Design flaws caused a support structure for a magnet to fail during a stress test of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) on March 27. Built to be the world's most powerful particle accelerator, the LHC will smash lead ions into one another with energies of trillions of electron volts (TeV). Repairs may delay the LHC's target start date of November.
Circumference of LHC in meters: 26,659
Energy imparted to each proton in TeV: 7
Total collision energy of lead-ion beams (consisting of many protons) in TeV: 1,150
Number of particles in each beam: 300 trillion
Odds that two particles will actually collide: 1 in 10 billion
Approximate power consumption in watts of: A household microwave oven: 1,100
The LHC: 120 million
Time it takes to defrost a pizza in: A household microwave oven: 6 minutes
The LHC: 7.6 femtoseconds (7.6x10<sup>–15</sup> second)
SOURCES: CERN; DiGiorno's Microwave Rising Crust Four-Cheese Pizza. Pizza calculation is theoretical and assumes that the collision energy can be evenly distributed over the pizza.