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LHC Shut Down Again — By Baguette-Dropping Bird

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the first-causes dept.

News 478

Philip K Dickhead writes "Is Douglas Adams scripting the saga of sorrows facing the LHC? These time-traveling Higgs-Boson particles certainly exhibit the sign of his absurd sense of humor! Perhaps it is the Universe itself, conspiring against the revelations intimated by the operation of CERN's Large Hadron Collider? This time, it is not falling cranes, cracked magnets, liquid helium leaks or even links to Al Qaeda, that have halted man's efforts to understand the meaning of life, the universe and everything. It now appears that the collider is hindered from an initial firing by a baguette, dropped by a passing bird: 'The bird dropped some bread on a section of outdoor machinery, eventually leading to significant overheating 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.'"

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478 comments

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whats next - LHC shot by a moslin general? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30003832)

or worse? /zombies

Fuckin Europeons don't know shit about making tech (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30004356)

Makde in the eu. What the fuck do you expect? Half the eu are fucking lazt-ass commies that know only how to get on the dole and otherwise pick your fucking pocket. You just can't find good workers here anymore.

forty f'ing two (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30003846)

who would have thought that deep thought ... aka LHC would have produced nothing more than a singular finite number rather than some grand unifying theory of LTUAE

Evacuate this universe! (5, Funny)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 4 years ago | (#30003852)

OK. That proves it.

Multi-world interpretation is correct and LHC is just a variant of quantum-suicide experiment.

Re:Evacuate this universe! (5, Funny)

cjfs (1253208) | more than 4 years ago | (#30003928)

Multi-world interpretation is correct and LHC is just a variant of quantum-suicide experiment.

That's what the birds want us to think. The truth is, they planned this, and there's more to come. We cannot allow even one more baguette to fall on the LHC. We must strike back.

That's right. I'm calling KFC.

Re:Evacuate this universe! (4, Funny)

lastgoodnickname (1438821) | more than 4 years ago | (#30004230)

Don't blame all birds. True, I know some of them are fowl, but...

Re:Evacuate this universe! (3, Funny)

bluesatin (1350681) | more than 4 years ago | (#30004328)

I'm pretty cock-sure all the birds have it in for us.

Re:Evacuate this universe! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30004238)

That's what the birds want us to think. The truth is, they planned this, and there's more to come.

Yeah, it's obviously a pre-emptive strike by crows on quantum physicists.

Re:Evacuate this universe! (3, Funny)

should_be_linear (779431) | more than 4 years ago | (#30004350)

Sure, like KFC is involved in organic stuff.

Re:Evacuate this universe! (5, Interesting)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 4 years ago | (#30004002)

this theory has actually been proposed: That activating the LHC would actually destroy the universe, that is, the whole universe, even reaching back into the past. That would mean that the only possible universes are ones in which the LHC is never activated, which means that if we keep trying, implausible events will continue to occur, preventing the LHC from activating- after all, we're here now, right. That's _proof_ that the LHC will never be activated!

ObSimpsons (5, Funny)

oGMo (379) | more than 4 years ago | (#30004058)

after all, we're here now, right. That's _proof_ that the LHC will never be activated!

I have a rock that keeps tigers away to sell you ...

Re:Evacuate this universe! (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30004108)

So then is this the improbability drive? Eee gads!!!! Douglas Adams was a prophet.

Re:Evacuate this universe! (1)

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) | more than 4 years ago | (#30004178)

Just think how lucky we all are!!!! If that bird had dropped a Panini we all be screwed!

Re:Evacuate this universe! (1)

laejoh (648921) | more than 4 years ago | (#30004266)

Just think how lucky we all are!!!! If that bird had dropped a Panini we all be screwed!

This being slashdot, would you care to elaborate why this would be bad? It would be a first time for most of us!

Birds dropping baguettes? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30003856)

They should keep the women away from the scientific equipment if they can't eat their lunch responsibly!

Re:Birds dropping baguettes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30003930)

Pictures or it didn't happen
http://s3.images.com/huge.64.324951.JPG [images.com]

Re:Birds dropping baguettes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30004030)

It's just a little speed of light. It's still good, it's still good!

