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The LHC particle accelerator chills particles to temperatures colder than that of outer space, then accelerates them along a 17 mile-long tunnel to collisions, which are detected by special sensor equipment.  (Source: The Observer Effect)

The tunnel sits on the Swiss-French border. Firing of particles is expected to resume in July. Researchers are tweaking and improving the particle detectors in the meantime.  (Source:

Scientists are improving the ATLAS detector, one of the detectors responsible for the search for the legendary Higgs boson, nicknamed the "God particle"  (Source: Asymptopia)
Scientists are using their downtime to redesign critical parts of the LHC particle accelerator

As particle physics installations in the U.S. fade into twilight, the international community is fortunately picking up the slack.  Their greatest endeavor to date was the construction of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), a massive 17 mile long ovoid track on the Swiss/French border, which can provide particle energies of 7 TeV per particle.  The collider was scheduled to be by far the largest in the world.

Despite protests and fears, the reactor was turned on late last year.  However, during the warm-up tests a miswired circuit in the cooling mechanics, which chilled the tunnel to a temperature colder than outer space, malfunctioned and melted.  The result was that the tunnel heated up, and the accelerator was forced to shut down.

Originally, the repairs were prospected to take weeks, then months, and finally almost a year.  The reason for the increases was that the entire chamber had to be slow unchilled, a process that could take a month or more.  And no repairs could occur during the winter months.

Still, repairs are finally resuming after the winter shutdown and the researchers are confident they can meet their goal of the a July restart.  Currently there are 20 or 30 welders performing the repairs, which are estimated at $35M USD, still small with respect to the cost of construction -- approximately $10B USD.

During the repairs, researchers are at work trying to add improvements to the detectors as well.  They believe they can implement improvements by the time of the restart, raising the reactors potential (in a figurative sense).  States Bob Cousins, deputy to the scientific leader of one of the sensor experiments, "They'll be even more perfect than before.  The excitement's building in a similar way that it was a year ago, and, in fact, everybody is working hard to be even more ready than we were a year ago"

Scientists are tweaking two key components of the system.  The first is the ATLAS detector, a general purpose particle detector.  The second is the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS), another general purpose detector.  Together the pair will search for the origin of mass.

It is believed that a theoretical particle called the Higgs boson exists, which has been nicknamed the "God particle" by the press.  This unique particle is thought to be the origin of the physical phenomena of mass.  Its discovery would lay to rest one of the greatest mysteries in the world of quantum physics.  Lyn Evans, former project leader for the collider who is currently involved with the machine's repairs describes, "It is the thing that gives a being to all the other particles."

The CMS alone uses a network of 100,000 computers worldwide to analyze its data.  Xiaohang Quan, a Princeton University senior, believes that she has come up with a way to improve what data is kept from the experiments and what data is discarded.  Her physics professor at Princeton, Christopher Tully, who works on the CMS, says she "came with up with an improvement that we're working on implementing."

One thing's for sure when it comes to the LHC -- the scientific community has high hopes for its late summer restart.

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LHC Particle Accelerator to be "Perfect"
By mattclary on 4/29/2009 9:16:53 AM , Rating: 5
And the Titanic was unsinkable. ;)

RE: LHC Particle Accelerator to be "Perfect"
By tedrodai on 4/29/2009 9:36:31 AM , Rating: 2
States Bob Cousins, deputy to the scientific leader of one of the sensor experiments, "They'll be even more perfect than before..."

How do you improve upon perfection? You can tell he's a little excited about getting this thing working. Well, hopefully this extra unit of perfection will be enough to detect what they're expecting.

RE: LHC Particle Accelerator to be "Perfect"
By Triple Omega on 4/29/2009 9:39:59 AM , Rating: 5
Let's hope the perfection is enough to detect some stuff they AREN'T expecting.

RE: LHC Particle Accelerator to be "Perfect"
By splint on 4/29/2009 8:40:44 PM , Rating: 2
You're exactly right! Just discovering the Higgs and nothing else would be a dire disappointment.

RE: LHC Particle Accelerator to be "Perfect"
By Samus on 4/29/2009 11:41:24 PM , Rating: 1
An awful lot of money just to prove the 'jesus-freaks' wrong.

RE: LHC Particle Accelerator to be "Perfect"
By yacoub on 4/30/09, Rating: 0
RE: LHC Particle Accelerator to be "Perfect"
By B3an on 4/30/09, Rating: 0
By JonB on 4/30/2009 9:05:57 AM , Rating: 1
Rather than quote the Bible, how about a Superstar reference! (straight from the Jesus character's mouth)

"There will be poor always, pathetically struggling, look at the good things we've got."

