CNN.com: Large Hadron Collider back online
“The LHC is back,” the European Organization for Nuclear Research announced triumphantly Friday, as the world’s largest particle accelerator resumed operation more than a year after an electrical failure shut it down.
The collider has been dogged by problems. It made headlines early this month when a bird apparently dropped a “bit of baguette” into the accelerator, making the machine shut down.
The Large Hadron Collider, the world’s most powerful particle accelerator, just cannot catch a break. First, a coolant leak destroyed some of the magnets that guide the energy beam. Then LHC officials postponed the restart of the machine to add additional safety features. Now, a bird dropping a piece of bread on a section of the accelerator has, according to the Register, shut down the whole operation.
The bird dropped some bread on a section of outdoor machinery, eventually leading to significant over heating in parts of the accelerator. The LHC was not operational at the time of the incident, but the spike produced so much heat that had the beam been on, automatic failsafes would have shut down the machine.
That sounds like one serious design flaw if a bird with a baguette can shut down a 10 billion dollar machine.