Cosmic Time Travelling Karma? (5, Funny)

spammeister (586331) | more than 4 years ago | (#30003870)

Was it a European Swallow or an African Swallow?

Re:Cosmic Time Travelling Karma? (5, Interesting)

moorhens (564268) | more than 4 years ago | (#30003888)

Same thing: barn swallow and red-rumped swallow nest in Europe the summer and winter in southern Africa. So it's not what the bird was but when it was that determines whether it is European or African, not that I am clever enough to claim any uncertainty involvement between birds and LHC.

Re:Cosmic Time Travelling Karma? (4, Funny)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 4 years ago | (#30003916)

So it's not what the bird was but when it was that determines whether it is European or African,

Yes, but what's its unladen airspeed velocity?

Re:Cosmic Time Travelling Karma? (4, Funny)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30003934)

So it's not what the bird was but when it was that determines whether it is European or African,

Yes, but what's its unladen airspeed velocity?

I am more interested in the terminal velocity of the Baguette.

Re:Cosmic Time Travelling Karma? (5, Funny)

MadKeithV (102058) | more than 4 years ago | (#30004062)

The speed of light. Light mayonaise.

Re:Cosmic Time Travelling Karma? (5, Funny)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30004080)

I also want to know why the only thing the Baguette thought on the way down was oh no, not again.

Re:Cosmic Time Travelling Karma? (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#30004124)

Hellmann's or Duke's?

Re:Cosmic Time Travelling Karma? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30004068)

Baguette eh? seems the French are responsible for this! I knew it was a bad idea to trust putting this thing partially on French soil!

Re:Cosmic Time Travelling Karma? (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 4 years ago | (#30004120)

I am more interested in the terminal velocity of the Baguette.

According to Captain Bob [captainbob.com] , it is quite low.

I soon found out however, that I had not counted on the terminal velocity of French baguettes. Even when I stretched the elastic band dangerously close to the breaking point (its and mine), the [baguette] would flutter out of the air, like a wounded duck, only a few meters down range.

Re:Cosmic Time Travelling Karma? (1)

Carewolf (581105) | more than 4 years ago | (#30003968)

I am assuming it is french and not swiss. The french are always carrying baguettes..

Re:Cosmic Time Travelling Karma? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30003998)

Neither.

The problem was caused by a non-swallow

Re:Cosmic Time Travelling Karma? (4, Funny)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 4 years ago | (#30004206)

The problem was caused by a non-swallow

A gag?

Re:Cosmic Time Travelling Karma? (4, Funny)

MRe_nl (306212) | more than 4 years ago | (#30004334)

A spit obviously.

Re:Cosmic Time Travelling Karma? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30004226)

It was obviously French.

Large Bread Collider (5, Funny)

Krupuk (978265) | more than 4 years ago | (#30003872)

Didn't anybody brief the pigeon? Perhaps it was a bird scientist?

Impossible to operate? (5, Informative)

pmontra (738736) | more than 4 years ago | (#30003882)

This article [timesonline.co.uk] gives more information

Further investigation into the failure of a cryogenic cooling plant revealed an unusual impediment. A piece of crusty bread had paralysed a high voltage installation that should have been powering the cooling unit.
[...]
A spokeswoman for CERN confirmed that baguette was responsible for the latest hiatus, but she conceded that mystery surrounded the way it got into the vital power installation, which is protected by high security fences.
“Nobody knows how it got there,” she told The Times. “The best guess is that it was dropped by a bird, either that or it was thrown out of a passing aeroplane.”
“Obviously this was slightly surprising. Within the team there was some amusement once they had relaxed after initial concerns.”
The bread was discovered on a busbar - an electrical connection inside one of eight buildings above ground on the 17-mile (27km) circuit in the Swiss countryside.
The spokeswoman said: “The collider extends over a very large area – you have to have a very comprehensive system to try to avoid problems of this kind. We’re talking about a couple of days down time.”
Scientists hope that the temperature will be restored by around midnight tonight allowing work to continue. The failure of the cooler meant the temperature rose around 5 degrees to the equivalent of about -266C.

