Inept thieves have destroyed the work of a computer set up to decipher how the universe was created.
Sun Microsystems' £1.4m Cosmology Machine, set up by Durham University in August last year, has been almost destroyed by thieves out to steal circuit boards.
The machine was used to perform numerical simulations of the evolution of the universe from Big Bang to the present day, armed with more than enough storage space to hold the entire contents of the British Library.
But in what appears to be two related break-ins, thieves ripped out circuit boards from four of the 12 clustered 'Throughout Engine' machines.
The burglars are thought to have been stealing the circuit boards to order, but quite possibly destroyed them by dragging them across the ground. A third attempt to gain access is believed to have failed.
The Cosmology Machine was capable of interpreting data from billions of observations about the behaviour of stars, gases, galaxies and mysterious dark matter in a bid to provide answers about how and why it all evolved, perhaps shedding some light on the meaning of life itself.
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