Interesting story in the NY Times about a lawsuit being brought by two men in Hawaii that think that the Large Hadron Collider, a giant particle accelerator that will begin smashing protons together outside Geneva this summer might produce a black hole that would eat up the Earth and possibly the universe. I don't know much about quantum physics, but the argument is that the collider could create a micro black hole that would grow and eventually swallow the earth. According to research published by Stephen Hawking in 1974, these micro black holes would rapidly evaporate and pose no threat. But no one has witnessed a black hole evaporate. My favorite quote from the story:
Dr. Arkani-Hamed said concerning worries about the death of the Earth or universe, “Neither has any merit.” He pointed out that because of the dice-throwing nature of quantum physics, there was some probability of almost anything happening. There is some minuscule probability, he said, “the Large Hadron Collider might make dragons that might eat us up.”
Man-made (induced?) dragons or black hole -- either would be a poetic ending to life as we know it.
This is actually a nice animated explanation of what a black hole (I found it by searching for "black holes for dummies").
Curious about quantum physics? You better like math.