A lot of things will drop on sections "of outdoor machinery". It seems that this LHC machine has been designed in such a way that will never get a chance to work.

Re:Impossible to operate? (1)

Omegium (576650) | more than 4 years ago | (#30004078)

Yeah, something called "Rain" comes to mind...

Re:Impossible to operate? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30004116)

Yeah, something called "Rain" comes to mind...

Pretty unlikely in Europe don't you think?

Re:Impossible to operate? (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 4 years ago | (#30004148)

Yeah, something called "Rain" comes to mind...

The LHC is on the Swiss/French border, not in the UK...

But birds could have dropped something funnier than a slice of bread...

Bird briefing... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30003890)

The bird's briefing:

The approach will not be easy. You are required to maneuver straight down this trench and skim the surface to this point. The target area is only two meters wide. It's a small thermal exhaust port, right below the main port. The shaft leads directly to the reactor system. A precise hit will start a chain reaction which should destroy the station.

Re:Bird briefing... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30003922)

*Only a precise hit

Re:Bird briefing... (4, Funny)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30003940)

The bird's briefing:

The approach will not be easy. You are required to maneuver straight down this trench and skim the surface to this point. The target area is only two meters wide. It's a small thermal exhaust port, right below the main port. The shaft leads directly to the reactor system. A precise hit will start a chain reaction which should destroy the station.

If the bird has been hitting womp-rats back home there should be no problem.

Re:Bird briefing... (2, Funny)

juletre (739996) | more than 4 years ago | (#30004246)

Maybe the scientists at CERN can discover some hidden force of nature, a Force that may be with them in their fight against the Avian Empire?

Or maybe we could genetically modify this swineflu into something that kills birds...? That would be awesome, and it's pretty safe to assume nothing can go wrong.

Re:Bird briefing... (2, Funny)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#30004286)

Maybe the scientists at CERN can discover some hidden force of nature, a Force that may be with them in their fight against the Avian Empire?

What about gravity? We could build a machine so powerful that it is theoretically capable of creating a black hole, and.. oh, wait.

Re:Bird briefing... (2, Funny)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#30004044)

Pidgeo Pidgrissian: Yes, I said *closer*! Move as close as you can, and engage those super-conducting magnets at point blank range!
Admiral Platypus: At that close range we won't last long against those particle beams!
Pidgeo Pidgrissiann: We'll last longer than we will against that quantum suicide event! And we might just take it down with us!

Re:Bird briefing... (2, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30004128)

You have been reading too many Greg Egan books.

Re:Bird briefing... (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#30004194)

I've never heard of the guy, but a quick Google search has let me know that he's an author I will more than likely intensely enjoy.

Thank you.

Re:Bird briefing... (2, Informative)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30004232)

On the subject at hand I recommend Quarantine [wikipedia.org]

Re:Bird briefing... (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#30004234)

It just went on my Christmas list. Thanks again!

Put a roof over it or something? (5, Interesting)

Ashtead (654610) | more than 4 years ago | (#30003898)

One wonders how much it would take to put some kind of roofing over the most vulnerable exterior equipment. Something like corrugated tin on a steel frame or whatever.

Or maybe a roof over the cafeteria and the rubbish bins, so that birds can't just come and steal baguettes.

I've never heard of such deleterious effects of a bird dropping anything on outdoor power station switchgear ... what kind of vulnerable kit is this anyways?

Re:Put a roof over it or something? (5, Funny)

syousef (465911) | more than 4 years ago | (#30003932)

One wonders how much it would take to put some kind of roofing over the most vulnerable exterior equipment. Something like corrugated tin on a steel frame or whatever.

You slashdot wise guys! Do you REALLY think PROFESSIONAL scientists would leave critical equipment exposed? That professionals paid to design and engineer a multi-billion dollar piece of equipment would forget a basic piece of covering? That you sitting there and speculating behind your keyboard sitting in your underwear in your mother's basement might have a better idea of how to protect delicate scientific equipment than hundreds of scientists and engineers with post graduate degrees?

