04/21/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Atom-Smasher Could Open Black Hole, Reveal Secrets Of Science

The LA Times reports on the hair-raising concerns raised by some about the Large Hadron Collider, Europe's giant atom-smasher:

Michelangelo L. Mangano, a respected particle physicist who helped discover the top quark in 1995, now spends most days trying to convince people that his new machine won't destroy the world...

...What the critics are in such a lather about is the $8-billion Large Hadron Collider, a massive assemblage of iron, steel and superconducting wire 300 feet underground in a 17-mile-long circular tunnel on the Franco-Swiss border...

...Scientists like Mangano believe that this instrument, when it begins operating as early as this summer, will peer into a looking-glass world that could contain entrances to extra dimensions and super-massive partners of the familiar particles that make up our world. One creature that must be hiding there, the scientists say, is the Higgs particle, one of the most exotic undiscovered objects since the yeti.

Critics think the collider could also spawn a black hole that will swallow Earth.

Keep reading here.

The Large Hadron Collider is searching for the so-called God particle, which some scientists believe could unlock the secrets of the universe. Read more here.

Scroll down for pictures of the Large Hadron Collider: