MAY 03, 2016 9:49 AM PDT

Large Hadron Collider Gets Shut Down Because of... Weasels??

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

The Large Hardron Collider is the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator machine, and allows researchers to smash particles together at nearly the speed of light to assess the results and research the split-second existence of potentially undocumented particles.
 
Inside of the 17-mile long Large Hadron Collider are a number of technological gadgets and gizmos that make it work. Among those are powerful magnets, a liquid helium cooling system, and a powerful vacuum system.
 
As you can imagine, with all of these electrical do-dads that make the thing work, there are a lot of wires behind the machine to send electrical signals back and forth.
 

The large hadron collider is experiencing some technical difficulties, and we can blame a weasel for the inconvenience.


But recently, a problem has occurred with the electrical system on the Large Hadron Collider, and CERN is blaming the fault on a small weasel that managed to get near the equipment and gnaw through one of the collider’s important wires.
 
Weasels and other rodents have been known to gnaw through wires for ages; they’ve done so on homes, cars, and many other kinds of equipment where they can get their teeth sharpened by gnawing on things. Unfortunately, this time it was something much more major…
 
After the electrical problem was noticed, the Large Hadron Collider team immediately shut down the machine for safety reasons, and found electrical arcing from the gnawed wire caused slight damage to the machine.
 
It’s nothing that can’t be repaired, but it’s going to cost a pretty penny. After all, the Large Hadron Collider is a very expensive machine, which CERN notes costed about $6.4 billion United States dollars to build.
 
Engineers will be hard at work repairing the damage that was inflicted by a mere weasel, and in the meantime, the machine will remain powered off for the safety of everyone involved with the testing.

"Now when we will be fully back in operation is not easy to say yet. Fixing what is due to the power cut is no big deal — may take just a few days — and on such a big machine we have to deal with this kind of repairs on a regular basis — it is part of the business. But we also have other ongoing technical activities, so at the moment, what I can say is that we will probably not have beams back until end of next week at least," CERN spokeswoman Arnaud Marsollier said to the Washington Times.

Source: Washington Times, CERN

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
MAR 24, 2020
Plants & Animals
MAR 24, 2020
This Beetle Climbs Tall Trees to Toss Others Over the Edge
Different animals exhibit all kinds of different behaviors when searching for mates in the wilderness, but perhaps one o ...
APR 20, 2020
Plants & Animals
APR 20, 2020
How Sand Cats Survive in the Harsh Desert Environment
The sand cat is a type of feline that spends nearly all its life in the desert. While they may not look that much differ ...
MAY 07, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
MAY 07, 2020
Your Night Light Could Be a Glowing Plant
Glowing plants light themselves up House plants are not just decorations: thanks to science, they might become a part of ...
MAY 08, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
MAY 08, 2020
Scientists to Spiders: How Do You Handle Sticky (Nanofiber) Situation?
The term "biomimicry" describes the models and methods harnessed by scientists to imitate natural element ...
MAY 17, 2020
Plants & Animals
MAY 17, 2020
Male Garter Snakes Trick Others to Improve Own Mating Success
After spending several months in hibernation during the winter, male garter snakes emerge from the underground where the ...
MAY 19, 2020
Earth & The Environment
MAY 19, 2020
Three-fourths of migratory birds in the Pacific threatened by overhunting
Overhunting of migratory shorebirds in the Asia-Pacific region has reached an all-time high - and conservationists are c ...
Loading Comments...