Well in this instance it looks like you might be right?

Re:Put a roof over it or something? (5, Insightful)

rdnetto (955205) | more than 4 years ago | (#30004114)

Nope

The bread was discovered on a busbar - an electrical connection inside one of eight buildings above ground on the 17-mile (27km) circuit in the Swiss countryside.

They don't need to invest in roofs, what they really need are doors.

Re:Put a roof over it or something? (5, Funny)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 4 years ago | (#30004228)

The bird breadboarded a busbar inside a building.

The problem is Windows.

Re:Put a roof over it or something? (2, Interesting)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | more than 4 years ago | (#30004300)

Well maybe the bird flew through the door?

I live in a small town rather than a city. I've seen wild birds inside shops no less than... 5 times?

According to the people I know that work in retail, it's quite common for birds to fly indoors. (Looking for things?)

Re:Put a roof over it or something? (1)

eric-x (1348097) | more than 4 years ago | (#30004304)

“Nobody knows how it got there,” she told The Times. “The best guess is that it was dropped by a bird, either that or it was thrown out of a passing aeroplane.”

Re:Put a roof over it or something? (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#30004242)

Well in this instance it looks like you might be right?

I'm not sure that this statement is a question?

Re:Put a roof over it or something? (3, Funny)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 4 years ago | (#30004106)

put some kind of roofing over the most vulnerable exterior equipment.

There was a roof over it... but unfortunately they forgot about the tunnel effect...

Re:Put a roof over it or something? (0)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30004134)

put some kind of roofing over the most vulnerable exterior equipment.

There was a roof over it... but unfortunately they forgot about the tunnel effect...

Should have guessed the Buguette would be made of Electrons.

Re:Put a roof over it or something? (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 4 years ago | (#30004162)

Should have guessed the Buguette would be made of Electrons.

... and protons and neutrons, all of which are perfectly capable of the tunnel effect!

Oh, and it started out as a Baguette. It only became a Buguette after it fell into the machinery...

You go tell them that. (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#30004150)

"Hey, I have this great idea for solving your bird-baguette issues! It involves putting ferromagnetic joists over the top of your super-conducting magnets..."

whatcouldpossiblygowrong

Re:Put a roof over it or something? (1)

Qubit (100461) | more than 4 years ago | (#30004366)

what kind of vulnerable kit is this anyways?

Government project....lowest bidder?

le sigh... (0, Redundant)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 4 years ago | (#30003904)

... and why, pray tell, was such apparently critical equipment not in some sort of enclosure?

Re:le sigh... (4, Interesting)

ultranova (717540) | more than 4 years ago | (#30003988)

... and why, pray tell, was such apparently critical equipment not in some sort of enclosure?

Because if it was, it would had been the roof collapsing that would had disabled it, and that would had caused a lot worse mess.

As a side note, I think that this confirms my pet theory concerning time travel: any attempt to do it will change the past, which changes the conditions of the travel slightly, which changes the past, and so on, until the travel never occurs and the past stops changing. In other words, a spacetime where time travel happens is unstable and decays into one where it won't. Quantum uncertainty would, in this interpretation, be there to allow causality to "stretch" enough to allow such decay; a hypothethical universe without quantum uncertainty but with sentience and time travel (which is an inevitable outcome of the Theory of Relativity, which in turn is an inevitable outcome from the laws of physics being the same for all observers) would tear itself apart. You can thus deduct the Uncertainty Principle from the Anthropic Principle (we are here, so this universe must be able to support sentient life).

I wonder if you could calculate the minimum required amount of uncertainty for spacetime to stay consistent, and how it would relate to observed/otherwise calculated values? Assume that the first singularity formed at t=0, and has been moving infinitely close to lightspeed ever since, and connects to every other time period through a wormhole, and go from there. The math is beyond me, does anyone else care to try?

Re:le sigh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30004236)

You really should include the author's name if your going to quote his book, even if it is just fiction.

This is a joke right? (3, Insightful)

Mr.123 (661787) | more than 4 years ago | (#30003906)

Where's the humor tag? I kept looking for the Onion link or humor tag. I have a hard time believing this. It's gotta be joke.

