Copyright (c) 2009 The Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law, Inc.
Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law
Symposium: International Commercial Arbitration: Fifty Years after the New York Convention: Note: "Honey I Blew up the World!": One Small Step Towards Filling the Regulatory "Black Hole" at the Intersection of High-Energy Particle Colliders and International Law
GEORGIA JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL AND COMPARATIVE LAW
38 Ga. J. Int'l & Comp. L. 131
Samuel J. Adams*
On September 10, 2008, scientists at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) turned on the "largest, most powerful particle collider," and the most expensive scientific experiment, in history. 1 Physicists throughout the world hope that the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) will allow them to observe previously unseen subatomic phenomena, and will give them insight into how the universe looked "trillionth[s] of a second after the Big Bang." 2 However, the excitement surrounding the launch of the LHC has been tempered somewhat by speculation that the experiment may prove to be a "doomsday machine" 3 that will bring about the end of the earth-and maybe the universe. 4 The alleged disasters include a range of terrifying scenarios such as the LHC's production of earth-swallowing micro black holes and the conversion of all the earth's matter into a super-dense glob called a "strangelet." 5 Because of these perceived risks, some scientists have gone so far as to file lawsuits in the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii 6 and the European Court for Human Rights 7 to enjoin the use of the LHC until after further study of its possible effects. 8 While many scientists are down-playing the threat of these potential catastrophes, even those who claim the LHC is safe acknowledge that there is a "dice-throwing nature" to quantum physics and that there is "some probability of almost anything happening." 9
The controversy surrounding the LHC is the most ...
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