...the world's biggest experiment could cause the end of the world, say scientists.
They fear that the Large Hadron Collider - due to be switched on in nine days' time - will create a black hole that could swallow the planet.
By smashing sub-atomic particles together at close to the speed of light, the LHC aims to recreate the conditions that existed a fraction of a second after the birth of the universe or Big Bang, shedding light on the building blocks of life.
But critics claim that the 'time machine', which has been built 300ft beneath the French-Swiss border near Geneva, could instead spawn a shower of mini-black holes.
Within four years, one of these 'celestial vacuums' could have swollen to such a size that it is capable of sucking the Earth inside-out, said Otto Rossler, one of a group of scientists mounting a last-minute court challenge to the project.
They claim the experiment violates the right to life under the European Convention of Human Rights. However, the case at the European Court of Human Rights is not expected to delay the switch on, scheduled for Wednesday of next week.