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The Large Hadron Collider has not yet seen any of the microscopic black holes that inspired numerous scare stories in recent years.

Many theorists actually hope the collider, based near Geneva, Switzerland, will create short-lived, miniature black holes. These would not pose a threat to Earth, but they would provide evidence for hypothetical extra dimensions that might lie beyond the 3D world we normally experience.

If these dimensions exist, gravitons, the particles thought to transmit the force of gravity, could leak into them, providing a much-needed explanation for why gravity is much weaker than the other forces.

At the high energies created inside the LHC, though, colliding protons could be affected even by gravitons in the extra dimensions, making gravity strong enough to create fleeting black holes. So far, however, they have not emerged.

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Category: Science