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The Cern supercollider has been irreparably broken after scientists expanding the 27km collider ring miscalculated, causing the new section to bend.
Hadron Supercollider irreparably damaged
The damage comes after several testing periods for the Cern scientists following numerous upgrades to the collider ring, and it now isn’t clear whether the project will ever recover.
The fault was apparently due to a communication issue between the American and non-American scientists and the rounding up of a number. That number was the precise measurement of the new section of collider ring. The European scientists gave the American scientists and engineers a figure of 2.09km or 1.3 miles to add to the ring. For reasons still being investigated this section was rounded up to 3km, causing the machinery of the entire facility to fail.
The cost involved to fix the fault would be astronomical, and none of the investors or government agencies involved in the collider’s construction are willing to foot the bill.
Given the sophistication of the technology the collider uses and the sheer size and scope of the project, it has been damaged several times in the past by what most would consider fairly innocuous sources.
Famously in 2016 a weasel entered the facility and chewed through a 66kV cable. Leaving only it’s charred remains and several million dollars worth of downtime in its wake. Collider officials have since begun regular weasel patrols and employ the use of official Cern hawks to reduce the risk of a repeat offense.
The facility was also damaged in 2009 after a piece of baguette was dropped onto surface equipment leading to several sections of the collider ring overheating. The bread based bombardment was believed to be the work of a pigeon with apparent bad leanings. No feathered culprit was ever caught, however, and the baguette never fully traced back to its precise origin.
The collider works in lamens terms by firing two particle beams at close to the speed of light inside vacuum tubes. They are forced around the collider ring by a very strong electromagnetic field generated by superconducting electromagnets. The particles then collide at four points along the collider ring with corresponding with four different particle detectors, ATLAS, CMS, ALICE, and LHCb. These detectors are then used for attempting to detect theoretical particles such as the Higgs Boson, traces of dark matter or alternate dimensions created and destroyed in fractions of a second.