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CERN's top physicists examine the Large Hadron Collider. To their chagrin they discovered the recent damage was worse than expected and will likely take the collider offline for months.  (Source: CERN)
Scientists discover collider woes worse than originally thought

When it came online, the Large Hadron Collider became the world's largest particle accelerator and promised to tread on undiscovered country in understanding the behavior and nature of energy and matter.  Despite criticism, the device powered up and made a series of successful test firings of the collider's proton beam.  The firings actually surprised scientists by having virtually no problems -- in fact the testing was days ahead of schedule.

Then disaster struck.  The transformer used to cool the 17 mile ring, located near the France-Switzerland border, broke, raising the temperature from 2 Kelvin to approximately 4.5 Kelvin, an inoperable temperature.  Working quickly, it appeared scientists had a fix, finally replacing the transformer last week.

Now it appears there's more bad news for the expensive device.  James Gillies, spokesman for CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research (the organization leading the project), announced that the damage to the collider was more extensive than previously thought, and it would be offline for at least 2 months.  Experts discover the damage when they went into the circular tunnel that the LHC's superconductor track is housed in.  Looking at the collider's housing they realized that much more repairs would be necessary.

Explains Mr. Gillies, "It's too early to say precisely what happened, but it seems to be a faulty electrical connection between two magnets that stopped superconducting, melted and led to a mechanical failure and let the helium out."

In order to repair the damaged section, it will have to be warmed gradually, so operators can safely enter and work on it.  Describes Mr. Gillies, "A number of magnets raised their temperature by around 100 degrees.  We have now to warm up the whole sector in a controlled manner before we can actually go in and repair it."

The repairs will likely be a costly setback to the collider, which already has cost over $10B USD to deploy.  Mr. Gillies says that setbacks such as these are not unusual with particle colliders.  What is unusual is how difficult the repairs are going to be.  The LHC operates much colder than the average collider, at near absolute zero.  According to Mr. Gillies the LHC when operational is colder than most interstellar space.  This allows it to operate at optimal efficiency.  However, it also makes repairs a painful process.

Explains Mr. Gillies, "When (problems) happen in our other accelerators, it's a matter of a couple of days to fix them.  But because this is a superconducting machine and you've got long warmup and cool-down periods, it means we're going to be off for a couple of months."

Thus the researchers and LHC construction workers and operators have their work cut out for them for the next couple months.  They must first warm the tunnel, then make repairs, and then finally cool it back down.  Only once these repairs have been complete can CERN researchers recommence testing, with fingers crossed that this time nothing fails.

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Use it anyway and...
By Aloonatic on 9/22/2008 9:44:13 AM , Rating: 5
.. when it starts to glow red and fails most users will forgive them, apparently :-s

They could take the "Red Ring of Death" to the next level :D


RE: Use it anyway and...
By astrodemoniac on 9/22/2008 9:46:01 AM , Rating: 2

On another note, does anyone else find the title a bit ...weird?

RE: Use it anyway and...
By Mitch101 on 9/22/2008 9:52:35 AM , Rating: 5
I heard they still haven't heard back on the $50 LHC mail in rebate either.

RE: Use it anyway and...
By Mojo the Monkey on 9/22/2008 3:22:23 PM , Rating: 2
They needed the receipt, the invoice, the UPC code from the box, and proof of purchase, the credit card receipt, and a second copy of the receipt. They forgot the last one. It didnt matter anyway because the rebate expired the day before they bought it, despite the promotion.

RE: Use it anyway and...
By feraltoad on 9/22/2008 6:13:54 PM , Rating: 2
Their proof of purchase got sucked into a black hole, that then evaporated. Try telling that to a customer service rep at the rebate center.

RE: Use it anyway and...
By quaiky on 9/22/2008 9:54:49 AM , Rating: 1
would MS also pay for that RROD issue then?

RE: Use it anyway and...
By Aloonatic on 9/22/2008 9:58:51 AM , Rating: 3
maybe MS would take them to court over reproducing the RROD on unlicensed hardware, which is now a MS trade mark, surly? :D

RE: Use it anyway and...
By BansheeX on 9/22/2008 11:36:06 AM , Rating: 3
Large Hadron Colliders only come with a 3 day limited warranty. Didn't you know?

RE: Use it anyway and...
By quaiky on 9/22/2008 12:28:27 PM , Rating: 2
for this price i would have expected warranty to last at least 5 days

RE: Use it anyway and...
By xsilver on 9/22/2008 10:30:46 AM , Rating: 3
Sad thing was that last week before the failure, sound bytes on news sources would always state "possible accident could cause black hole" and then spend the rest of the soundbyte parading the end of the world.

Trivializing such important scientific matters just doesnt feel right, if the news has nothing relevant to report on such matters I would prefer they say nothing at all.

RE: Use it anyway and...
By GaryJohnson on 9/22/2008 1:04:17 PM , Rating: 2
Wasn't it a quote from Stephen Hawking, about there being a 1% chance of the LHC creating (a completely harmless) black hole that started all the doomsday talk?

