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January 12, 2005

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James Blodgett

Doomsday is still quite possible. Consider black holes. The RHIC risk assessment (Busza, Jaffe, Sandweiss, & Wilczek, "Review of Speculative ‘Disaster Scenarios' at RHIC") gave several reason not to worry. All have holes. 1) Black holes formation is impossible, requires too much energy. But: Many papers now predict black hole formation (at CERN if not at RHIC). 2) Black holes will dissipate via Hawking radiation. But: some papers question Hawking radiation or state that it does not exist (see website below for refs.) 3) Cosmic rays, which can have energy beyond that of RHIC or CERN and have not harmed us, show that there is no problem. But: the analogy does not hold. Cosmic ray collisions are different in important ways. See www.risk-evaluation-forum.org for extended discussion.

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