Misleading Science: Black Holes, the LHC and Parallel Dimensions


I am a huge science enthusiast and an unabashed science fiction fan. There are tons of really cool stories out there that fire the imagination and even inspire young people to go into science. (I know they did me.) But I also know the difference between fiction and fact and there is a clear distinction between the two. Fudging that boundary cheapens real science.

If you’re a science geek and internet denizen like me, you’ve encountered a lot of stories over the last few days with titles along the lines of “LHC scientists posed to discover parallel universes.” And that’s just wrong. It completely misrepresents an otherwise reasonable physics article published in the eminently reputable journal Physics Letters B.

“Absence of black holes at LHC due to gravity’s rainbow,” written by Ahmed Farag Ali, Mir Faizal and Mohammed M. Khalil, describes a speculative idea to explain why black holes haven’t been observed at the LHC. But to understand their paper, you first have to understand why black holes at the LHC were a possibility.

One of the biggest mysteries in modern physics is so much weaker than the other known fundamental forces (electromagnetism and the strong and weak nuclear forces). While we have no real idea why this is true, one idea was proposed is that there exist more dimensions of space than the familiar three in which we live. If the other three forces are constrained to three dimensions, while gravity can spread into others, then maybe the weakness of gravity is an illusion. Maybe gravity is just as strong as the other forces, but appears to be weak just because it “has more places to go.” I made a video that explains this better.

Now we know —> Read More