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Pop went the weasel and down went the Large Hadron Collider

Switzerland Collider and the Weasel

A May 31, 2007 file photo shows a view of the Large Hadron Collider in its tunnel at the European Particle Physics Laboratory, CERN, near Geneva, Switzerland.

(Martial Trezzini, AP)

It’s one of the physics world’s most complex machines, and it has been immobilized — temporarily — by a weasel.

Spokesman Arnaud Marsollier says the world’s largest atom smasher, the Large Hadron Collider at CERN outside of Geneva, has suspended operations because a weasel invaded a transformer that helps power the machine and set off an electrical outage on Thursday night.

Authorities say the incident was one of several small glitches that will delay plans to restart the $4.4 billion collider by a few days.

Marsollier says Friday that the weasel died — and little remains of it.

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Officials of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, known by its French acronym CERN, have been gearing up for new data from the 27-kilometer (17-mile) circuit that runs underground on the Swiss-French border.

Associated Press


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