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Second Snag This Week Could Delay LHC for Weeks

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the unfortunate-but-to-be-expected dept.

Science 160

sciencehabit writes "After a transformer failure earlier this week, the Large Hadron Collider has hit another snag — and this one is much more serious. As Science reports, 'At least one of the LHC's more than 1700 superconducting magnets failed, springing a leak and spewing helium gas into the subterranean tunnel that houses the collider ... How long [repairs take] will depend in part on how much of the LHC must be warmed to room temperature for servicing. If it's only a short section, the repair could be relatively quick. But the machine is built in octants, and if workers have to heat and cool an entire octant, then the cooling alone would take several weeks." Reader Simmeh contributes coverage from the BBC. We recently discussed the transformer malfunction at the LHC, which was a smaller problem and has already been fixed. Update - 9/20 at 12:52 by SS: CNN reports that the LHC will be out of commission for two months.

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good grief (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25082189)

I wanna live in the dimension where the LHC works.

ohno! (0, Troll)

mactard (1223412) | more than 5 years ago | (#25082193)

Seems like God is trying to send us a message...

Re:ohno! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25082217)

It was another magnet eating black hole!!!!!

Re:ohno! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25082283)

No, it was the strangelets. That is why the LHC is acting strange.

Re:ohno! (1)

janwedekind (778872) | more than 5 years ago | (#25083647)

Horrible creatures are constantly probing the walls of reality and trying to get in.

sabotage (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25082231)

Seriously would anyone be surprised if this wasn't well-meaning but ultimately misguided sabotage?

Re:sabotage (0, Offtopic)

uberjack (1311219) | more than 5 years ago | (#25082303)

could you say 'sabotadje' instead of 'sabotayge'?

Re:sabotage (4, Insightful)

Al Dimond (792444) | more than 5 years ago | (#25082315)

I would be surprised. Shit happens.

Re:sabotage (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 5 years ago | (#25084193)

I would be surprised. Shit happens.

Always feign ignorance so they won't attribute it to your malice.

Re:sabotage (2, Interesting)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 5 years ago | (#25082319)

No, but I'd be a bit surprised if it was sabotage.

Re:sabotage (5, Funny)

GargamelSpaceman (992546) | more than 5 years ago | (#25084013)

I'd be surprised too, but not as surprised as I would be if it were really time traveling sabotage agents from the future sent back to keep the experiment that while uncovering the physics that allowed time travel to ultimately be discovered unleashes the hordes of microscopic interdimensional atom-eaters that munch on matter and defecate thermal neutrons. Because these molecule sized creatures (some say they are intelligent) are alive they multiply exponentially but though the early stages of infestation they were hardly noticed. But after some years their presence was obvious and our doom was sealed unless time travel could somehow save the world... These creatures entered our plane of existance through a wormhole opened at the LHC. The LHC had to be destroyed, or if not destroyed, at least delayed. T-100, a robotic facsimilie of a particle physicist, looking remarkably like Arnold Schwartzenpecker was sent back to throw a wooden clog into the workings of the LHC.

Re:sabotage (5, Insightful)

txoof (553270) | more than 5 years ago | (#25082997)

I would have been amazed if a structure as complex as this worked the first time the switch was thrown. Think about how simply enormous the LHC [wired.com] is. It has miles of wire, gigantic magnets that have to be perfectly synced and placed with amazing accuracy. It's not like LHCs are turned out every week. Gigantic super colliders are HARD to build.

They'll eventually iron out all the problems and can proceed to cause the world to end.

Messin' up committee's schedule (5, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 5 years ago | (#25082237)

The Milky Way Darwin Award Committee has to wait a bit longer before awarding the little blue ex-planet.

Re:Messin' up committee's schedule (0, Flamebait)

PunkOfLinux (870955) | more than 5 years ago | (#25082341)

Oh fuck off. Sick of you idiots who think that's funny...

Re:Messin' up committee's schedule (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25082465)

And I'm sick of the idiots who think it isn't. Let people have their fun.

Re:Messin' up committee's schedule (4, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 5 years ago | (#25083207)

Oh fuck off. Sick of you idiots who think that's funny...

