'Martin Rees, a well-respected British cosmologist, made pretty bold statement late last year when it comes to particle accelerators: there's a small, but real possibility of disaster.
Particle accelerators, like the Large Hadron Collider, shoot particles at incredibly high speeds, smash them together, and observe the fallout.
These high speed collisions have helped us discover lots of new particles, but according to Rees, this isn't without its risks.
In his 2018 book, called On The Future: Prospects for Humanity, he gives some pretty bleak outlooks.
"Maybe a black hole could form, and then suck in everything around it," he writes, as Sarah Knapton reported over at the Telegraph. "The second scary possibility is that the quarks would reassemble themselves into compressed objects called strangelets."
"That in itself would be harmless. However under some hypotheses a strangelet could, by contagion, convert anything else it encounters into a new form of matter, transforming the entire earth in a hyperdense sphere about one hundred metres across."
That's approximately 330 feet, or around the length of a soccer field.
And that's not all. The third way that particle accelerators could destroy the Earth, according to Reese, is by a "catastrophe that engulfs space itself".
"Empty space - what physicists call the vacuum - is more than just nothingness. It is the arena for everything that happens. It has, latent in it, all the forces and particles that govern the physical world. The present vacuum could be fragile and unstable."'
Read more: Earth Could Be Crushed to The Size of a Soccer Field by Particle Accelerator Experiments, Says Astronomer
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