The world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator known as the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), a machine spanning nearly 17 miles and using superconducting magnets to smash protons together at almost the speed of light, shut down on Friday after a weasel chewed through a 66,000-volt transformer, said the European Organization for Nuclear Research in its daily activity summary.
The animal caused the Large Hadron Collider, located near Geneva, Switzerland, to suffer from technical issues, including a power cut, because the connections were damaged, spokesman Arnaud Marsollier from the European Organization for Nuclear Research told the Agence France-Presse.
Marsollier confirmed that the Large Hadron Collider is in standby mode since it was having technical issues throughout 24 hours. The electrical issues happened around 5:30 a.m., local time and, according to Marsollier, the atom smasher stopped immediately and safely, and now it is getting repaired, which will only take a few days. Marsollier said, also, that little remains of the weasel.
Weasels love electrical wires
Although no one is sure why weasels and other small mammals could munch on electrical wires, it is known to be very common, according to Roland Kays, head of the Biodiversity Research Lab at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. Kays says that these animals chew on car wires all the time in Europe, becoming a big problem.
Marsollier said that the Large Hadron Collider is in the countryside, which is normal to have wild animals everywhere.
The Large Hadron Collider is located in a 27-kilometre (17-mile) tunnel across the French-Swiss border, and it was used to prove the existence of the Higgs Boson, also known as the God particle, by crashing proton beams at velocities near the speed of light.
The discovery of the God particle, the long-sought maker of mass, made two of the scientists who had theorized its existence back in 1964, win the 2013 Nobel Prize in physics.
Source: Fox News