On August 26th, a group of LHC critics filed a suit against CERN in the European Court of Human Rights, in Strasbourg . The authors of the suit are physicists, professors and students largely from Germany and Austria, who feel that the operation of the $10 billion Large Hadron Collider near Geneva, poses grave risks for the safety and well-being of the 27 member states of the European Union and their citizens. The Rule of Law, the suit states, is also threatened. The legal arguments that define the legitimacy of the suit have been crafted in German by a Professor of International Law, Adrian Hollaender.
The arguments for risks that might develop into wholesale disaster are based on papers from various physicists and a risk assessment analyst, whose conclusions will be examined by the court along with counter-arguments by CERN. It's a question of theories versus theories. The outcome is anyone's guess, but a cogent risk analysis could be the deciding factor. The suit highlights the possible production of Micro Black Holes, which could be a pollution hazard or combine and destroy the LHC. In the worst case, they contend, mBH could start consuming the planet, producing dangerous radiation.
MBH are admitted as theoretically possible by CERN but lately has refuted the possibility and denied that they could be produced at the LHC, unless there were extra dimensions in String theory. In that case CERN says mBH would be harmlesss, evaporating quicky due to a theoretical Hawking radiation.
Bosenovas are a new risk theory in the suit, besides the better known Strangelets and Lowered Vacuum State theories. Unlike the others there is some experimental evidence for a Bosenova, but this phenomenon of implosion/explosion has only been produced in small groups of atoms of Rubidium-85 in an ultracold state, a Bose-Einstein Condensate.
I theorize that what might occur at the LHC is a new type of Bosenova from what amounts to a BEC used there as a coolant, an ultracold Superfluid Helium II, of about 60 metric tonnes in the LHC ring, and a further 60 tonnes of somewhat warmer Superfluid Helium I in refrigeration plants on the surface connected to the subterranean main ring. The Bosenova risk was first raised by me in an article called "Superfluids, BECs and Bosenovas: The Ultimate Experiment"(Struck because this was a shocking level of physics nonsense in an otherwise perhaps sane article - moderator).
The first full proton beam injection into the LHC is due September 10th.
As further studies and experiments required to assess risks are a long way off, and even a decision on risks as presented by the plaintiffs could take the European Court some time to evaluate, the authors of the suit are asking the court for a speedy granting of Interim Measures - namely that the LHC should be shut down pending the Court's ruling. The argument that the LHC be limited to no more than 2 TeV energy overall, similar to Fermilab's Tevatron collider design energies, they exclude from the Court's consideration.
A similar suit is before the US court in Hawaii, launched by
Dr (a law degree does not actually entitle people to call themselves Doctor, even if technically in the US a law degree is a juris doctorate - moderator) Walter Wagner and science-fiction writer Luis Sancho, against CERN and Fermilab, court in session September 2nd.