Doomsday lawsuit against Big Bang machine dismissed by judge

September 30th, 2008 - 12:21 pm ICT by ANI  

London, September 30 (ANI): A so-called doomsday lawsuit seeking to halt operation of the Geneva-based atom-smashing Large Haldron Collider (LHC), has been dismissed by a judge in Hawaii.

According to a report in the Telegraph, the two men who filed the suit, Walter Wagner, a retired nuclear safety officer, and Luis Sancho, a Spanish science writer, argued the vast experiment could create tiny black holes or trigger other matter-morphing effects that could threaten the Earth.

The action was filed in Hawaii where the men live and sought to delay the launch of the collider pending a new safety review.

But in a 24-page ruling, a US district judge stated that American federal courts have no jurisdiction over the collider because the US government did not provide enough funding (less than 10 per cent of the total cost) or play a large enough role in its creation.

The dismissal of the US suit does not affect a separate legal action under consideration by the European Court of Human Rights that claims the experiment violates the right to life under the European Convention of Human Rights.

The multi-billion dollar collider was built by the European Organisation of Nuclear Research (CERN) under the Franco-Swiss border with the funding and involvement of more than 100 countries.

The device, the worlds largest and most powerful particle accelerator, aims to shed light on how the universe began by replicating conditions just after the Big Bang.

It seeks to fire protons around a 17-mile loop of tunnels, causing them to crash into one another at close to light speed and break into even tinier particles.

Physicists hope the subatomic particles thrown off could include the elusive Higgs-Boson, thought to be responsible for giving every other particle its mass.

Most scientists content the collider is safe and even if micro black holes are created, they would swiftly decay.

The machine was started up on September 10 but suffered a magnetic malfunction causing it to be shut down. It is scheduled to resume operation in Spring 2009. (ANI)

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