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Having focused for many years on the giant black holes that form when stars collapse and the supermassive black holes at the centre of galaxies, physicists have more recently begun to study microscopic black holes, with tiny masses.

One reason to think about these objects is that they may have been formed during the Big Bang and may still permeate the universe today. The existence of so-called primordial black holes is one possible explanation for the universe's missing mass.

Another reason physicists are interested in micro black holes is that some theorists predict that the Large Hadron Collider will produce them.

So the work of Gia Dvali and pals at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat in Munich, Germany, will be of great interest. These guys say that if black holes form on this tiny quantum scale, then their masses must be quantised.

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Category: Science