• Question: If a black hole is formed in the future will there be a way to stop it? And if yes in how many years?

    Asked by LilShay to Stewart, Miriam, Marton, Laura, Kathryn, David on 12 Nov 2018.
    • Photo: David Ho

      David Ho answered on 12 Nov 2018:

      There are lots of black holes around in the universe, but they are all so far away that we probably won’t get anywhere near them in the time humans are on the planet. Black holes are only created when a really big star dies, and again that’s only likely to happen anywhere near us in the very distant future (billions of years)/

      Some people are worried about particle collider experiments producing black holes. But the energies needed for this are far higher than we’ve got with present-day technology. These black holes would also be tiny, and would evaporate by a process called “Hawking Radiation” (named after Stephen Hawking), so they wouldn’t eat up the world even if they were created. A lot of scientists have evaluated the safety of these particle colliders (just like the safety of cars, bridges and aeroplanes are also evaluated), and have decided that there’s no significant danger.

    • Photo: Stewart Martin-Haugh

      Stewart Martin-Haugh answered on 12 Nov 2018:

      To add to David’s answer: although we might be able to produce them in particle colliders, it would need a lot of energy. And we know that really high energy particles are hitting the Earth all the time, so it’s likely that black holes would have formed already if this was a risk.