Gravity is by far the weakest of the fundamental forces. In elementary-particle interactions, it’s thought to become comparable to the other forces only at collision energies of 1016 TeV—the so-called Planck energy. The perplexing disparity between the Planck energy and the TeV energy scale of electroweak unification is called the hierarchy problem. Several appealing attempts to address that problem posit extra spatial dimensions that make gravity only seem to be intrinsically weak (see Physics Today, February 2002, page 35); gravity’s true energy scale would be in the TeV regime. Such theories predict that the threshold for producing microscopic black holes is somewhere in the TeV collision-energy range of CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC, shown in the photo) rather than at the inaccessible Planck energy. Now the collaborations that run the LHC’s CMS and ATLAS detectors have both reported the results of their searches for evidence of...
Bertram M. Schwarzschild; Looking for microscopic black holes. Physics Today 1 May 2014; 67 (5): 16. https://doi.org/10.1063/PT.3.2372
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