Re:This is a joke right? (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#30004164)

The only joke is that, apparently, science nerds have never watched A New Hope.

Re:This is a joke right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30004294)

They probably didn't; it was called "Star Wars" when they saw it.

Misleading summary title (5, Insightful)

addsalt (985163) | more than 4 years ago | (#30003908)

A baguette did not shut down the LHC because the LHC wasn't running (doesn't take superman to halt a train that isn't moving). Even the summary states

The LHC was not operational at the time of the incident

and the TFA

This incident won't delay the reactivation of the facility later this month

Re:Misleading summary title (3, Funny)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 4 years ago | (#30004136)

... and it was not an entire baguette, just a small slice of it. An entire baguette would never have been able to tunnel through the roof (tunnel effect is inversely proportional to the mass of the "particle").

I hate you for that misleading headline! (1, Funny)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30003914)

the spike produced so much heat that had the beam been on, automatic failsafes would have shut down the machine.

And had I been there at the writing of this headline, I would have kicked his ass! ^^

Wait for the next article's headline to be: Someone Kicked Philip K Dickhead's Ass Again! (Because I bet, with that name, it happened more than once already. ;)

Re:I hate you for that misleading headline! (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30003948)

In the other universe where the LHC was running and about to violate causality you were at the writing of this headline and you did kick his ass.

Re:I hate you for that misleading headline! (0)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30004284)

It it opposite day again? Or what is the -1 Overrated for?

Here's an idea (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30003942)

Hypothesis: There are multiple universes. Many of them build the LHC. In those that build it, most turn it on, destroying themselves. Not only do they destroy themselves, but they take out their planet, their galaxy, and their universe, including time, such that they essentially never existed.

Obviously we can't live in one of those universes, so a series of accidents, bizarre or mundane, probably take place until someone decides it's not worth the effort and the project is scrapped.

That would explain the long delays and the mind-bogglingly arbitrary accidents.

Alternative hypothesis: The LHC is an internationally-funded, politically-changed science experiment of immense complexity. That alone would explain the delays and problems, and would also lead to it probably never being switched on.

3rd hypothesis: The LHC is switched on eventually, gives us much scientific knowledge, and doesn't kill us all. But really, that's boring and doesn't make for compelling science fiction. Just compelled science.

Gnomes (1)

Msdose (867833) | more than 4 years ago | (#30003966)

The LHC requires a mission-critical specialized lubricant made from rare Peruvian wackova beans and refined on the space station, but they just used old chewing gum.

What did the seven dwarves say when they passed Snow White working on the streetcorner? Hi ho, Hi ho.

multiverse (1)

madaerodog (1562345) | more than 4 years ago | (#30003992)

from the infinite number of parallel universes it had to happen in ours! common fate could you give our universe a break?

could be a lot worse... (1)

ickeicke (927264) | more than 4 years ago | (#30004298)

...you should see the other universes!

Confused (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30003996)

Can any1 explain why it's a good idea to be messing around with a machine that 'might' produce teeny-tiny black holes that 'shouldn't' cause any problems?

I'm just having a bit of trouble understanding why, exactly, this is anything but short-sighted and foolish..

Re:Confused (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30004036)

Your complaining might, in some very specific circumstances through a weird chain of consequences, mean the destruction of the entire planet. Wouldn't it be safer if you stopped whining?

I'm having a bit of trouble understanding why you keep complaining when this possibility clearly exists.

Obviously (1)

dandart (1274360) | more than 4 years ago | (#30004010)

Obviously, because it causes such a universal disaster, it will throw us back in time, so we must make every attempt to stop it!

And that was one of them.

Re:Obviously (2, Interesting)

lastgoodnickname (1438821) | more than 4 years ago | (#30004302)

Or, perhaps it will bring infinite good / rapture / utopia / drm free music and something evil is trying to stop it.

You 1nsensitive c7od! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30004022)

Come on baby...and am protestIng the above is fAr Codebase became

Hmm (1)

ShooterNeo (555040) | more than 4 years ago | (#30004026)

Just how many of these freak accidents in a row would be necessary to provide incontrovertible proof of the "universe doensn't want us to switch LHC on" theory?

