Thursday, Nov 19th, 2009
The world’s largest atom smasher – a giant scientific instrument that was designed to recreate the big bang but was broken by a piece of bread dropped by a passing bird. – has been repaired and scientists hope to restart it this weekend.
The 27-kilometre (16.8 mile) LHC suffered serious overheating in several sections after the small piece of baguette landed in a piece of equipment on the surface above the accelerator ring.
Dr Mike Lamont, the LHC’s Machine Coordinator, said that a “a bit of baguette”, believed to have been dropped by a bird, caused the superconducting magnets to heat up from 1.9 Kelvin (-271.1C) to around 8 Kelvin (-265C), near the mark where they stop superconducting.
The ‘Big Bang’ machine was launched with great fanfare last year before its spectacular failure.
This time the European Organization for Nuclear Research, known as CERN, is taking a cautious approach with the super-sophisticated equipment, said James Gillies, a spokesman. It cost about $10 billion, with contributions from many governments and universities around the world.
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This article was posted: Thursday, November 19, 2009 at 5:05 am