RE: LHC Particle Accelerator to be "Perfect"
By BB33 on 4/30/2009 9:57:30 AM , Rating: 3
Oh like the fossils dating the rock layers and the rock layers dating the fossils......hmmmm how does that work?

By derwin on 5/4/2009 8:12:40 AM , Rating: 2
Do I really need to explain that to you, or should I allow you to remain in ignorant bliss?

By callmeroy on 4/30/2009 3:45:38 PM , Rating: 2
how do you disprove someone's deep religious belief? its impossible....the whole friggin point to faith --- not seeing is still believing....anyone can believe what they see, what's hard about that?

(personally I believe in science and what we now refer to as "creationism"......blows my mind how so many struggle with the two co-existing in harmony and its crystal clear and easy to me.....oh well.....FLAME ON!!!!)....

RE: LHC Particle Accelerator to be "Perfect"
By Jellodyne on 4/29/2009 10:05:57 AM , Rating: 5
Since perfect is an endpoint state, more perfect doesn't mean 'more than perfect', just more nearly perfect. Its like 'more black' -- the blacker something is the nearer it is to the standard.

Since the LHC's previous condition has been considerably less than perfect, there's a lot of room to be more perfect in.

RE: LHC Particle Accelerator to be "Perfect"
By freeagle on 4/29/09, Rating: 0
RE: LHC Particle Accelerator to be "Perfect"
By RW on 4/29/09, Rating: -1
By ClownPuncher on 4/29/2009 7:10:58 PM , Rating: 2
You should try a good nights sleep one of these days.

RE: LHC Particle Accelerator to be "Perfect"
By freeagle on 4/29/2009 7:28:03 PM , Rating: 2
So you'd rather have life with no excitement and happy feelings? If so, you are throwing your ~60-80 years of live down the sewer...

RE: LHC Particle Accelerator to be "Perfect"
By RW on 4/29/2009 7:49:55 PM , Rating: 1
I just said how things work, not how I live my life

RE: LHC Particle Accelerator to be "Perfect"
By RW on 4/29/2009 8:02:26 PM , Rating: 1
But maybe u guys can tell me how do u obtain happiness without causing unhappiness to others ? :)

By JediSmurf on 4/29/2009 9:37:30 PM , Rating: 2
Become a farmer.

RE: LHC Particle Accelerator to be "Perfect"
By ViroMan on 4/29/2009 9:50:00 PM , Rating: 5

RE: LHC Particle Accelerator to be "Perfect"
By MrPoletski on 4/30/2009 3:55:14 AM , Rating: 1
that costs u your sight.

By Shadrack2 on 4/30/2009 9:55:59 AM , Rating: 2
True, but that doesn't hurt others. And, it will grow hair on your palms that can be used to knit sweaters for the homeless.


By HeelyJoe on 4/29/2009 10:09:01 PM , Rating: 4
Not all of us derive pleasure from others' displeasure.

By erikejw on 4/30/2009 5:20:42 AM , Rating: 2
"Well what can I tell you about this level of EXCITEMENT and overal HAPPINESS of the scientists is that in this world somebody's HAPPINESS relies on somebody's else UNHAPPINESS , somebody's EXCITEMENT relies on somebody's else PAIN and SUFFERING these are the laws of nature u cannot change."

There is a name for this.

It didn't work then and it won't work now.

RE: LHC Particle Accelerator to be "Perfect"
By kattanna on 4/29/09, Rating: -1
By mattclary on 4/29/2009 10:49:19 AM , Rating: 2
Unfortunately, said hot Asian woman will be devastating to the super-cooled circuitry!

RE: LHC Particle Accelerator to be "Perfect"
By freeagle on 4/29/2009 1:22:55 PM , Rating: 5
well, you being in the room actually ruins the perfection for everybody else

By kattanna on 4/30/2009 10:14:10 AM , Rating: 2
LOL !! i would hope so

By monomer on 4/29/2009 12:23:07 PM , Rating: 5
"They'll be even more perfect than before..."

It has to do with the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. It was perfect until they started measuring it. After rebuilding it, they must have just achieved a higher state of Quantum Perfectness.

RE: LHC Particle Accelerator to be "Perfect"
By BruceLeet on 4/29/2009 10:19:08 AM , Rating: 4
Call me insane but I believe the LHC is perfectly safe from icebergs.

RE: LHC Particle Accelerator to be "Perfect"
By afkrotch on 4/29/2009 10:45:10 AM , Rating: 5
I'd laugh if a giant glacier slid in and destroyed the LHC.

