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Launch of CERN Particle Accelerator Delayed | COSMOS Magazine


Science & Tech  (tags: atoms, particles, physics, colliders, universe, Hadron Collider )

Raffi
- 3681 days ago - cosmosmagazine.com
GENEVA: Scientists seeking to uncover the secrets of the universe will have to wait a little longer after the CERN laboratory in Switzerland yesterday confirmed a delay in tests of its massive new particle accelerator.



   

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Raffi LidoRoiz (301)
Tuesday June 23, 2009, 3:20 pm
The story:

GENEVA: Scientists seeking to uncover the secrets of the universe will have to wait a little longer after the CERN laboratory in Switzerland yesterday confirmed a delay in tests of its massive new particle accelerator.

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC), a 27-kilometre-long circular tunnel 100 m below the French-Swiss border, where subatomic particles will collide at close to the speed of light, will now start operations next spring, and not in November as originally planned, CERN said.

"Accumulation of setbacks"

"The start-up at full level was always scheduled for spring 2008, but we had planned to test the machine for two weeks before Christmas, which will not now take place," said CERN's James Gillies, confirming a report in the French newspaper Le Monde. The delay is due to an accumulation of little setbacks, he said.

Magnets critical to the atom smasher failed in tests in April this year (See, World's top particle accelerator malfunctions, Cosmos Online).

The LHC, assembled over 15 years and involving more than 10,000 physicists and 500 research bodies and firms around the world, may help unlock the final secrets on sub-atomic particles.

The project "could be the most ambitious scientific undertaking ever," and its results "will probably change our fundamental knowledge of the universe," its organisers say.

Higgs boson

Scientists plan to smash together high-energy protons in two counter-rotating beams in the tunnel, just outside Geneva, to look for signatures of 'supersymmetry', dark matter and the origins of mass.

The biggest quest is to identify the so-called Higgs boson, a suspected particle whose existence would explain perplexing questions about the nature of mass.

The beams are made up of bunches containing billions of protons which will be injected, accelerated, and kept circulating for hours, guided by thousands of powerful superconducting magnets.

Each proton is predicted to go around the 27 km ring over 11,000 times a second.
 

Jamie L (195)
Tuesday June 23, 2009, 3:40 pm
hmmmmmmmm... thanks Raffi
 

Tierney G (381)
Tuesday June 23, 2009, 7:44 pm
This makes me nervous!
Thanks Raffi
 

Raffi LidoRoiz (301)
Tuesday June 23, 2009, 7:58 pm
It makes everyone nervous, Tierney, I think. I have to laugh though-when this thing ran for the first time-it was running for just a few minutes and then poof it was gone and then it tried to get back up online and got frosted by a helium spill and now Austria has decided to leave it and now they have this delay-do you think the Universe it trying to tell us something?;-)
 

Leigh B (211)
Tuesday June 23, 2009, 7:59 pm
noted, thanks Raffi
 

Dianne Morgan-Smith (1)
Thursday July 9, 2009, 3:15 am
I think the Man Upstairs has a hand in these delays.
 
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