Fact check: No, a black hole didn't end reality in 2012
The claim: The Large Hadron Collider created a black hole in 2012 that ended reality
Ten years ago, the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator, found the Higgs boson particle, helping to explain the big bang theory and how the universe was formed.
Now, a social media user is offering up a new explanation for the discovery made by the European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, theorganization that runs the collider, and the significance of what some call "the God particle."
“They state that when the ‘God particle’ was made it created a black hole that consumed the Earth in a split second without anyone noticing it,” a Nov. 18 Instagram post reads. “According to this famous research society, the notorious Mayan prophecy came true and reality as we know it actually ended in 2012.?”
The post was liked more than 10,000 times in 10 days.
But there is no evidence the Large Hadron Collider created a black hole in 2012 that ended reality. CERN has never said it created a black hole with the discovery of the Higgs boson particle. Experts have said it may be theoretically possible to produce microscopic black holes in CERN’s experiments, but those objects would likely disintegrate in a fraction of a second. And even if a microscopic black hole did not evaporate, it likely would launch into space before it could consume any part of Earth.
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USA TODAY reached out to the social media user who shared the claim for comment.
Collider has not threatened planet’s safety
CERN lacks the capability to create a world-destroying black hole, according to experts.
Dejan Stojkovic, a physics professor at the University at Buffalo, told USA TODAY earlier this year that “we need an accelerator as big as the whole universe” to create a black hole. The Large Hadron Collider uses a 27-kilometer loop on the French-Swiss border.
Black holes are created when stars larger than the sun collapse on themselves, generating so much gravity that even light cannot escape, according to CERN.
Stojkovic said a giant accelerator would be required to create even microscopic, short-lived quantum black holes.
In 2008, Robert Johnson, a physicist at the Santa Cruz Institute for Particle Physics, said the collider could theoretically create a microscopic black hole, but that it would evaporate quickly or launch into space.
The Instagram post also refers to a Mayan prophecy that the world would end in 2012. Despite long-standing claims about the prediction, there is no evidence that the ancient culture predicted the world would end that year.
USA TODAY has previously debunked a similar false claim about the Large Hadron Collider and the creation of a "portal to hell."
Our rating: False
Based on our research, we rate FALSE the claim that the Large Hadron Collider created a black hole in 2012 that ended reality. Scientists say the collider is not capable of creating a black hole, and there is no reason to believe one was produced.
Our fact-check sources:
USA TODAY, July 26, Fact check: Scientists at CERNA are not 'opening a 'portal to hell'
NASA, updated Sept. 20, 2017, Beyond 2012: Why the World Didn't End
CERN, July 5, The third run of the Large Hadron Collider has successfully started
NASA, Oct. 10, 2008, The Day the World Didn't End
CERN, accessed Nov. 29, Facts and figures about the LHC
CERN, July 4, 2012, CERN experiments observe particle consistent with long-sought Higgs boson
CERN, accessed Nov. 29, Does CERN create black holes?
BBC, April 16, What is Hawking Radiation?
Washington Post, July 8, The machine behind the ‘God particle’ is on the hunt for dark matter
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: No black holes created by CERN's Large Hadron Collider