The NewsDemon Blog

CERN Slips Off September To Smash Particles Again

By Newsgroup Usenet June 22nd, 2009

Large-Hadron-ColliderMany USENET newsgroups are reporting today of the world’s largest atom smasher, stating reports it will likely be October before the collider is restarted.

The Large Hadron Collider went live last year in September. It kicked particles for about nine days after a technical problem caused the LHC to stop. Although it was supposed to go live in April, it was delayed until September 2009 because the damages were worse than first thought. The 20-nation operator, CERN, said the collider needs more repairs and safety features that will end up running about $37 million in the next few years.

CERN’s Large Hadron Collider is up for repair ever since it got nicked by faulty wiring just nine days after it was started last September, and CERN’s officials are saying that current estimates for when repair is going to be finished are getting kicked back to sometime this October. Scientists are still carrying out tests and putting new safety measures in place to prevent a repeat of the faults that sidelined the $10 billion machine.

There are 10,000 splices around the underground collider’s 27-km (17-mile) ring, which smashes particles together at a temperature of just above absolute zero to recreate the conditions believed to have been present at the beginning of the universe 13.7 billion years ago.

Once it’s running, scientists will use the machine to smash together protons from hydrogen atoms inside a 17-mile circular tunnel that runs under the Swiss-French border near Geneva. By recording what particles are produced by the collisions they hope to better understand the makeup of the universe and everything in it.