Sunday, November 8, 2009

Bird beats big bang with bit of baguette

GENEVA : THE $6.5 billion machine designed to recreate the conditions present at the beginning of time had to be switched off after a bird dropped a "bit of baguette" into it, causing it to overheat.

As a result, scientists at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland had to postpone their plans last week to emulate the universe's Big Bang.

The European particle physics laboratory near Geneva launched the LHC in September last year. Physicists hoped to prove the existence of the Higgs boson, or God particle, which gives matter in the universe its mass.

But the LHC, which when running will collide protons travelling at 99.9 per cent of the speed of light, has been out of action since a helium leak caused it to be shut down nine days after its start-up.

The bird dropped bread on a compensating capacitor – where the mains electricity supply enters the collider – cutting power to the LHC during a test run.


Thanks to bilby for bringing this to my attention. As he commented, "it is strangely comforting that the beginning of the universe can be undone by a bird with a chunk of bread".

1 comment:

Jared2 said...

Ridiculous! A compensating capacitor should have the capacity to compensate for crumbs.