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Scientists propose lab-grade black holes

New method may uncover fundamental physics properties

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11:34am, August 13, 2009

One day, scientists may create the ultimate tempest in a teapot — an artificial black hole in a millimeter-long gadget. Such laboratory-grade black holes may illuminate enigmatic physical properties of their wild galactic counterparts, all from the safety of a lab bench, a study to appear in Physical Review Letters suggests.

“For black holes, we just don’t understand the physics at all,” says physicist William Unruh of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, who was not involved in the new study. The prospect of conducting actual experiments on systems resembling black holes is exciting, he says. “Belief is not the same as doing an experiment.”

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