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  1. #1
    Smiling Down On Youse SurferJoe46's Avatar
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    May 2005
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    Default Not Really The "Big Bang"...But Pretty Close Anyway!

    Fermi Labs had a "Big Bang" of their own...er....

    The players are Fermilab who built the two dozen 20-ton magnets that power a 17-mile-long particle accelerator at the CERN laboratory in Switzerland.

    The machine, the Large Hadron Collider, aims to recreate the conditions of the Big Bang, about 14 billion years ago, and it was due to start up in November.

    That schedule went by the boards, however, when during recent testing there was an explosion down in the tunnel that ripped one of those magnets off its moorings, filled the area with helium and sent researchers scurrying (presumably squeaking orders in urgent, high-pitched voices).

    And the problem?

    Math errors back at Fermilab.

    An embarrassed Pier Oddone, director of Fermilab, told his staff they had caused a pratfall on the world stage.

    "We are dumbfounded that we missed some very simple balance of forces," he said. "Not only was it missed in the engineering design but also in the four engineering reviews carried out between 1998 and 2002 before launching the construction of the magnets".


    Warum werden wir so früh alt und klug so spät?

  2. #2
    Damn furballs! Shortcircuit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Not Really The "Big Bang"...But Pretty Close Anyway!

    I read about this last year before they 'flicked the switch'... seemed no-one higher up was particularly concerned (pardon the pun) about the possibility of having their particles unintentionally accelerated.

    I know I lay in bed around Guy Fawlkes night wondering if my ganglions were about to vibrate harmonicly and get sucked into a black hole...

    seems I needn't have worried as Pier Oddone was in charge
    The best buzz is a short, sharp shock

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