Large Hadron Collider Has Black Hole Button

Though the Large Hadron Collider didn't kill us when those crazy CERN scientists closed their eyes, said a prayer, recited a few theorems and switched it on for the first time, the secret is that it could have killed us. When they built the collider, the scientists installed a black-hole creation button. (The button is real, but it doesn't actually do anything.)

No black holes, no tearing of space-time fabric, no instant worm hole to the Gamma Quadrant. "There is a wry sense of humour that pervades the [LHC]scientists," said Steve Nahn, one of the MIT researchers on duty at the LHC. In addition to the sign that warns users of a black hole creation, there's another equally predictable sign on the side of the balcony overlooking the detector that reads "Please do not feed the Physicists."

Can you imagine using a 22.5km ring to monitor particles that look like pucks to a hockey rink of an atom? And doing it while death threats from ignorant loonies the world over come pouring in? "There's a fair amount of stress at times trying to make the detector go, so defusing it with humour is one way to maintain sanity," Nahn said.

Note: We tried to get an actual image of the black hole button and the sign, but the LHC's no photography policy got in our way, hence the artist's rendering above.

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