Fireball generated in U.S. laboratory resembles black hole

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Friday, March 18, 2005

The Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider
(Image missing from commons: image; log)

Brown University professor Horatiu Nastase has written a paper detailing calculations that suggest that a fireball created in the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider at Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, New York, may have been a black hole.

The fireball occurred as scientists conducted experiments involving the smashing of streams of gold nuclei together in the RHIC and is reported to have been three hundred times hotter than the sun. It absorbed more than ten times the predicted amount of energy and radiated it as heat, a behavior characteristic of black holes.

Scientists have reassured the public that this phenomenon does not pose a threat; the fireball existed for one millionth of one billionth of one billionth of one second (one second divided by 10 septillion — a 1 followed by 25 zeroes) and was not dominated by gravity as previously observed black holes have been, providing the energy for their cataclysmic appetites.

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