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Bird-Related Accident Suggests the Large Hadron Collider Really Is Doomed

November 6, 2009

The LHC has been so plagued by problems and shutdowns that some physicists have wondered if it’s being sabotaged by its own future. And the LHC has fallen victim to another bizarre shutdown involving a bird and a baguette.

CERN is reporting that the Large Hadron Collider has been shutdown yet again after a piece of bread fell into the outdoor machinery. That part of the LHC’s circuit normally operates at 1.9 Kelvin, but, thanks to the bread bomb, rose to 8 Kelvin, nearly causing the LHC’s niobium-titanium magnets to cease superconducting. The incident could have crippled the LHC yet again — and caused significant physical damage to the lab had the LHC been fully operational at the time — but CERN claims that it won’t delay the full reactivation of the device, scheduled for later this month.

Technicians believe that a passing bird dropped the bread into the machinery, just the LHC’s latest run-in with Murphy’s Law.

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