John Oliver: So, roughly speaking, what are the chances that the world is going to be destroyed? One-in-a-million? One-in-a-billion?
Walter Wagner: Well, the best we can say right now is a one-in-two chance.
Walter: Yeah, 50-50… It’s a chance, it’s a 50-50 chance.
John: You come back to this 50-50 thing, what is it Walter?
Walter: Well, if you have something that can happen and something that won’t necessarily happen, it’s going to either happen or it’s gonna not happen. And, so, it’s kind of… best guess at this point.
John: I’m… not sure that’s how probability works, Walter. –The Daily Show
One of the more exotic scenarios associated with the LHC — a scenario inspired by extra dimensions — would be the production of tiny, microscopic black holes that arise from super-energetic particle collisions. As the LHC is now operating at the highest energies ever created on Earth, 13 TeV or just a hair over, this has a better chance of coming to fruition now than ever before.
But black holes have a reputation of sucking everything they encounter into them. If we created one here on Earth, would this potentially be dangerous? And if so, are the timescales of danger something that humans should worry about? Even if you’re willing to violate (or extend) the laws of physics to allow the production of these black holes and force them to be stable against decay, it would still take timescales many times that of the age of the Universe for them to devour even one kilogram of matter, much less the entire Earth.