If you're not nice, I'll make pro-creationism jokes next.
       

Re:Messin' up committee's schedule (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25083953)

Oh fuck off. Sick of you idiots who think that's funny...

If you're not nice, I'll make pro-creationism jokes next.

     

Feck yeah, it is funny!

Re:Messin' up committee's schedule (1)

infonography (566403) | more than 5 years ago | (#25082427)

The Milky Way Darwin Award Committee has to wait a bit longer before awarding the little blue ex-planet.

We are a type 13 planet in it's final stages.

http://scifipedia.scifi.com/index.php/Little_Blue_Planet_(LEXX_episode) [scifi.com]

On a brighter note, My End Is Near sign business still has some life left in it.

Were Nielsen and Ninomiya correct? (5, Interesting)

Ardeocalidus (947463) | more than 5 years ago | (#25082243)

Could it be that the to-be-discovered Higgs boson particulars are causing effecting the past and causing malfunctions with the LHC's components? http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/discoblog/2008/08/11/will-the-lhc%E2%80%99s-future-cancel-out-its-past/ [discovermagazine.com]

Re:Were Nielsen and Ninomiya correct? (1)

Ardeocalidus (947463) | more than 5 years ago | (#25082251)

Immo: Minus the extra verb. It is late and I was debating whether or not the Grammar Nazi's were going to hound me.

Re:Were Nielsen and Ninomiya correct? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25082357)

Hound.

Re:Were Nielsen and Ninomiya correct? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25082953)

"Nazi's"?

    Duh

Re:Were Nielsen and Ninomiya correct? (2, Interesting)

Kagura (843695) | more than 5 years ago | (#25082439)

The authors reason that any accelerator which surpasses a certain threshold of super-high-energy collisions (thus producing many of these new particles) will never go into operation because it violates some yet-unknown universal law.

We've never isolated a single quark, yet we sure know a helluva lot about them.

Also, for an interesting and somewhat related topic, check out the wikipedia page on Quantum Suicide and Immortality [wikipedia.org] . It's an interesting thought experiment for many-worlds interpretation.

Or, similarly, observer-selection of broken LHCs? (5, Insightful)

123beer (635607) | more than 5 years ago | (#25082455)

Some cosmological models posit that every possible quantum state simultaneously exists, but that we can only observe one particular collapsed wave function (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiverse_(science)#Many_worlds_interpretation_of_quantum_physics). So, maybe the LHC *does* in fact destroy the world when it is turned on, and we always find ourselves in a world that has not been destroyed (ie, one where the LHC is not functioning properly).

Re:Or, similarly, observer-selection of broken LHC (5, Interesting)

123beer (635607) | more than 5 years ago | (#25082505)

more relevant wikipedia article about the implications for observers:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Many-minds_interpretation [wikipedia.org]
Only minds that exist can observe; only minds that have not been destroyed by the LHC can exist. So, if the LHC really destroys the earth we'll keep observing it not functioning correctly.

Re:Or, similarly, observer-selection of broken LHC (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 5 years ago | (#25083185)

the implications for observers: .... Many-minds_interpretation
only minds that have not been destroyed by the LHC can exist. So, if the LHC really destroys the earth we'll keep observing it not functioning correctly.

Somebody else please post a possibly related observation about the you-know-what administration's close calls with doomsday. I'm too chicken to risk mod points ;-)
       

Re:Or, similarly, observer-selection of broken LHC (2)

Artraze (600366) | more than 5 years ago | (#25083259)

> So, if the LHC really destroys the earth we'll keep observing it not functioning correctly.

Until it does, in fact, start working and destroy the earth. After all, while all the many-things ideas are fun to discuss, they only say that if the LHC necessarily destroys earth when it works, there will be branches that will have observed the LHC never working and that these will be the only ones with humanity intact.

We could very well observe the destruction of the world, but we can rest assured that some other versions of us will continue on, wondering how the LHC turned out to be a total piece of crap.

Give me a bag (1)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 5 years ago | (#25083285)

This is one of the largest, most complex projects ever conceived. By its very nature, it tests the limits of our understanding of the universe, and our ability to engineer within it. There WILL be bugs, there WILL be glitches, and progress will be slow while we work out the mechanics of operating at this level.

