No black holes for breakfast

“Even though it is technically possible to create a black hole by particle collision, it would not have very much energy and would soon disappear.”

This was an answer given by Steve Wasserbaech, a physics professor, in response to a student’s question during his presentation on Oct. 6 as a part of the school’s Science for Breakfast series. This series generally occurs once per semester and features faculty, students and the work that they are doing. Along with this lecture, participants are given a free breakfast.

“The series has two goals,” said Dr. Daniel Horns, chair of the Earth Sciences department. “One is to make the community aware of the great work that we are doing here on campus. The second is just to develop the scientific literacy in the community.”

Wasserbaech has been teaching at UVU since 2002; however, for the past year he has been on sabbatical working at the CERN laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland. This lab is know worldwide for its experiments, one of the more recent achievements being the construction of the Large Hadron Collider. This LHC is a 17-mile tunnel that shoots two proton beams in opposite directions and monitors the collisions that occur, allowing scientists to study different properties of our universe.

“As a physics major, I feel like I should know more about things like this,” said Adam Frederickson, a student currently working toward a double major in Physics and Math. “He had useful information and I feel now like I know more about the subject.”

Wasserbaech still has an affiliation with the work he did at CERN. With this, he hopes to involve students in research analysis during future semesters.

The next lecture in the Science for Breakfast series is scheduled for next April where Dan Fairbanks, associate dean of Science and Health, will be talking about the genetics of autism for Autism Awareness Month.

The good news is that scientists will not be creating any black holes that could swallow the universe any time soon.

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