Inspectors examining a recent malfunction at the Large Hadron Collider found that senior scientists had been ‘inserting various household objects into the collider’, causing helium leakage and misalignment of several of the magnets. The Large Hadron Collider, or LHC, cost over 4.1 billion dollars to build, runs a length of 27 kilometers below Geneva and has been used to search for evidence of the Higgs particle and the associated Higgs field. These noble goals bear little relationship to the activities engaged in by Yukihide Matsuzi, a Japanese theoretical physicist, and his colleague, Klara Eschelbach, a mathematician interested in models of supersymmetry.
‘Apparently they were just chucking stuff in there to see what would happen’ said a distraught David Branston, project leader overseeing CMS and Atlas projects. ‘Just when we might be seeing evidence two different Higgs particles, these clowns almost destroy the collider!’ The scientists in question admitted they had already collided several watches, a fountain pen, a bunch of keys and a can of coke. ‘It is very irresponsible of us, but our project has been delayed by 18 months. We’ve been here doing checks and simulations for more than four years now. I guess we just couldn’t help ourselves when we realized the machine was operational but not colliding proton beams. If we found a new particle by colliding coke-cans we were going to call it a colon…’. Eschelbach said in a feeble attempt to lighten the situation. “Maybe we should have stuck with our original plan of making high-energy popcorn instead…”
Branston says he’s ‘just glad we could stop them before it got any worse’.”Just look at the stuff they had lined up!’ the project leader said. Among the objects soon to be reduced to subatomic particles were a desk chair, a Microsoft Zune and two rather nervous looking mice. The damage to the LHC will extend the two-year break by several months.