That LHC is down isn't surprising, it's expected. Wait 2-5 years, at which point the majority of kinks will be worked out and the LHC will be enjoying its "second wind".

Have you ever built something big, powerful, and complex? If you have, you'd know that "turning it on" is not a sudden point, it's a gradual process of implementation until it's fully operational, with hundreds or thousands of small, minor issues found and addressed as implementation approaches 100% complete.

Or we will all die (1)

RichiH (749257) | more than 5 years ago | (#25083427)

The alternative is that we will all die next time they turn it on. On the other hand, I suspect the LHC will turn us into radio-active, flying sheep (optionally with fins & lasers) before it destroys the world.
That being said, I enjoy the actual discussion about this topic, I just think it does not have any factual value whatsoever. But as a philosophical question, it's great :)

Re:Or, similarly, observer-selection of broken LHC (1)

Repossessed (1117929) | more than 5 years ago | (#25083653)

Observation in the physics sense does not require a mind.

Re:Or, similarly, observer-selection of broken LHC (1)

DriedClexler (814907) | more than 5 years ago | (#25082549)

And one great way (mentioned in the links) is to kill yourself, and see if that merely excludes from your observation any world in which you'd be dead.

Hey, just puttin' it out there.

Black Holes Damnit!, its the black holes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25082247)

See! See! Those black holes got loose, its the end, THE END! /sarcasm

That's how... (2, Funny)

doublee3 (1276070) | more than 5 years ago | (#25082271)

Dr.Kleiner got his high pitched voice.

Argh, Matey! (4, Funny)

Panaflex (13191) | more than 5 years ago | (#25082275)

Thar she blows, ye scalleywag... doewn beluw deck she's spewin colder then the centre o' hell.

Mark me wards... there's trouble brewing... somethin strange and black. Beware, I say... beware!!!

Re:Argh, Matey! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25082589)

Mark me wards... there's trouble brewing... somethin strange and black. Beware, I say... beware!!!

Is it a ninja secretly attacking the LHC?

Re:Argh, Matey! (1)

ksd1337 (1029386) | more than 5 years ago | (#25082801)

Yeah, they want their revenge because they're mad they didn't get a day where you talk like them.

Re:Argh, Matey! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25083203)

If there was such a day, it would be a silent day, as ninjas are stealthily silent until you are already dead. Then they secretly talk like pirates when nobody around them is left alive.

Re:Argh, Matey! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25083423)

the ninjas had a huge parade in my town the other day. it was the biggest parade ever, but no one saw anything

Re:Argh, Matey! (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 5 years ago | (#25083247)

It will be changed from "Talk Like a Pirate Day" to "Talk Like an Extinct Earthling Day".
 

Pirate hangover (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25083981)

"Talk Like a Pirate" day was yesterday. Does this mean we can continue with our pirate ways? Shiver me timbers! Ye'll meet the rope's end for that, me bucko!

I, for one, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25082297)

predict that the LHC will have undergone all its repairs and be ready to switch on again no sooner than December 21, 2012. Yarr*!

* Is 12:21am the next day too late? :'(

That's a lot of helium... (5, Funny)

Majik Sheff (930627) | more than 5 years ago | (#25082321)

All I could envision was a bunch of physicists coming out of the tunnel squeaking like chipmunks.

I have nothing to contribute but a cheap laugh and for that I am sorry.

Re:That's a lot of helium... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25082363)

They'd probably all be in HEV su.. er.. I mean, wearing oxygen tanks anyway.

Re:That's a lot of helium... (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 5 years ago | (#25082629)

All I could envision was a bunch of physicists coming out of the tunnel squeaking like chipmunks.

... in French.

Liquid Helium Piping (4, Interesting)

pipingguy (566974) | more than 5 years ago | (#25082375)

I'd like to know the diameter of the vacuum-insulated piping that is transporting the liquid helium for cooling. Piping large volumes of that stuff is not trivial.

