Collider Is Cool, But Can It Heat Up Pizza?

  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/95128702/95128681" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

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


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.

Copyright © 2008 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from