Large Hadron Collider Brought Down by Small Beech Marten

World's Most Powerful Particle Accelerator Stalled After 5-Pound Weasel-Like Animal Chews Through Wires

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May 3, 2016
  • Large Hadron Collider Brought Down by Small Beech Marten

Large Hadron Collider Brought Down by Small Beech Marten

CERN confirmed in a press release today that a small Beech Marten, an animal that weighs no more than five pounds at the most, was the cause of a power outage that led to the shutdown of the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, Switzerland.

The Beech Martin found its way into a large, open-air electrical transformer situated above ground near the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator and chewed through a couple of key wires, causing a short circuit and cutting the power to part of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).

The 17-mile, $7 billion superconducting machine, which was designed specifically to smash protons together at close to the speed of light, went offline overnight.

CERN spokesperson Arnaud Marsollier described the event as a “severe electrical perturbation”.

The Beech Martin is a least concern species according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, given its wide distribution, large population, and presence in a number of protected areas.

via CERN.

By |2018-01-16T16:13:38-04:00May 3rd, 2016|News|0 Comments

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