"But it was perfect"

By BruceLeet on 4/30/2009 6:06:58 AM , Rating: 2
More realistic scenario; while I'm no geologist and I do not know the territory in which the LHC is built. An earthquake would be more a feasible natural disaster to the LHC.

But of course these guys aren't chumps I'm sure the area was surveyed for exactly that.

By mattclary on 4/29/2009 10:45:36 AM , Rating: 2
But then why can't they repair it in the winter?! Icebergs I tell you, icebergs!! ;)

RE: LHC Particle Accelerator to be "Perfect"
By afkrotch on 4/29/2009 10:39:31 AM , Rating: 5
Well, the Titanic is certainly unsinkable now.

RE: LHC Particle Accelerator to be "Perfect"
By BZDTemp on 4/29/09, Rating: 0
RE: LHC Particle Accelerator to be "Perfect"
By TSS on 4/29/2009 9:06:16 PM , Rating: 3
eh, if you raised the titanic to let it sink again, it wouldn't be "now" would it?

besides that, does anybody else find it funny they shut a machine that's colder then space down because it's getting too cold outside? :p

By TreeDude62 on 4/30/2009 11:15:44 AM , Rating: 2
They did not shut it down because of the cold. It was already shut down because of the need for repairs. They simply could not carry out the repairs durring the winter months due to the cold. The machine has to be within a certain temperature range to be worked on, I assume it was probably too cold during the winter. I really doubt they put a heater in the tunnel.

It's a shame...
By SnakeBlitzken on 4/29/2009 9:46:14 AM , Rating: 2
that they couldn't get it up and running for the premiere of Angels and Demons. That would have been a nice touch.

RE: It's a shame...
By fatedtodie on 4/29/2009 10:05:11 AM , Rating: 1
I am sure that was there goal... rather than perfect research for the good of humanity... but to be the perfect advertising for a movie that uses flawed science and technology that was never finished (aka the X-33 plane that goes mach 15 in the book).

I think it is a boon to CERN that they ignore the movie.

Also the facts regarding CERN are ... inflated (like the claim in the book that CERN invented the internet when they did not).

RE: It's a shame...
By FITCamaro on 4/29/2009 10:16:51 AM , Rating: 5
Why does it matter if its flawed science and technology? It's a book. A work of fiction. AKA not real.

RE: It's a shame...
By BZDTemp on 4/29/2009 11:49:10 AM , Rating: 4
It only matters because a lot of stupid people take the movie/book as fact instead of fiction. Just like they did with that other crappy one.

RE: It's a shame...
By Yeco on 4/29/2009 12:27:32 PM , Rating: 2
I thought they "invented" the WWW.

And now they also improved the Net between universities around the world to cope with the enormous data loads that these events will generate.

RE: It's a shame...
By Spinne on 4/29/2009 10:10:06 AM , Rating: 2
We should definitely plan all major endeavors around trashy pulp novels.

RE: It's a shame...
By BruceLeet on 4/29/2009 10:10:12 AM , Rating: 3
I read on dailytech a couple months after the initial failure of the LHC that by September 2012 it's expected to be 100% operational.

At least it's aligned up with a more superstitious date.

Tis' sweet. I cannot wait to be crushed by a blackhole, the coolest way to go because at least then you're going with everyone. (sarcasm)

RE: It's a shame...
By marvdmartian on 4/29/2009 11:01:42 AM , Rating: 4
But since time is dialated so close to the event horizon of a black hole, would you ever really enter the hole and/or be crushed by the gravity?

Hopefully they have the Stargate functional by then....

RE: It's a shame...
By MozeeToby on 4/29/2009 12:39:51 PM , Rating: 3
I'm sure you're joking, but it is worth pointing out that the chances of the LHC producing a black hole that kills everyone are nill.

First, according to most theories the LHC is several orders of magnitude too weak to produce a black hole. Even if those theories are wrong any black hole produced would evaporate almost instantly.

And even if we're wrong about evaporation, any black hole produced will be beyond microscopic. The odds of it sucking in even a proton in the next hundred years are infinitesimal. Even if a whole kilogram of material somehow went into the black hole, the event horizon would still be 10^20 times smaller than a hydrogen atom. Considering the black hole would be the product of two individual nuclei, it will be considerably smaller than that.

RE: It's a shame...
By ClownPuncher on 4/29/2009 12:45:32 PM , Rating: 5
Stop it with your reasoning, if we want to freak out over nothing, let us.

Honestly, by the time the black hole reaches maturity, global warming will have heated the planet so much, that the black hole would not want to live here anyway.

