Marshall explained to the intrepid talk show host that the problem was that as far as creating black holes are concerned, that could destroy the world, there was nothing to worry about. In fact, he had dealt with that issue with a physicist before and they had determined that CERN was to blame for the public relations nightmare for trying to make the story of the LHC, "sexy".
Marshall had discovered a report from CERN claiming that the LHC could become a black hole factory, as if the black holes it would create would be around long enough that they might become stable. "But they'd only last a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a nanosecond", Marshall said.
Marshall made reference to a discussion he had with a physicist who knew all the mathematics behind what would happen, while Marshall did the investigative analysis and determined that CERN was at fault. Below is a portion of the lengthy conversation from Marshall:
I read your article with interest, as I have been following the LHC argument (albeit at some distance) for some time now. I remember when similar fears were raised about the RHIC at Brookhaven National Laboratory. The confinement forces issue seems to be rather new to the argument. Both BNL and CERN have admitted that mini black holes could be created by their facilities but that they would evaporate. The counter argument to the production of mini black holes via cosmic rays is that a black hole produced in such a manner is not the same as one produced on Earth, at rest relative to the Earth.
Submitted for your perusal - www.cerncourier.com/
So the reason there is even a debate is that both parties are past the issue of confinement forces required to produce mini black holes, right or wrong. The debate is over what happens if one is created.
My involvement with black holes is limited to the ones that are already up and running and are observable through outer space, and then primarily how they fit in relation to theories concerning temporal mechanics and nontrivial space-time geometries. That is why I favor the experts on both sides of this debate be made to figuratively duke it out and show why each side is right and the other is wrong. The side that has the best arguments, and can beat the other side's arguments, wins.
I quote this article about the controversy www.usatoday30.usatoday.com/
I am bothered with the ambiguities, like the holes will evaporate so fast that it's a stretch to say that they'll even exist, yet there's the CERN paper saying that not only will they exist long enough to get useful data, but they'll be able to make one a second, and then that Brit physicist from CERN saying that it's doubtful that any wlll exist at all. Those facts right there create an impression that somebody doesn't know what they're talking about.
At a time when there is an issue about how the public views science and whether scientists get the proper respect, etc. this is a perfect example of what the problem is. You can call it the 3 Mile Island effect, if you want. The bottom line is that it's the responsibility of scientists to do good, transparent work and to communicate effectively with the public, particularly in matters that could effect the public
welfare. When this isn't done, the public's view of science will continue to be skeptical.
I'm not against the LHC, and the fact that they finally got it working is very exciting, especially because I want them to find the Higgs Boson so I can win my bet with Stephen Hawking. I'm just a stickler for accuracy and it seems that CERN has been evasive in handling a mess that was their own creation. I'm sure we all hope that it's the last and the worse of the messes that they're responsible for...
Although Marshall doesn't think the LHC has anything to do with end of the Mayan calendar, there was plenty that he didn't tell Lewis. Like for example, in 2009 Marshall gave a well publicized lecture where he predicted that by the end of the Mayan calendar that either he or Ronald Mallett would have some kind of time machine, thus fulfilling the original interpretation of the Mayan prophecy which was that it would be the end of time not the end of the world http://www.onlycolumbus.com/
"I didn't have time nor the inclination to tell Clyde about the Verdrehung Fan(TM),"
Marshall said later. "I didn't want to freak him out more".
Listen to the program here - http://groundzero.fm/?