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Baguette Shuts Down Large Hadron Collider

| 9 Nov 2009 13:54
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Multi-billion dollar machines searching for the secrets of the universe are not safe from the threats posed by bread.

Reports out of CERN indicate that the Large Hadron Collider has encountered a technical fault due to a piece of bread dropped on some of its exposed machinery. Dr Mike Lamont, LHC Machine Coordinator, told The Register that "a bit of baguette on the busbars" caused the problem, possibly dropped by a passing bird. Or, maybe it was placed there by a Higgs Boson particle from the future, considering that the Large Hadron Collider is doomed by fate.

The bread caused a rise in temperature within certain parts of the LHC, leading to the possibility of its magnets functioning improperly. If this were to happen while the LHC was in full operation, a disaster could occur similar to that of one year ago which took the particle accelerator out of commission until a planned restart next month.

The beams running through the LHC at maximum power have an amount of energy similar to an aircraft carrier crashing through a wall, but safeties should ensure that these are diverted into a heavily shielded "dump core" should an error occur. Afterward, the LHC could be up and running in a few days.

Perhaps scarecrows should be implemented nearby the LHC's exposed machinery? I almost hope that the LHC never gets up and running, because its trouble makes for a constant stream of interesting news. This situation seems a bit embarrassing for CERN, but Lamont is not concerned. He says: "This thing is so complicated and so big, it's bound to have problems sometimes." True, but it sure does look silly when a multi-billion dollar machine is shut down by a little birdy dropping a piece of bread onto it.

(Via: Popular Science)

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