Three ways to travel at (nearly) the speed of light

One hundred years ago today, on May 29, 1919, measurements of a solar eclipse offered verification for Einstein's theory of general relativity. Even before that, Einstein had developed the theory of special relativity, which ...

The waltz of the LHC magnets has begun

Major endeavors are underway in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) over the past few weeks, with the extraction of magnets from the accelerator tunnel. The LHC has a total of 1232 dipoles, magnets which bend the particles' trajectories, ...

More than a spring-clean for LHC magnets

In April, work began on one of the major projects scheduled for the second long shutdown (LS2) of the CERN accelerators: improving the electrical insulation of over 1200 magnets in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). To complete ...

Large Hadron Collider

Coordinates: 46°14′N 06°03′E / 46.233°N 6.05°E / 46.233; 6.05

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the world's largest and highest-energy particle accelerator, intended to collide opposing particle beams, of either protons at an energy of 7 TeV per particle, or lead nuclei at an energy of 574 TeV per nucleus. The Large Hadron Collider was built by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) with the intention of testing various predictions of high-energy physics, including the existence of the hypothesized Higgs boson and of the large family of new particles predicted by supersymmetry. It lies in a tunnel 27 kilometres (17 mi) in circumference, as much as 175 metres (570 ft) beneath the Franco-Swiss border near Geneva, Switzerland. It is funded by and built in collaboration with over 10,000 scientists and engineers from over 100 countries as well as hundreds of universities and laboratories.

On 10 September 2008, the proton beams were successfully circulated in the main ring of the LHC for the first time. On 19 September 2008, the operations were halted due to a serious fault between two superconducting bending magnets. Due to the time required to repair the resulting damage and to add additional safety features, the LHC is scheduled to be operational in mid-November 2009.

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