Weasel knocks out world’s largest atom smasher

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

Spokesman Arnaud Marsollier said 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 Friday.

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

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

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

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