RE: Use it anyway and...
By Adonlude on 9/22/2008 4:42:56 PM , Rating: 2
A micro black hole probably floated on through the circuitry and devoured some important traces, hence the malfunction. :-)

RE: Use it anyway and...
By Suntan on 9/23/2008 12:16:32 PM , Rating: 3
Yeah, God forbid the news bobbleheads actually take a minute to explain to people some of the importance that science like this has for humanity.


RE: Use it anyway and...
By MrBlastman on 9/22/2008 12:14:21 PM , Rating: 1
"Well that sucks...," a scientist ponders, as a micro black-hole begins to quietly devour the Earth's crust.

By Orbs on 9/22/2008 10:55:29 AM , Rating: 2
RE: Supercollider...
By anonymo on 9/22/2008 12:52:28 PM , Rating: 3
And I was really looking forward to "possible" extinction in October! What's next Fallout 3 gets delayed?

RE: Supercollider...
By Misty Dingos on 9/22/2008 4:09:31 PM , Rating: 2
Too late FO3 has already been pushed back once.

Unforeseen Consequences
By thesafetyisoff on 9/22/2008 12:21:05 PM , Rating: 2
I suspect a resonance cascade.

(Sorry if this violates any moratorium on further Black Mesa references.)

RE: Unforeseen Consequences
By PhoenixKnight on 9/22/2008 1:02:24 PM , Rating: 2
On the plus side, this delay gives me more time to install Thumpers around my house to protect against Antlions.

RE: Unforeseen Consequences
By aguilpa1 on 9/22/2008 1:25:42 PM , Rating: 3
... somebody, hand me my crowbar...

Big waste of money
By Shadowmaster625 on 9/22/2008 4:58:42 PM , Rating: 1
The LHC is just a colossal waste of money. (Maybe the US govt should bail it out too.) This is the 21st century. There is no such thing as point particles. There is only waves. Trying to smash particles together without even accepting the fact that there are no actual particles is folly. It is only going to provide a black hole for money to fall into.

Learn about the WSM:

RE: Big waste of money
By captainsparkle on 9/22/2008 7:20:14 PM , Rating: 2
The LHC is just a colossal waste of money. (Maybe the US govt should bail it out too.) This is the 21st century. There is no such thing as point particles. There is only waves. Trying to smash particles together without even accepting the fact that there are no actual particles is folly. It is only going to provide a black hole for money to fall into.

Um, Everything moves as a wave and a particle--Yet, it doesn't seem to stop any of the other particle accelerators.
This was found out by seeing wave patterns with electrons a long, long time ago.

RE: Big waste of money
By lco45 on 9/23/2008 3:28:20 AM , Rating: 2
A particle is just a ripple in a wave.

Also, at 10 billion the LCH is cheap, considering the discoveries it might bring.

To put it in perspective, the US military costs its people around around $700billion a year, so the LHC would be 5 days' worth of that budget.


By Bateluer on 9/22/2008 10:53:12 AM , Rating: 2
When you hear about these problems with the LHC, am I the only one who thinks of sabotage by some nut job group?

RE: Sabotage
By abraxas1 on 9/22/2008 10:59:10 AM , Rating: 2

By granulated on 9/22/2008 1:43:07 PM , Rating: 3
MTBF of about 100 hours ! Bargain...

Thanks be to Xenu!
By pauldovi on 9/22/2008 11:20:35 AM , Rating: 2
He has afforded us time!

...fingers crossed...
By Josett on 9/22/2008 6:17:09 PM , Rating: 2
...with fingers crossed that this time nothing fails.

The LHC upgrade is expected to go online the next decade. Stop . Expect a proportional upgraded setback. Stop .

(Old tech still seems more reliable...)

Too much Viagra
By thomp237 on 9/23/2008 12:21:37 AM , Rating: 2
Clearly too much Viagra for the Large Hardon Collider.

Did they not read the box before installing??

"contact your researcher if you have an acceleration lasting more than 8 hours."

Let the $ flow...
By daar on 9/22/08, Rating: -1
RE: Let the $ flow...
By Desslok on 9/22/2008 12:44:39 PM , Rating: 4
HAHAHAHAH RIIGHT, the Chinese can't even build a decent dirt bike.

RE: Let the $ flow...
By Donkeyshins on 9/22/2008 12:50:34 PM , Rating: 5
Of course, it would have been tainted with melamine...

RE: Let the $ flow...
By foxtrot9 on 9/22/2008 1:20:05 PM , Rating: 2
Better quality??? HAHAHAHAHAH

RE: Let the $ flow...
By rudolphna on 9/23/08, Rating: 0
RE: Let the $ flow...
By lco45 on 9/23/08, Rating: 0
"Death Is Very Likely The Single Best Invention Of Life" -- Steve Jobs
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