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Jonathan Asaadi | Syracuse University | USA

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Duck tape fixes everything!!!

As reported today in Symmetry Magazine blog Symmetry Breaking the crew at the Tevatron have been hard at confirming one of the oldest sayings in science/engineering/home repairs:

Duck tape will fix anything!!!

As the story is told, upon noticing the pressure rising in one of the cyrostat vacuum systems a team from the Accelerator Division Mechanical Support determined that a faulty rubber O-ring between two of the superconducting magnets had gone bad. However, having just come out of a summer shutdown and not wanting to add an additional 10 days of down time to the calendar that it would take to warm up the Tevatron and replace the ring other options needed to be explored. I think the article on Symmetry Breaking had a really good quote

“This big machine is four miles in circumference, with a thousand-some superconducting magnets, and one piece of rubber is gonna stop us?” Scott McCormick said. “I don’t think so. Not if we can help it.”

Showing where the faulty O-ring was

Showing where the faulty O-ring was

What amazes me is that an alternative option had already been explored 4 years ago!!! They had determined then that the handyman’s secret weapon (Duck tape) would be a perfect solution for exactly this case! So, low and behold, two days later and a few feet of duck tape and viola!!! You have one of the world premier particle accelerators back online and cranking like it never has before.

It is stories like this that I love about science. Millions of dollars to build, decades of building and engineering to make come to reality, countless man hours spent studying, tuning, and perfecting the operations of one of the most complex machines ever conceived by man kind! And, $2.47 roll of duck tape from the hardware store!

Never leave home / build a particle accelerator without it

Never leave home / build a particle accelerator without it

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