Print 38 comment(s) - last by mtnmanak.. on Dec 4 at 12:40 AM

The bad news keeps stacking up for the world's largest particle accelerator; will only be partially functional next year

The largest particle accelerator in the world, the Large Hadron Collider was a bold multinational effort that cost billions of dollars and required some of the world's brightest minds.  However, this once glowing beacon of scientific progress became a massive mess not long after it went operational.

Coming online in September, the LHC blew a transformer that controlled its cooling in preliminary test firings.  Without the cooling, the LHC could not operate.  It was later found that a single bad solder was to blame for the failure, which not only blew out the transformer, but melted much of the attached circuitry.

Initially, the $21M USD repairs were expected to take a couple months at most.  This deadline was quickly pushed back in statements by CERN director Robert Aymar to April 2009 and then finally to the summer (June 2009).  Now the expected completion date for repairs has slid yet again. 

CERN spokesman James Gillies, surely beleaguered by having to bear all the bad news of late, broke the latest development on Friday.  He describes the new restart target date as "the late summer of 2009".

He described two plans for the LHC -- "Plan A" and "Plan B".  "Plan A" involves bringing the accelerator online in the late summer 2009, with lower power firings.  This plan would attempt to restore operation as early as possible, but at the cost of full functionality.  If you think "Plan A" sounds unattractive, try "Plan B"; "Plan B" would put the LHC out of commission until 2010 at the earliest.

"Plan B" would entail waiting until the LHC's pressure-relief system, the system of the accelerator that suffered from electrical failure, was totally replaced by an upgraded design.

For now, says Mr. Gillies, CERN will pursue "Plan A".  He states, "The priority is to get collision data from the experiment.  The LHC will run next year."

Under the current plan, only the three currently warmed segments of the eight total loop segments will be outfitted with the "fixed" pressure design.  Upgraded pressure-release valves will be installed in the cryostats on the dipole magnets for each of these three sections.  The remaining segments will not be warmed and will only receive the fix once they are warmed for other routine maintenance, sometime in the future.

The LHC design was supposed to produce an extremely powerful 7 tera electron-volts (TeV) beam, however it will be limited to 5 TeV or less, thanks to the problems.  Says Mr. Gillies, "The five undamaged sections can run at 5 TeV, and the rest of the machine can run at 4 TeV.  The highest we're hoping to run next year will be lower than 7 TeV."  

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

LHC Disaster
By SaneScienceOrg on 12/3/2008 12:16:19 PM , Rating: 2
Man's technology has exceeded his grasp. - 'The World is not Enough'
("I'm slightly irritated, because this non-story is symptomatic of a larger mistrust in science, particularly in the US, which includes things like intelligent design. Anyone who thinks the LHC will destroy the world is a twat." Arrogant, deluded douchebag and CERN spokesmodel, Brian Cox.)
(September 19, 2008 - 'LHC loses liquid helium' - "The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has lost up to a tonne of liquid helium after some of its superconducting magnets inadvertently heated up this morning, has learnt. A log entry written by the current LHC co-ordinator at 11:27 am CET (10:27 am BST) states that there has been a "massive quench" in sector 3–4. Quenches occur when superfluid helium in the magnets rises above its operating temperature of 1.9 K, and can be caused, for example, when a proton beam veers off course.")
(September 24, 2008 - 'LHC on hold until spring of 2009' - "The magnet failure last week at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) means that the accelerator will not be up and running again until early spring of 2009, say officials at CERN. To keep the project on schedule, the team running the accelerator near Geneva have decided to skip a planned test run at an intermediate energy and re-start the LHC in 2009 at the full beam energy of 7 TeV.") And begin creating Black Holes.
Zealous, jealous, Nobel Prize hungry Physicists are racing each other and stopping at nothing to try to find the supposed 'Higgs Boson'(aka God) Particle, among others, and are risking nothing less than the annihilation of the Earth and all Life in endless experiments hoping to prove a theory when urgent tangible problems face the planet. The European Organization for Nuclear Research(CERN) new Large Hadron Collider(LHC) is the world's most powerful atom smasher that will soon be firing groups of billions of heavy subatomic particles at each other at nearly the speed of light to create Miniature Big Bangs producing Micro Black Holes, Strangelets, AntiMatter and other potentially cataclysmic phenomena as described below.
Particle physicists have run out of ideas and are at a dead end forcing them to take reckless chances with more and more powerful and costly machines to create new and never-seen-before, unstable and unknown matter while Astrophysicists, on the other hand, are advancing science and knowledge on a daily basis making new discoveries in these same areas by observing the universe, not experimenting with it and with your life. Einstein used Astronomy to prove his landmark general theory of relativity that, ironically, decribes, among other things, the Black Holes which the LHC is designed to produce at the hoped for rate of one per second.
The LHC is a dangerous gamble as CERN physicist Alvaro De Rújula in the BBC LHC documentary, 'The Six Billion Dollar Experiment', incredibly admits quote, "Will we find the Higgs particle at the LHC? That, of course, is the question. And the answer is, science is what we do when we don't know what we're doing." And CERN spokesmodel Brian Cox follows with this stunning quote, "the LHC is certainly, by far, the biggest jump into the unknown."
The CERN-LHC website Mainpage itself states: "There are many theories as to what will result from these collisions,..." Again, this is because they truly don't know what's going to happen. They are experimenting with forces they don't understand to obtain results they can't comprehend. If you think like most people do that 'They must know what they're doing' you could not be more wrong. Some people think similarly about medical Dr.s but consider this by way of comparison and example from JAMA: "A recent Institute of Medicine report quoted rates estimating that medical errors kill between 44,000 and 98,000 people a year in US hospitals." The second part of the CERN quote reads "...but what's for sure is that a brave new world of physics will emerge from the new accelerator,..." A molecularly changed or Black Hole consumed Lifeless World? The end of the quote reads " knowledge in particle physics goes on to describe the workings of the Universe." These experiments to date have so far produced infinitely more questions than answers but there isn't a particle physicist alive who wouldn't gladly trade his life to glimpse the "God particle", and sacrifice the rest of us with him. Reason and common sense will tell you that the risks far outweigh any potential(as CERN physicists themselves say) benefits.
This quote from National Geographic, "The hunt for the God particle", exactly sums this "science" up: "If all goes right, matter will be transformed by the violent collisions into wads of energy, which will in turn condense back into various intriguing types of particles, some of them never seen before. That's the essence of experimental particle physics: "You smash stuff together and see what other stuff comes out." Read about the "other stuff" below;
Popular Mechanics - "World's Biggest Science Project Aims to Unlock 'God Particle'" -"

"Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine." -- Bill Gates

Related Articles
LHC Particle Accelerator Offline Until Spring
September 24, 2008, 8:55 AM
LHC Particle Accelerator Out For 2 Months
September 22, 2008, 9:30 AM
CERN Turns on the LHC
September 10, 2008, 8:37 AM

Copyright 2015 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki