Diversions

Collider Is Cool, But Can It Heat Up Pizza?

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Scott Simon takes a moment to note how quickly the new Large Hadron Collider can heat a frozen pizza.

SCOTT SIMON, Host:

Extra cheese please, and hold the protons. A malfunction has temporarily shut down Europe's new Large Hadron Collider. Scientists are still speculating how its awesome powers can be used to advance human knowledge and achievement, for example, when it comes to defrosting the frozen pizza. The editors at Scientific American decided to calculate just how long it would take the 17-mile-long collider to heat up a frozen DiGiorno's. A household microwave produces 500 to 1,000 watts of power, and can thaw out a pizza in about 6 minutes. So the scientists extrapolated from that figure and decided it would take about 30 nanoseconds, 30 billionths of a second, for the collider to take a pizza from frozen to toothsome, which is good news if you don't want to miss even a billionth of a second of a game.

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