Re:Liquid Helium Piping (1)

msuarezalvarez (667058) | more than 5 years ago | (#25082821)

Of all the huge amazing thing that the LHC is you find only the vacuum-insulated piping amazing?

his nick (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25082867)

is PIPINGGUY

Re:Liquid Helium Piping (1)

pipingguy (566974) | more than 5 years ago | (#25082885)

Such a giant project has many important elements. Perhaps you didn't notice the domain that I run (coming up on 10 years next month!). Kinda explains my focus, no? Some say it's an obsession, though, but those people are weirdos.

Re:Liquid Helium Piping (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25083051)

There is not just one line. There are 6 lines as far as I know. They transport superfluid helium as well as warm helium. Here is a paper about the cryo system:

http://accelconf.web.cern.ch/AccelConf/e96/PAPERS/ORALS/THO04A.PDF

Anyways, they are now investigating with a remote inspection train that can travel in the LHC.

Paper accessible here:

http://accelconf.web.cern.ch/accelconf/p07/PAPERS/MOPAN076.PDF

Sorry but I am going to an anonymous coward -- but clearly, this post comes from CERN...

Re:Liquid Helium Piping (1)

andy_t_roo (912592) | more than 5 years ago | (#25083827)

lots of tenchinal specs of the LHC are available for free from http://www.iop.org/EJ/journal/-page=extra.lhc/jinst

Is this indicative of something? (-1, Flamebait)

samcan (1349105) | more than 5 years ago | (#25082411)

This is the second failure associated with the LHC (Large Hole of Cash) since it was first powered on. Is this a coincidence that this is failing, or does it mean that there was a rush job on construction?

We do want to make sure that the billions spent to build the thing don't get wasted by a rush job.

Re:Is this indicative of something? (4, Informative)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 5 years ago | (#25082447)

Yes, because taking nearly 30 years to build this was rushing.

Calm down, one of the magnets quenched. When that happens, it gets REALLY hot and things break. They knew it could happen.

Re:Is this indicative of something? (1)

IanHurst (979275) | more than 5 years ago | (#25082497)

Yeah, relax. Any project of its scale is going to have issues. They'll sort it out with time.

Re:Is this indicative of something? (2, Insightful)

Jerry Beasters (783525) | more than 5 years ago | (#25082499)

Are you kidding me? It's an incredibly complicated machine on a scale that has never been done before in history. Things are supposed to be breaking now, that's how the scientists learn and it gets better over time. But of course people are always there in the wings ready to criticize that everything is not completely perfect.

Re:Is this indicative of something? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25082907)

Well I have to admit that the LHC has been built a lot better than I had even hoped. Working at CERN I can access the LHC status pages and the internal reports on how far they have gotten and to be honest before the breakdown they had gotten things done that everyone assumed would take 3-4 weeks.

And the big startup of LHC on 10th of September which went with only a few minor glitches was an extremely gutsy thing to do. I mean you have hundreds of reporters there when you attempt to power the thing on and do a full scale test of almost all components LIVE. That's gutsy. What's even more amazing is that it actually worked! They got the beam around both ways and by the evening (when the press had left already) they already had stable beams which did hundreds of orbits around the accelerator. Also being at CERN I can tell that the pre-testing they did before the big event was really marginal. The beam was only tested a few km along the tunnel in both directions, never too far so they were really treading on unknown territory.

I'd love to see some other huge experiment/production like that to show their results live in front of the world when they first start it :P

Re:Is this indicative of something? (4, Insightful)

jibjibjib (889679) | more than 5 years ago | (#25082519)

Calling it the "Large Hole of Cash" seems a bit unjustified. Even in the unlikely event that it turns out to be completely useless for physics, the technologies developed for particle detectors in the LHC have direct applications in medical imaging, and the LHC's computing Grid is working on problems such as protein folding. It's certainly not a pointless cash sink. Especially considering the amount of cash that governments tend to sink into various other unproductive things.

Re:Is this indicative of something? (1)

samcan (1349105) | more than 5 years ago | (#25082601)

I meant it more as a joke than anything--next time, I've got to keep my mouth shut. :-)

Re:Is this indicative of something? (3, Insightful)

davmoo (63521) | more than 5 years ago | (#25083127)

And even if it does turn out to be completely useless for physics, I would have much rather have seen my US tax dollars be wasted on something like a particle collider than how they've been wasted in Iraq. Money spent on science is almost never truly wasted.