I can imagine an objective demo : once we're sure that the principle exists, there would be a special room with a red button to turn on LHC. Skeptics would be invited to attempt to press the button...

Re:Hmm (3, Interesting)

lastgoodnickname (1438821) | more than 4 years ago | (#30004282)

Just how many of these freak accidents in a row would be necessary to provide incontrovertible proof of the "universe doensn't want us to switch LHC on" theory?

all of them

LHC not actually shut down (4, Informative)

PaSTE (88128) | more than 4 years ago | (#30004096)

The LHC is designed with very good fail-safes so that random events like this won't shut down the accelerator for huge amounts of time. It would mean at most a day or two of no beam before things got started again. These kinds of safety trips are to be expected a couple of times a month with a machine as huge and complicated as the LHC.

It has nothing to do with time-travelling (1)

justkeeper (1139245) | more than 4 years ago | (#30004100)

or parallel universe, it's just that their system was not designed with enough tolerance and redundancy, they should have expected their outdoor machinery being hitted by all kinds of things falling from the sky anyhow.

Polarization (1)

V!NCENT (1105021) | more than 4 years ago | (#30004104)

I can't decide whether I am pissed off (I was waiting for the LHC results like a little child who waits for his birthday present) or if I should burst out in laughing...

I guess I am both at the same time.

Birds from the FUTURE (1)

mykos (1627575) | more than 4 years ago | (#30004112)

What if the theories about sabotage from the future are right? It would make my small bits tingle.

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30004132)

The birds are in collaboration with the mice.

Who's paying? (1)

LinuxAndLube (1526389) | more than 4 years ago | (#30004138)

Please remind me. Who's paying for this piece of junk again?

Re:Who's paying? (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 4 years ago | (#30004190)

Who's paying for this piece of junk again?

All of us are... via the taxes that we pay.

But don't worry: due to the financial crisis, more and more people will realize that in this day and age, there are more important things to spend money on, and the system will be canceled. You may view the financial crisis as the ultimate "freak accident triggered from the future in order to prevent Higgs discovery".

Was it a thermal exhaust port? (1)

JJJK (1029630) | more than 4 years ago | (#30004140)

And you thought the death star had stupid vulnerabilities...

Philip K Dickhead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30004142)

Philip K Dickhead writes...

Posting things like this on the front page makes /. look very childish.
I don't care if it's someone's username. It's crass and offensive.

Timothy, you should know better.

It's a sign from God.. (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 4 years ago | (#30004154)

This thing is going to blow up the world. I see "Big Mistake of 38" all over this one.

Bird, five minutes before this took place: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30004188)

"Red Five standing by..."

There's a saying (4, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 4 years ago | (#30004196)

"Never attribute to a time traveling malicious Higgs boson what can easily be attributed to human stupidity."

      Physicists spend too much time in the lab in theoretical situations. It's amazing that when they design a machine that will go outside, they forget that birds tend to crap on everything.

Why not run the experiment? (1)

greenash (757071) | more than 4 years ago | (#30004198)

What I don't understand is, why not run the "card" experiment? Commit to shutting down (or delayng for 30 yeas) the LHC if three one-in-a-million consecutive dice-throws turn negative. That would beat wasting so much money on a failed experiment. The chance of "false positives" would be negligibly small.

The Collider, the Particle and a Theory About Fate (1)

piepkraak (989721) | more than 4 years ago | (#30004200)

The Collider, the Particle and a Theory About Fate

-The New York Times

Then it will be time to test one of the most bizarre and revolutionary theories in science. I’m not talking about extra dimensions of space-time, dark matter or even black holes that eat the Earth. No, I’m talking about the notion that the troubled collider is being sabotaged by its own future. A pair of otherwise distinguished physicists have suggested that the hypothesized Higgs boson, which physicists hope to produce with the collider, might be so abhorrent to nature that its creation would ripple backward through time and stop the collider before it could make one, like a time traveler who goes back in time to kill his grandfather.

