sexta-feira, 27 de maio de 2011

Mini Black Holes Zip Through Earth Every Day?

Like cosmic ghosts, miniature black holes may be zipping harmlessly through Earth on a daily basis, a new study suggests.

The new theory rebuts doomsday scenarios in which powerful atom-smashing machines such as the Large Hadron Collider spawn black holes that swallow the planet.

Instead, the study authors think that tiny black holes would behave very differently from their larger brethren in deep space, called astrophysical or stellar-mass black holes.

Despite having roughly the mass of a thousand sedans, a mini black hole would be smaller than an atom. At that size the black hole wouldn't swallow much matter and would instead mostly trap atoms and some larger molecules into circling orbits—in much the same way that protons in atoms capture and bind electrons.

The study authors therefore call mini black holes with orbiting material Gravitational Equivalents of an Atom, or GEAs.

"GEAs would not cause any damage to you," said study co-author Aaron VanDevender, a researcher at biotechnology firm Halcyon Molecular in Redwood City, California. "An atom bound to the GEA might get stripped off and collide into you, but you wouldn't notice. It's a very small amount of energy." Ler o resto da notícia.

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