In truly French fashion, the Large Hadron Collider has shut down by… a baguette. Zut alors!
According to Popular Science:
[A] bird dropped some bread on a section of outdoor machinery, eventually leading to significant over heating 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.
The overheating shouldn’t postpone the LHC’s reactivation at the end of the month, but all the delays and mishaps are adding to our paranoid, sci-fi suspicion: Is the LHC being sabotaged from the future? See this Cosmic Variance post for an authoritative take on such a possibility.
Discoblog: LHC Collisions to Commence Next Week…Hopefully
Discoblog: You Say Large Hadron Collider, I Say Sizeable Particle Crasher
Discoblog: While LHC Scientists Were Drinking Champagne, Hackers Were Attacking
Cosmic Variance: Spooky Signals from the Future Telling Us to Cancel the LHC!