July 20, 2019

Large Hadron Collider restart hits a snag

first_img Email A tiny particle of metal dust is delaying the restart of the world’s largest particle accelerator. Physicists at the European particle physics lab CERN on the French-Swiss border had hoped to begin circulating particles in Large Hadron Collider (LHC) this week, after 2 years of downtime to prepare the machine to run at higher energy. But an electrical short discovered over the weekend, apparently caused by a metal particle, has put a snag in those plans. Rectifying the issue could cause a delay of a few days to a few weeks, CERN Director-General Rolf Heuer told ScienceInsider today at an event in Washington, D.C.”It’s unfortunate, it’s at the end, almost when we are ready to inject beam, but this is part of the process” says CERN’s director for accelerators, Frédérick Bordry.Electrical shorts are not uncommon during the process of ramping up the LHC, but because the machine is already cooled down to its very low operating temperature, fixing the problem is now more difficult. If the machine must be warmed up to fix the problem, the work could drag out for weeks. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwecenter_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Luckily, Bordry says, the problem is not with any of the LHCs magnets, so they won’t need to remove a magnet, just “this bloody piece of metal.” Scientists think they may be able to solve the problem by burning the metal off, or by blowing away the metal fragment with gaseous helium.Tomorrow, CERN scientists plan to use x-ray imaging to better understand the issue. More specifics on the schedule will be available then.Heuer is confident that the delay will be minor. And after 2 years without a particle beam, a delay of a few weeks is worth waiting for, he says. Once they inject the beam, it will be another 2 months before they will be ready for the first collisions.”We are not concerned,” Heuer says. “If that’s all that happens then we are very happy.”last_img