as a source of quantum black holes, makes it all but certain that the LHC cannot collapse matter to the density required to form a black hole.

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