Giant atom-smasher set to restart this weekend: CERN

Nov 20, 2009
The Large Hadron Collider is nestled inside a circular tunnel on the Swiss-French border. The European Organisation for Nuclear Research said the world's biggest atom-smasher, which was shut down soon after its inauguration amid technical faults, is set to restart this weekend.

The world's biggest atom-smasher, which was shut down soon after its inauguration amid technical faults, is set to restart this weekend, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research said on Friday.

Read an update story: CERN atom-smasher restarts after 14-month hiatus: official
The first beam of sub-atomic particles are expected to be injected into the Large Hadron Collider "early Saturday morning," CERN spokesman James Gillies told AFP, while adding that the timing was not set in stone.

Nestled inside a 27-km long tunnel straddling the Franco-Swiss border near Geneva, the LHC promises to unlock scientific mysteries about the creation of the Universe and the fundamental nature of matter.

But the machine was shut down just nine days after its inauguration last September following a series of technical faults.

Since then, the LHC's components had been tested to an energy equivalent of five teraelectronvolts at full power.

The maximum output of what is currently the largest functioning collider in the world, at the Fermilab near Chicago in the United States, is one teraelectronvolt.

CERN had said in August that upon its relaunch, the LHC will run at 3.5 teraelectronvolts in order to allow its operators to gain experience of running the machine.

The first data should be collected a few weeks after the first particle beam is fired.

CERN said the partial power level will be kept until "a significant data sample has been gathered" and ramped up thereafter.

Designed to shed light on the origins of the universe, the LHC at CERN took nearly 20 years to complete and cost six billion Swiss francs (3.9 billion euros, 4.9 billion dollars) to build.

(c) 2009 AFP

Explore further: X-rays probe LHC for cause of short circuit

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User comments : 8

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1.3 / 5 (4) Nov 20, 2009
I wish CERN's LHC experiment well, but . . .

. . . major discoveries almost always rise up from unexpected experimental observations by one, or two, or at most a few curious individuals

. . . never from top-down bureaucrats directing massive research projects by the flow of research funds.

With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 20, 2009
I guess I kinda agree with you... They will no doubt find exactly what they are looking for in exactly the way they expected to find it. Regardless of if its actually there or not.
5 / 5 (1) Nov 20, 2009
I hope no new errors... its time to start now after all these years!
5 / 5 (1) Nov 20, 2009
If a cricket gets into the wiring and shorts some stuff out, or a careless technician spills his coffee on something important, or a meteor falls from the sky and wipes out the LCH, will that be evidence of time-traveling particles that somehow make observation of themselves impossible?
not rated yet Nov 20, 2009
Why not just to explode and to swallow Earth? There are many simpler ways, how to evade observation...;-)
2 / 5 (4) Nov 20, 2009
The LHC is just a pinch of dyslexia away from being the Large Hardon Collider.
5 / 5 (1) Nov 20, 2009
If they can't get it started they can always turn the site into a physics theme park...
Nov 20, 2009
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
1 / 5 (2) Nov 23, 2009
I guess I kinda agree with you... They will no doubt find exactly what they are looking for in exactly the way they expected to find it. Regardless of if its actually there or not.

That is exactly what happened in 2001 when One Hundred and Seventy-Eight (178) scientists co-authored a paper from the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory with the claim that they had solved the Solar Neutrino Puzzle!

Neutrinos magically oscillate away on their "long journey" from the Sun to our neutrino detectors.

With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel*
Former NASA PI for Apollo
*Author of several papers showing that neutrinos follow the basic conservation laws of nature over the double beta-decay life-times of Se-82, Te-130 and Te-128.

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