Holger Bech Nielsen, of the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen, and Masao Ninomiya of the Yukawa Institute for Theoretical Physics in Kyoto, Japan, put this idea forward in a series of papers with titles like “Test of Effect From Future in Large Hadron Collider: a Proposal” and “Search for Future Influence From LHC,” posted on the physics Web site arXiv.org in the last year and a half.
According to the so-called Standard Model that rules almost all physics, the Higgs is responsible for imbuing other elementary particles with mass.

“It must be our prediction that all Higgs producing machines shall have bad luck,” Dr. Nielsen said in an e-mail message. In an unpublished essay, Dr. Nielson said of the theory,“Well, one could even almost say that we have a model for God.” It is their guess, he went on, “that He rather hates Higgs particles, and attempts to avoid them.”

This malign influence from the future, they argue, could explain why the United States Superconducting Supercollider, also designed to find the Higgs, was canceled in 1993 after billions of dollars had already been spent, an event so unlikely that Dr. Nielsen calls it an “anti-miracle.”

You might think that the appearance of this theory is further proof that people have had ample time — perhaps too much time — to think about what will come out of the collider, which has been 15 years and $9 billion in the making.
The collider was built by CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, to accelerate protons to energies of seven trillion electron volts around an 18-mile underground racetrack and then crash them together into primordial fireballs.

For the record, as of the middle of September, CERN engineers hope to begin to collide protons at the so-called injection energy of 450 billion electron volts in December and then ramp up the energy until the protons have 3.5 trillion electron volts of energy apiece and then, after a short Christmas break, real physics can begin.
Maybe.

Dr. Nielsen and Dr. Ninomiya started laying out their case for doom in the spring of 2008. It was later that fall, of course, after the CERN collider was turned on, that a connection between two magnets vaporized, shutting down the collider for more than a year.
Dr. Nielsen called that “a funny thing that could make us to believe in the theory of ours.”
He agreed that skepticism would be in order. After all, most big science projects, including the Hubble Space Telescope, have gone through a period of seeming jinxed. At CERN, the beat goes on: Last weekend the French police arrested a particle physicist who works on one of the collider experiments, on suspicion of conspiracy with a North African wing of Al Qaeda.

Dr. Nielsen and Dr. Ninomiya have proposed a kind of test: that CERN engage in a game of chance, a “card-drawing” exercise using perhaps a random-number generator, in order to discern bad luck from the future. If the outcome was sufficiently unlikely, say drawing the one spade in a deck with 100 million hearts, the machine would either not run at all, or only at low energies unlikely to find the Higgs.
Sure, it’s crazy, and CERN should not and is not about to mortgage its investment to a coin toss. The theory was greeted on some blogs with comparisons to Harry Potter. But craziness has a fine history in a physics that talks routinely about cats being dead and alive at the same time and about anti-gravity puffing out the universe.

As Niels Bohr, Dr. Nielsen’s late countryman and one of the founders of quantum theory, once told a colleague: “We are all agreed that your theory is crazy. The question that divides us is whether it is crazy enough to have a chance of being correct.”
Dr. Nielsen is well-qualified in this tradition. He is known in physics as one of the founders of string theory and a deep and original thinker, “one of those extremely smart people that is willing to chase crazy ideas pretty far,” in the words of Sean Carroll, a Caltech physicist and author of a coming book about time, “From Eternity to Here.”

Another of Dr. Nielsen’s projects is an effort to show how the universe as we know it, with all its apparent regularity, could arise from pure randomness, a subject he calls “random dynamics.”
Dr. Nielsen admits that he and Dr. Ninomiya’s new theory smacks of time travel, a longtime interest, which has become a respectable research subject in recent years. While it is a paradox to go back in time and kill your grandfather, physicists agree there is no paradox if you go back in time and save him from being hit by a bus. In the case of the Higgs and the collider, it is as if something is going back in time to keep the universe from being hit by a bus. Although just why the Higgs would be a catastrophe is not clear. If we knew, presumably, we wouldn’t be trying to make one.

