Washington, Nov 8 : A team of theoretical and experimental physicists have designed a new black hole simulator called BlackMax to search for extra dimensions in space at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).
Approximately two years in the making, the computer program enables physicists to test theories about the production and decay of black holes and takes into account new types of effects on both the creation and evaporation of black holes at the LHC.
The LHC, which is the world's largest and the most powerful particle accelerator, is located at the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva, Switzerland.
It circulated its first particle beams on September 10, 2008, but a few days later had to suspend operations due to equipment failure.
Black holes are being studied with BlackMax by members of the ATLAS Experiment at LHC, one of the two principal large particle detectors at the new collider.
Black holes created at the LHC would be expected to start off spinning.
The spinning of the black hole increases the fraction of the black hole's mass that is dissipated as gravitons - elementary quanta of gravity, which could be used to provide a clue to the existence and structure of extra dimensions.
ATLAS works much like investigators who search the site of plane crash, and then piece together the debris to find the cause of the plane's disintegration.
BlackMax, by predicting how those pieces will fall, should allow physicists looking at data from the ATLAS experiment to see whether the pattern of particles released into the detector matches what one would expect when a black hole is produced and then falls apart.
Decays of black holes should produce more particles than usual.
Under certain circumstances, black hole decay should also produce many gravitons that would themselves pass unnoticed out of the ATLAS, but which would make the remaining emitted particles looking asymmetric and carrying less than the full event energy.
According to researchers, if black holes are found at the LHC, it will enable scientists to understand the connection between gravity and quantum mechanics, resolving the inconsistency between quantum mechanics and Einstein's General Theory of Relativity.
It would also mean the existence of other dimensions to space, and explain why gravity is such a weak force compared to the other three fundamental forces of nature-electromagnetism and the strong and weak nuclear forces.
The black holes under study at LHC will be very small, extremely hot at more than billion times the temperature of the sun, and their lifespan will consequently be so short that they will decay within tiny fractions of a second of their creation.