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Posts Tagged ‘invisible field’

LHC Champaign Science & Three-Legged Chickens!

Posted by feww on September 22, 2008

Will they ever catch the ‘wretched’ smashed particles?

For anyone following the fate of LHC, here’s a quick update.


The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is shut down indefinitely for all intents and purposes. At least no particle smashing is likely to occur before the official inauguration on October 21, 2008.

In fact, the collider may not be fully operational before May 2009 due to huge power requirement.

The machine went out on September 19 with a [little] big bang when a “massive” magnet quench caused over 100 of its solenoid magnets to overheat from 1.9 Kelvin to at least 373K, or 100ºC (boiling point of water) and toasted the wiring. [Note: (K) = (°C) + 273.15]

And yes, the fire brigade were called to the rescue when the system vacuum failed and tons of liquid helium escaped into the 100-meter deep LHC tunnel.

[Note: The LHC tunnel has a 27-km circumference and is built underground at a depth ranging from 50 to 175 meters.]

LHC (Large Hen Carrier) crashes, crate magnets break up, chickens escape into vacuum (near the city of Glasgow, Scotland). Photo: MEN. Image may be subject to copyright.

CERN’s director of communications, James Gillies, wants the public to look at the latest spate of failures philosophically: It’s taken us 20 years to build the machine, and we were behind the 2006 completion date by errr… 2 years. Would a few more months or another year, even two, change the “big picture?” He asks.

[No worries, Mr Gillies, so long as you can tell us in this lifetime what the smashed particles looked like. Oh, and go easy on the bubbly stuff!]

To repair the machine, they’ll have to warm it up very slowly to the ambient temperature. After fixing, it has to be slowly cooled down again to its operating temperature of 1.9 Kelvin (about -271ºC).

A litany of “difficulties” and “serious difficulties” delayed both the construction of the tunnel and the collider machine. Like the three-legged chickens, the wretched smashed particles are proving too difficult to catch!

The Three-Legged Chickens!

On the lighter side of things, it’s been said that an Australian scientist held the patent to the three-legged chicken. The idea for genetically modified monster chickens came to her because everyone in her family (she, her spouse and son) liked to eat fried chicken legs. A curious scientist visiting the ranch downunder where the tripodal creatures lived wanted to know what they tasted like. The inventor replied: “I wish we knew. The wretched things run so fast we haven’t been able to catch one yet!”


Police officer orders the escaped chicken to freeze!  Photo: Center Press Agency. Image may be subject to copyright.

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