• Question: Is it possible a black hole could form from the work you are doing?

    Asked by Bradley fletcher on 4 Jul 2023.
    • Photo: Joel Goldstein

      Joel Goldstein answered on 4 Jul 2023:

      The short answer is almost certainly not, but it would be really cool if it was.

      That’s because gravity seems to be much, much weaker than the other forces so it plays no part in particle collisions. However, there are some really interesting theories we are testing that hypothesise that gravity could start becoming much stronger at some tiny length scale. If that is true, and LHC collisions can test the required length scale, then gravity could start to play a role and two colliding particles could gravitationally interact and possible form a black hole.

      Note that such a black hole would be tiny, and would almost instantly “evaporate”. That is, it would decay in a fraction of a second, releasing all of its energy as a burst of subatomic particles. We are looking out for such bursts in our detectors – finding them would revolutionise our understanding of the fundamental forces.