Bird drops snack – shuts down world’s biggest atom smasher


A peckish bird briefly knocked out part of the world’s biggest atom smasher by causing a chain reaction with a piece of bread, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) said Monday.

Bits of a French loaf dropped on an external electrical power supply caused a short circuit last week, triggering failsafe devices that shut down part of the cooling system of the giant experiment to probe the secrets of the universe, CERN said.

The system was restored several hours after the incident last Tuesday while the multi-billion dollar Large Hadron Collider was barely affected, a spokeswoman said.

The bird escaped unharmed but lost its bread,” CERN said in a statement.

They believe it was an owl. My bet would be on a raven.

2 thoughts on “Bird drops snack – shuts down world’s biggest atom smasher

  1. Cinaedh says:

    So who designed this thing anyway?

    As much as I’m eagerly looking forward to the potentially fascinating results of their research, I’m starting to get a little nervous about whether it will actually do what it is designed to do.

    This entire monstrous collection of parts is starting to look like a loose pile of pick-up sticks.

    • moss says:

      I think it was just a question of making it too fail-safe. OTOH, maybe it did exactly what it should do – though bird crumbs can’t as dangerous as bird poop.

      Stuff that falls from the sky should ordinarily be kept away from sensitive electrical connections I would think.

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