RE: It's a shame...
By SpaceJumper on 4/29/2009 2:21:22 PM , Rating: 2
Bla bla bla, nobody knows what will happen. Nobody knows black hole would evaporate or behave, it is all theories.
If black holes do exist, those scientists will be the one got suck in first by the natural selection of dead. With a few mega watts of collision energy, it will do something really bad.

By jmn2519 on 4/29/2009 9:08:31 AM , Rating: 2
And no repairs could occur during the winter months.

Why is that?

RE: Why
By JasonMick on 4/29/2009 9:15:55 AM , Rating: 3
Europe uses electricity for its heating, raising the cost of electricity and making operating the LHC prohibitively expensive during the winter. For that reason it is scheduled to be shut down each year for four months, starting in December. Because most of the staff are scheduled to not be around between December and mid-April, its hard to do repairs.

I know it sounds dumb, but that's just how they operate...

RE: Why
By Jeff7181 on 4/29/2009 9:28:53 AM , Rating: 3
Where's a Mr. Fusion when you need one?

RE: Why
By RagingDragon on 4/30/2009 2:27:38 AM , Rating: 2
Sitting beside the zero point generator?

RE: Why
By themaster08 on 4/30/2009 6:04:44 AM , Rating: 2
Unfortunately, they're not available until 2015.

RE: Why
By MRwizard on 4/29/2009 9:30:54 AM , Rating: 2
its also snows in during winter and to get parts into the LHC would be even more expensive

RE: Why
By Triple Omega on 4/29/2009 9:37:37 AM , Rating: 1
It's not because electricity is more expensive, it's because the power required to operate the LHC could potentially overload the grid during a large peak. Even though it isn't likely they don't want to risk it. Not that dumb if you ask me.

RE: Why
By Amiga500 on 4/29/2009 9:50:17 AM , Rating: 3
That doesn't entirely make sense Jason...

Repair =/= Operate

Indeed it would point towards maintenance being done IN the winter when the LHC would be shut-down anyway.

RE: Why
By MrBlastman on 4/29/2009 10:55:50 AM , Rating: 2
It isn't stated thus so in their union contracts man. Take it up with their local chapter. ;)

RE: Why
By mezman on 4/29/2009 4:41:17 PM , Rating: 3
Particle Physicist Local 709

The union boss is Gordon Freeman.


By btc909 on 4/29/2009 11:19:37 AM , Rating: 2
A wacky thought, earthquake?

RE: Hummmm
By BZDTemp on 4/29/2009 11:52:52 AM , Rating: 2
Very unlikely. Part of the reason the ring where it is comes from the region being very stable. In fact most people around the place are so civilized even the risk of loud music is limited :-)

RE: Hummmm
By SpaceJumper on 4/29/2009 2:24:02 PM , Rating: 2
A Russian made under ground nuclear explosion under the LHC will do the trick.

RE: Hummmm
By BZDTemp on 4/29/2009 4:03:31 PM , Rating: 2
Talking sabotage there is no need for such drastic matters. We have already how much time a little electrical problem can cause. I am sure creating more small problems will be a lot easier than planting a nuke - plus make you less of a enemy of the world.

Russia setting of a Nuke in the center of Europe. Even it's so far underground we are "only" talking earth quake I'd say that would qualify as an attack.

Late Summer....
By GGA1759 on 4/29/2009 10:08:57 AM , Rating: 2
One thing's for sure when it comes to the LHC -- the scientific community has high hopes for its late summer restart.

So the world will now end late summer? Sweet.

RE: Late Summer....
By nct on 4/29/2009 10:12:12 AM , Rating: 3
As long as the restart date doesn't get pushed back to Dec. 21, 2012, I wouldn't be that concerned.

RE: Late Summer....
By SpaceJumper on 4/29/2009 11:22:47 AM , Rating: 2
The massive expected solar storm will be coming in 2012. It could produce ten of thousands of amps of electrical DC current into the pipes and damage the LHC.

"They'll be even more perfect than before"
By 91TTZ on 4/29/2009 10:58:03 AM , Rating: 2
Considering that it broke the first time and needed a year's worth of repairs at a cost of $21 million, what exactly is this saying?

By Xenoterranos on 4/30/2009 10:38:10 AM , Rating: 2
They should have just bought the 2-year warranty from Best Buy?

To make this discussion perfect
By ts2012 on 5/22/2009 8:22:36 AM , Rating: 2
It will be the natzis who plant the nuke.

"When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." -- Sony BMG attorney Jennifer Pariser
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