A German woman who fears that the Earth will be sucked into a black hole created by boffins operating the Large Hadron Collider has failed in her court bid to have the atom-smasher switched off.
The Constitutional Court in the western Germany city of Karlsruhe threw out the woman's appeal because she was "unable to give a coherent account of how her fears would come about."
"The overwhelming scientific opinion is that the experiments carried out at CERN (the European Organisation for Nuclear Research) present no dangers," the court added.
The woman, who has not been named and who lives outside Germany, failed to get an injunction with a Cologne court seeking to oblige the German government to stop the project.
She really need not have bothered, as the LHC already managed to shut itself off for a year without any court order.
According to the BBC, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) must close at the end of 2011 for up to a year to fix design and safety faults. Dr Steve Myers said the faults will delay the machine reaching its full potential for two years.
The atom smasher will reach world record collision energies later this month at 7 trillion electron volts. But the tunnel must be made safe before proton collisions planned at twice that level can start.
Engineers believe the machine is safe to run at 7 trillion electron volts but want to avoid another breakdown at higher energies. So they have taken the decision to run the machine for 18 to 24 months at half-maximum power before switching it off for a year to carry out improvements to the 27km tunnel.