The Reddit xkcd 695: apparently CERN scientists couldn't handle the sad ending contains the following image.

In the 2nd to last panel of the bottom added-on row, the text looks like it says

Sorry for the delay, we had some problems with switching to 25 ns.

I've changed case. It's written in all upper case but that's considered unaesthetic in posts except when it's a block quote from a teletype-like output.

I'm thinking that it could stand for N s (Newton-seconds) or ns (nanoseconds) but the 25 wouldn't make sense.

What could this mean?

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ Related: imgur.com/VbKV9DF first saw in @Hobbes 's comments in chat. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Jun 14 '18 at 5:03

25 nanoseconds. I'm an astrodynamicist not a physicist, but from my very basic understanding from this link, there was a beam configuration change at CERN that allowed for the replacement of proton bunches every 25 nanoseconds rather than the original 50 nanoseconds.

It's really just a joke about CERN sending a spaceship to rescue it, but getting bogged down by performing upgrades back on Earth.


  • $\begingroup$ Excellent, thank you. I remember that now. Yes it makes sense that this would have been "posted" there. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Jun 14 '18 at 5:42
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    $\begingroup$ as you've 'outed' yourself as an astrodynamicist, some other questions of mine 1, 2, 3, 4, might be of interest if they overlap your work or you might know someone else who might be interested $\endgroup$ – uhoh Jun 14 '18 at 5:45
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    $\begingroup$ Lots of stuff about resonance, looks like fun! I'll try to get around to those soon. $\endgroup$ – M.A.H. Jun 14 '18 at 6:26

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