Confidence is High for LHC Science this Summer

Engineers are working hard to repair the damage to the LHC (CERN)
Engineers are working hard to repair the damage to the LHC (CERN)

In a recent BBC interview with the LHC project director Dr Lyn Evans, the Welshman talks about the “collateral damage” caused by the collider’s catastrophic quench that damaged a section of the aligned superconducting magnets in September.

Although the £14 million repairs are challenging, Evans is very confident CERN engineers and scientists are on-track for the LHC to go online in the summer of 2009.

But we now have the roadmap, the time and the competence necessary to be ready for physics by summer,” he said. “We are currently in a scheduled annual shutdown until May, so we’re hopeful that not too much time will be lost.”

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LHC Quench Ripped Magnets from Concrete Floor

Report into Sept. 19th Large Hadron Collider Incident Released

The LHC will be out of commission for months (CERN)
The LHC will be out of commission for months (CERN)

September 19th was a sad and frustrating day for accelerator physics.

After a long, long wait, the world was sitting on the edge of their seats, anticipating news about the first proton circulation on September 10th. Then, only a day later, a huge transformer broke down, stuttering LHC operations and forcing yet another delay. And then, only a week after the first successful circulation of particles, the worst possible news surfaces from CERN: A “quench” had occurred, stemming from a short circuit across two electromagnets, causing tonnes of liquid helium to leak into one of the tunnels. A huge amount of energy was dumped in a short period of time, heating the once-supercooled magnets by 100°C…

Now, a month after the quench, an official interim incident report has been released and it’s not good news. The report’s findings can be summed up by one of the engineers first on the scene of the damaged section of tunnel who said, “it wasn’t a pretty sight.”
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