Today the Large Hadron Collider officially launched, the world’s largest and highest energy particle collider. The Large Hadron Collider will quite probably give us a lot more information about particles, gravity, dark matter, the existence of extra dimensions and the origins of the universe. (Here’s a video that explains through the medium of rap more about what the Large Hadron Collider is and what it will do.) But some people have been worried that the collider might produce miniature black holes inside the earth that could potentially destroy the planet or have other unforeseen consequences, such as creating wormholes or turning the Earth into a lump of strange matter.
By coincidence, I just finished reading Forever Peace by Joe Haldeman, in which a similar–but much larger–experiment called the Jupiter Project threatened to destroy the universe. The plot focuses not so much on the apocalyptic scenario but on what might happen if religious nutjobs got control over this “doomsday device,” and so the main characters embark on an ambitious plan to “humanize” the violence out of everyone.
Another book that plays around with what would happen if miniature black holes were created inside the earth is Earth by David Brin. In that scenario, the black holes can be used to control gravitational force and can be employed as either very powerful weapons or as tools to lift heavy things into space.
Here are some more books on similar subjects that I haven’t read:
- Flashforward by Robert J. Sawyer – a dystopian novel in which everybody experiences a brief flash forward into their own future as a result of the Large Hadron Collider
- Angels and Demons by Dan Brown – which deals with trying to stop the Illuminati from destroying Vatican City with the power of antimatter, discovered via the Large Hadron Collider
- Decipher by Stel Pavlou – seems to be a stew of all kinds of things, including contemporary particle physics, culminating in a race to save the world from cataclysm
- Dark Matter by S.W. Ahmed – What if there are world and aliens hidden from our view in all that dark matter?
- The God Particle by Richard Cox – A thriller about the race to find the Higgs particle
- The Accidental Time Machine by Joe Haldeman – What would happen if we accidentally created a way to travel through time?
- Bad Vibes by Michael Thompson – “an apocalyptic tale of jealousy, music, organizational behavior and theoretical physics”
- Deception by John Altman -A thriller about using black holes as weapons
- Riffing on Strings - An interesting collection of writing inspired by string theory