MAY 03, 2016 09:49 AM PDT

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

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
OCT 23, 2019
Plants & Animals
OCT 23, 2019
The Science Behind Why Pollen Makes You Sneeze
You’ve undoubtedly heard of something called ‘Hay Fever.’ This term effectively describes the allergy-like symptoms that many people get...
OCT 23, 2019
Plants & Animals
OCT 23, 2019
Watch a Baby Kangaroo Take its First Hops
When Kangaroos are first born, the bones and muscles in their legs aren’t strong enough for them to stand on their own. This is why baby kangaroos re...
OCT 23, 2019
Plants & Animals
OCT 23, 2019
Barn Owls Fly Without Making a Sound
When most birds take flight, their wingbeats cause a ruckus; this is typically a repetitive ‘swooshing’ noise generated by the rushing air that...
OCT 23, 2019
Immunology
OCT 23, 2019
A New Way To Fight Severe Peanut Allergies
Dr. Sandra Lin explains how SLIT is currently being used to treat allergies other than peanuts.    Over 1 million U.S. children have an allergy t...
OCT 23, 2019
Plants & Animals
OCT 23, 2019
These Monkeys Thought a Troop Member Died, and Their Reactions Are Heartbreaking
Scientists carefully placed a high-detail animatronic ‘spy monkey’ near the site of a troop’s living quarters in an effort to gather info...
OCT 23, 2019
Plants & Animals
OCT 23, 2019
Watch a Pod of Dolphins Play Catch With a Pufferfish
Playing catch with a ball of some sort is a popular past time for humans, but as it would seem, even dolphins might enjoy partaking in similar behaviors. I...
Loading Comments...