We always assume that the past influences the future. But that is not necessarily true in the physics of Newton or Einstein. According to physicists, all you really need to know, mathematically, to describe what happens to an apple or the 100 billion galaxies of the universe over all time are the laws that describe how things change and a statement of where things start. The latter are the so-called boundary conditions — the apple five feet over your head, or the Big Bang.

The equations work just as well, Dr. Nielsen and others point out, if the boundary conditions specify a condition in the future (the apple on your head) instead of in the past, as long as the fundamental laws of physics are reversible, which most physicists believe they are.
“For those of us who believe in physics,” Einstein once wrote to a friend, “this separation between past, present and future is only an illusion.”

In Kurt Vonnegut’s novel “Sirens of Titan,” all of human history turns out to be reduced to delivering a piece of metal roughly the size and shape of a beer-can opener to an alien marooned on Saturn’s moon so he can repair his spaceship and go home.
Whether the collider has such a noble or humble fate — or any fate at all — remains to be seen. As a Red Sox fan my entire adult life, I feel I know something about jinxes.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/13/science/space/13lhc.html?_r=3&pagewanted=all [nytimes.com]

The temp rise in question (4, Interesting)

ColaMan (37550) | more than 4 years ago | (#30004216)

http://hcc.web.cern.ch/hcc/cryo_main/cryo_main.php?region=Sector81 [web.cern.ch]

Pretty wild to think that a rise up to 8 kelvin is a "serious overtemp event".

(And fancy CERN having all their engineering data online like that, open to everyone..... anyone'd think they invented the internet or something.)

Just finished Watching Sex & the City... (1)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 4 years ago | (#30004224)

...isn't a baguette a hand bag thingy?
Or did i understand it wrongly?

Infinite Improbability Drive (1)

lastgoodnickname (1438821) | more than 4 years ago | (#30004244)

nuff said

Didn't these guys see Star Wars? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30004290)

If it only took an X wing to blow up the Death Star via an exhaust port, surely they could have seen something like this happening when they they were building the LHC

The force is strong in this one... (1)

zrbyte (1666979) | more than 4 years ago | (#30004296)

"The bird dropped some bread on a section of outdoor machinery, eventually leading to significant over heating in parts of the accelerator."

I've seen this before. On one side we have a huge and expensive piece of machinery, bent on destroying a planet [sciencemag.org] , using a high energy beam. On the other side we have our hero, cleverly dropping his projectile into the right spot, being able to cripple the machine.

All the universes where the bread missed a busbar! (2, Interesting)

mattr (78516) | more than 4 years ago | (#30004340)

I too was pretty skeptical at first but now things are starting to get spooky.

Face it, the odds are really small that this would happen. It is more likely you have a scientist who is very worried about bad things happening, and who has actually intelligently sabotaged the system by trial and error, ending up with the old baguette-on-the-busbar trick which must be a physics joke among French speaking countries.

On the other hand, if the LHC is really a universe suicide machine then there must be an uncountable number of universes which died, due to the baguette hitting the wrong exterior portion of the LHC, etc.

Particle physics is one place where extremely big or small numbers are a matter of everyday discussion I expect. Unless a perpetrator is found soon (and boy I really hope one is), I doubt this will cause consternation among the public. Maybe if there are some smart people at LHC they may be freaking out now.

But consider what if the "running the LHC kills the Earth or maybe Everything" theory is true. First of all, almost all but a small fraction of all universes stemming from our many universes existing as of say a year ago must be extinguished by now, the odds of a bird with baguette causing a short-circuit being so small. If one more freaky incident occurs (as must happen according to the theory) then I think you will start seeing a lot of people freaking out and trying to stop the thing.

Also, if "LHC kills Earth" is true, and "there is a multiverse built like an ever branching tree" is true, then building the LHC is an act of pruning the tree and the number of universes in which you may potentially exist. In other words, there are way less alternate histories now, so existence for us is a lot less richer according to one way of looking at it (the number of multiverses). Another way of looking at that might be, is that it might become easier or harder to do things like quantum computing, or evolution, or scientific advancement toward a singularity, assuming that some connection among the multiverses, such as gravity, exists.

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