Feb 6, 2009 | 11
Here we go again. Giving doomsayers yet more time to predict the end of the Earth, the perpetually delayed restart of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has once again been pushed back. CERN, the European lab for particle physics that manages the mega particle accelerator, has nudged the start-up from this summer to some point later in the year at the earliest. The lab is still dealing with repercussions from a September electrical malfunction that put the kibosh on the collider's operation shortly after its initial start-up.
According to CERN, some of the magnets in the LHC's 17-mile- (27-kilometer-) long tunnel will not be ready for testing until September; the lab had previously said it planned to have the collider operating by the end of June. CERN's top brass are set to meet Monday to decide on an advisory panel's recommendations for a repair-and-restart timeline that would have the LHC running by the end of the year.*
Jan 29, 2009 | 13
One corollary of the delayed start-up of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world's largest particle accelerator, is that it gives physicists—and the rest of the world—more time to mull the much-discussed possibility that the LHC could produce Earth-gobbling black holes.
In a paper posted recently to arxiv.org, physicist Roberto Casadio of the University of Bologna in Italy and his co-authors argue against such a scenario. But the bulk of the attention following their analysis has focused on their observation that microscopic LHC black holes, should they arise, could persist for seconds before decaying. (To wit, Fox News's story headlined: "Scientists Not So Sure 'Doomsday Machine' Won't Destroy World.")
Dec 5, 2008 | 13
It's official! The hobbled Large Hadron Collider (LHC) will be up and running again by next summer, according to CERN, the European lab for particle physics where the mighty LHC resides.
The info is part of a new report released today by the agency on the September incident that shuttered the world's largest particle accelerator. CERN determined in October that the LHC was done in by an electrical malfunction shortly after its initial start-up that caused a helium leak in its tunnel.
Dec 2, 2008 | 3
It's a good indication of the rabid anticipation surrounding the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) that any tidbit about the giant particle accelerator's restart is scrutinized as if it were the Zapruder film. A case in point is a single image from a 52-slide presentation given recently by Jörg Wenninger, a member of the operations group at CERN, the European lab for particle physics, where the LHC sits dormant. (An electrical malfunction that caused a helium leak crippled the accelerator shortly after it came online in September.)
The slide in question provides two scenarios, one in which the LHC starts up again as planned next summer and another in which the beam is not switched on until 2010 to allow for a full upgrade of pressure relief systems. Several blogs made note of the slide, fueling speculation that it would be a full year before the world's biggest science experiment gets under way in earnest. Not true, CERN spokesperson James Gillies told ScientificAmerican.com in an e-mail, insisting that "the LHC will start up in 2009."
Nov 17, 2008 | 1
The eagerly awaited start-up of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world's largest particle accelerator, has been put off—again. The LHC was shut down in September, just days after being switched on for the first time, when an electrical malfunction caused a helium leak in the collider's tunnel. The repairs, which had been expected to last until spring, will now keep the LHC off-line into early summer, according to published statements from a spokesman for the accelerator's operator.
Oct 16, 2008 | 3
Initial suspicions that a faulty electrical connection between two magnets inside the giant Large Hadron Collider (LHC) caused a helium leak that ultimately shut down the machine have proved correct.
Mechanical damage from the September 19 electrical snafu caused the magnet to release helium into the particle accelerator's 17-mile (27-kilometer) tunnel, the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), which operates the LHC, said today. CERN's investigation confirms its original explanation for the leak.
Sep 19, 2008 | 8
Did the group spearheading the world's biggest physics experiment just not want to spoil the party?
Within hours of its launch, the Large Hadron Collider malfunctioned, its operator has admitted — a week after powerful particle accelerator was turned on, the Associated Press is reporting.
A 30-ton transformer that cools part of the particle smasher broke on Sept. 11 after scientists sent a counter-clockwise beam around the 17-mile tunnel beneath the Swiss-French border, raising temperatures in the ring to 4.5 Kelvin (-451.57 Fahrenheit). The first, clockwise beam had been sent around the tunnel the day before, when the LHC was turned on.
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