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 30, 2008 | 15
A federal judge has tossed out a case challenging the operation of the world's biggest particle accelerator—not that the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is running, anyway.
Judge Helen Gillmor of the U.S. District Court in Hawaii dismissed the lawsuit Friday, saying the American judicial system has no jurisdiction over the $8-billion LHC, which is housed in a circular tunnel straddling the Swiss-French border. The New York Times is reporting on the dismissal today.
The suit was filed by a retired radiation safety officer, Walter Wagner, and Spanish science writer Luis Sancho, MSNBC's Cosmic Log has previously noted. The two claimed that the operator of the LHC, the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), and its backers failed to show that smashing protons at nearly the speed of light wouldn't produce mini black holes that could obliterate Earth.
Aug 12, 2008 | 17
CERN loves the smell of protons in the morning. Last Friday the European particle physics lab began testing the system for injecting a proton beam into the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), which if you haven't heard by now is a giant particle accelerator 27 kilometers (17 miles) in circumference. Engineers successfully fired a low-intensity beam of five million protons (the yellow in this image) clockwise for three kilometers between two checkpoints in the ring. Tests continued through Saturday. It was the first time the lab had tried out a magnet that injects protons into the LHC from a less powerful booster accelerator. CERN announced yesterday it will test a counterclockwise beam over the weekend of August 22. The purpose of the LHC is to smash those two beams together, which ought to happen for the first time later this fall. The LHC is scheduled to get its first fully circulating clockwise beam on Sept. 10. You can follow the machine's status at CERN's LHC First Beam Web site, which includes a handy countdown box. Look out, Higgs boson: T-minus 28 days and counting.
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