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The LHC has experience more issues, further delaying its restart. This time leaks were found in its insulating layer's vacuum.  (Source: Flickr)

The Large Hadron Collider consists of a 17 mile, electronics-packed tunnel on the Swiss-French border. The collider will accelerate particles to unprecedented speeds and should unlock physics mysteries.  (Source: CERN)
Problems continue at the CERN project

For a project as ambitious and complex as CERN's Large Hadron Collider (LHC), setbacks are likely, in fact almost inevitable.  However, the delay would be worth it according to Bob Cousins, deputy to the scientific leader of one of the sensor experiments as it would allow the sensors to be made "even more perfect than before". 

While the sensor may indeed be nearing perfection, the overall design is still experiencing problems.  Leaks in the insulating layer's vacuum were discovered in
sectors 8-1 and 2-3 that would prevent it from properly operating.  This new problem will delay the restart from October to November.

The leaky sectors will be needed to be warmed from their current temperature of 80K to room temperature in order to plug the leaks.  The near-vacuum of the beam pipe will not be impacted. 

The LHC is cooled with liquid helium injected into an insulating layer which surrounds the beam tube and is kept at near-vacuum.  This allows the LHC beam tube to be cooled to temperatures colder than that of outer space.  Last fall the particle collider was briefly turned on, but a cooling circuit melted leading to the damage to the electrical and cooling systems.  Scientists initially wanted to restart the LHC in April, but the large extent of the damages necessitated more repairs.

The cost of all the repairs thus far, though, have been small compared to the $10B USD estimated cost of building the LHC.  Current repairs have run over $35M USD, according to reports.

The LHC sits on the border between Switzerland and France and consists of a 17 mile long ring.  The ring is capable of imparting energies of
7 TeV onto particles, making for potential collisions at unprecedented energies.  Scientists hope these collisions will help them unlock physics secrets including understanding how dark matter and energy work and the discovery of the law theorized "God Particle" -- the Higgs boson.

The accelerator, when active will continue to close each winter, to avoid the prohibitively high energy costs.  The accelerator requires massive amounts of power to operate.

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Black hole anyone?
By smackababy on 7/22/2009 3:02:03 PM , Rating: 3
The threat of this thing creating a black hole is real. It has already done so, and is sucking in our (world) economy.

RE: Black hole anyone?
By SiliconJon on 7/22/2009 3:12:16 PM , Rating: 5
I hope it starts spitting out all those socks that magically disappear in our mini laundry-sized accelerators.

RE: Black hole anyone?
By Xenoterranos on 7/22/2009 3:29:27 PM , Rating: 5
It could be that the LHC did create a black hole when it was turned on in the future, and now, that black hole is traveling backwards in time. Since we're only just approaching it in 4-space, it's manifesting itself in only a limited capacity, but still messing with the LHC...

...nope, just checked, the conspiracy theorists are just crazy.

RE: Black hole anyone?
By MRwizard on 7/23/2009 9:34:58 AM , Rating: 2
"...nope, just checked, the conspiracy theorists are just crazy. "


RE: Black hole anyone?
By Motoman on 7/23/2009 11:02:34 AM , Rating: 2
DUUUuuuude...that's just what he wants us to believe!

RE: Black hole anyone?
By SpaceJumper on 7/22/2009 4:55:55 PM , Rating: 2
If the black hole is created, the world will be going into maximum sex drive. Everybody will be singing the Britney Spears song "iF yoU SeeK Me".

"So if you want to save the planet, feel free to drive your Hummer. Just avoid the drive thru line at McDonalds." -- Michael Asher

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