Friday, November 6, 2009

World's Largest Collider Stopped by Bread Crumbs

"Crumbs! Baguette Leads To Scientific Setback"
Sky News (November 6, 2009)

"The massive machine at the centre of the world's biggest scientific experiment has malfunctioned again – derailed by a bit of bread dropped by a bird.

"The Hadron Collider, buried 100m under the ground near Geneva, Switzerland, is supposed to recreate conditions seen after the Big Bang...."

"...a 'bit of baguette', thought to have been dropped by a bird, fall onto machinery, causing a fault.

"Sections of the machine, which fires protons round a 17-mile-long tunnel at close to the speed of light in order to smash them in to each other, then overheated...."

(from Sky News, used w/o permission)

What I didn't find in the article was an explanation - or speculation - about how the bird and its bread got into the (underground) Large Hadron Collider. I suppose an air vent's grill must have come off - or maybe the vents don't have bird- and bug-resistant screens.

Here in central Minnesota, just about every window is screened - as well as ventilation systems. Or get screened, as soon as summer's mosquitoes find their way inside. The LHC's location may not have those blood-sucking reminders.

I've been following the Large Hadron Collider on this blog since January 5, 2008. Mostly because I'm interested in the scientific research. Partly for the intellectual sideshow provided by serious thinkers who are convinced that the LHC will destroy us all - or has been/will be stopped by God and/or time traveling gremlins.

Pay attention, and a person will never have a dull moment.


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