Yesterday, CERN has finally published the official report by the LHC Safety Assessment Group (LSAG). A CERN press release announces that the CERN Council looks forward to LHC start-up, and that the new report, updating a 2003 paper, incorporates recent experimental and observational data and confirms and strengthens the conclusion of the 2003 report that there is no cause for concern. Today's New York Times quotes from the abstract of the technical paper by Michelangelo Mangano, CERN, and Steven B. Giddings, UCSB, which is one of the pillar of the LSAG report that [...] indeed, conservative arguments based on detailed calculations and the best-available scientific knowledge, including solid astronomical data, conclude, from multiple perspectives, that there is no risk of any significance whatsoever from such black holes.
But just have a look at the report by yourself:
- A summary of the LSAG report is available (as PDF file) in English, French, German, and Italian: The safety of the LHC / Le LHC peut être exploité en toute sécurité / Sicherheit am LHC / La sicurezza dell’LHC.
- The actual report is the 15 pages Review of the Safety of LHC Collisions (PDF file) by John Ellis, Gian Giudice, Michelangelo Mangano, Igor Tkachev and Urs Wiedemann of the LHC Safety Assessment Group.
- Technical details about strangelets and black holes can be found in the 11 pages Addendum on strangelets (PDF file) to the Review of the Safety of LHC Collisions, again by Ellis, Giudice, Mangano, Tkachev and Wiedemann, and in the 97 pages paper Astrophysical implications of hypothetical stable TeV-scale black holes by Steven B. Giddings and Michelangelo L. Mangano (available as preprint CERN-PH-TH/2008-025 (PDF file) and arXiv:0806.3381 [hep-ph]).
- A review of the report and the two technical papers was prepared by the CERN Scientific Policy Committee (SPC) to provide [...] an independent opinion on the conclusions stated in those documents. SPC panel members Peter Braun-Munzinger, Matteo Cavalli-Sforza, Gerard ‘t Hooft, Bryan Webber and Fabio Zwirner came to the conclusion that they fully endorse the conclusions of the LSAG report: there is no basis for any concerns about the consequences of new particles or forms of matter that could possibly be produced at the LHC.
This review is also available as a PDF file.
The main focus of the Giddings-Mangano paper lies on a detailed analysis of the possible creation of microscopic black holes by cosmic rays and at the LHC, and on a meticulous discussion of the potential growth mechanisms of these black holes. This analysis then allows to conclude, from the observed existence of very old and dense astronomical objects such as neutron stars, that the Earth is safe - at least from potential dangers posed by the LHC.
TAGS: physics, black holes, LHC