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Crumbs! 
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Heinlein Nexus
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Post Crumbs!
I gotta concur with CNN's take on the recent disabling of the Large Hadron Collider by, and I quote, "a piece of baguette dropped by a bird": This is too weird.

I mean, why bother securing a $10 billion piece of machinery against terrorists when it's not protected against arial crumbs? Seems like a basic design flaw.


Sat Nov 07, 2009 4:54 am
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PITA Bred
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Post Re: Crumbs!
An article some months back referred to it as the Large Hardon Collider.

Since its primary job is looking for the "god particle," I find it funny that a falling (crumb from a) sparrow caused this problem. Just as an unexpected power surge (aka bolt of lightning) crippled it in the first attempt.

Maybe there really are things mortal man was not meant to know...

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"Hier stehe ich. Ich kann nicht anders." - Luther
In the end, I found Heinlein is finite. Thus, finite analysis is needed.


Sat Nov 07, 2009 10:53 am
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Post Re: Crumbs!
PeterScott wrote:
I mean, why bother securing a $10 billion piece of machinery against terrorists when it's not protected against arial crumbs? Seems like a basic design flaw.

This will not comfort you, but the LHC is probably not particularly well-secured against terrorists, either.

Here at Fermilab the Tevatron has been crippled, every now and then, by mice nesting in a transformer or an unfortunate snake crawling across hot leads. It's temptingly warm and comfortable inside our cabinets.

Magnetic fluctuations from solar flares, and earthquakes thousands of miles away, also show up in the operation of the machine, and in extreme cases can knock it out.

At the LHC's immediate predecessor, the Large Electron Positron collider, accelerator physicists were able to detect the motion of the Moon, in subtle changes in beam energy, as tidal forces squeezed and stretched the Swiss-French landscape.

So it's unsurprising to learn that the LHC's power systems might be vulnerable to a dropped pastry. It's good that the slow temperature rise didn't lead to a quench (an abrupt change from superconducting state to not-superconducting, accompanied by much boiling helium), You fix the problem, reset the circuit breakers, wait for the cryo systems to cool down again, and keep going.

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Sat Nov 07, 2009 10:54 am
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Post Re: Crumbs!
beamjockey wrote:
So it's unsurprising to learn that the LHC's power systems might be vulnerable to a dropped pastry. It's good that the slow temperature rise didn't lead to a quench (an abrupt change from superconducting state to not-superconducting, accompanied by much boiling helium), You fix the problem, reset the circuit breakers, wait for the cryo systems to cool down again, and keep going.


Speaking as a layman, I couldnt agree more. :roll:


Sat Nov 07, 2009 11:48 am
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Post Re: Crumbs!
beamjockey wrote:
Here at Fermilab the Tevatron has been crippled, every now and then, by mice nesting in a transformer or an unfortunate snake crawling across hot leads.

I heard years ago that the ill-fated Texas Superconducting Super Collider was plagued by fire ants eating the insulation off the wires.

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Mon Nov 09, 2009 9:33 am
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Post Re: Crumbs!
DanHenderson wrote:
beamjockey wrote:
Here at Fermilab the Tevatron has been crippled, every now and then, by mice nesting in a transformer or an unfortunate snake crawling across hot leads.

I heard years ago that the ill-fated Texas Superconducting Super Collider was plagued by fire ants eating the insulation off the wires.


Hypothetical. Propaganda spread by those who wanted the thing to be built in Illinois rather than Texas. (Including me.)

The fire ants do appear in the Environmental Impact Statement, which I read long ago.

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Tue Nov 10, 2009 9:14 pm
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Post Re: Crumbs!
beamjockey wrote:
Here at Fermilab the Tevatron has been crippled, every now and then, by mice nesting in a transformer or an unfortunate snake crawling across hot leads.

Envisions Chuck Jones-like *poof*...

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"Hier stehe ich. Ich kann nicht anders." - Luther
In the end, I found Heinlein is finite. Thus, finite analysis is needed.


Tue Nov 10, 2009 10:48 pm
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