Re:Is this indicative of something? (1)

lynalpha (1073098) | more than 5 years ago | (#25083349)

The US is not involved in the LHC, at least not directly.

Re:Is this indicative of something? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25083541)

Shit, you had better tell the US that. Fermilab seems to be rather under the impression that they a) built the quadrapole magnets for the LHC (which failed rather spectacularly a year or so ago and see the project back but thats another story) and b) that they are actively contributing to CMS commissioning, data taking and physics including setting up and maintaining useful systems like cmsmon (although that sadly is off due to greek hackers).

The US has a huge role in the LHC and its experiments and contribute both man power, money and equipement. They are the biggest national group on CMS (although Europe as a whole is of course bigger) and have been involved in the construction of many subsystems.

Re:Is this indicative of something? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25083749)

The US is not involved in the LHC, at least not directly.

You might want to read a bit on this page:

http://www.uslhc.us/ [uslhc.us]

The US is involved with more than half a Billion US Dollars and more than a thousand (thousands?) of scientists and engineers. I think more than a quarter of the 2200 members of the ATLAS collaboration (one of the larger experiments at LHC) are from US universities and institutions.

Re:Is this indicative of something? (4, Informative)

NixieBunny (859050) | more than 5 years ago | (#25082527)

I work on helium-cooled radio telescope receivers. They have trouble regularly - it sometimes takes five or six tries to get the thing cooling properly. These poor folks have over a thousand giant Dewars to keep cold! Give them a break.

Re:Is this indicative of something? (2, Informative)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 5 years ago | (#25082599)

Having worked on one of these, two failures this early on is par for the course. There's a lot of work to be done even after the thing is build and initial testing is done before it's stable and working (and even then, most particular accelerators are only somewhat "stable" with very heavy maintainance).

So what? (4, Insightful)

shma (863063) | more than 5 years ago | (#25082485)

A delay of a few weeks for a project that has been a decade in planning is no big deal. The universe isn't going anywhere.

Re:So what? (5, Funny)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 5 years ago | (#25082653)

Not until they get it fixed anyway.

I knew it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25082487)

I shouldn't have left that weighted companion cube in there. I just couldn't bring myself to incinerate it like I was supposed to.

the octant? (5, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#25082561)

oh i know this level

just beyond the dead space marine after you open the first door (watch out for the imp sniping at you from above) there's a false panel marked "UHC" (not "LHC") on your left. shoot that with your pistol and it opens. but shooting your pistol will wake a cacodemon further down the hall

easy

Re:the octant? (1)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | more than 5 years ago | (#25082965)

The hall is pitch dark. You are likely to be eaten by a grue.

You have fallen into the fangs of a slavering grue.

Game Over

Re:the octant? (1)

GFree678 (1363845) | more than 5 years ago | (#25083405)

Heh. Your DOOM reference was marked "Informative" rather than "Funny". I think certain Slashdotters need to step away from the computer. :)

Value (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25082609)

Do they still get paid?
If there is no work is there any pay?

Protracted Development Schedule (1)

TheBearBear (1103771) | more than 5 years ago | (#25082635)

Keep Nuking 'Em Forever!

Re:Protracted Development Schedule (1)

ksd1337 (1029386) | more than 5 years ago | (#25082811)

So that's why DNF didn't get released yet! He got sucked into one of the black holes made by the collider.

Is it just me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25082667)

or does anyone else sigh/cringe/exhale violently when they hear about how this thing was constructed?

Cyro status: sector 34 at 20K-80K (4, Informative)

Animats (122034) | more than 5 years ago | (#25082747)

You can look at much LHC status online, including detailed cyro status. (I'm not giving the URL, so as not to Slashdot that server. You can find it if you really care.) Sector 34 of the LHC is at sector 34 at 4.5K-20K, instead of down below 4.5K where it should be. One of the magnets quenched and went normal, and much of the energy in the magnet is dumped as heat. Then the liquid helium boils to a gas and blows out through relief valves. But the sector hasn't been brought up to room temperature, so they apparently think they can fix the problem without major work on the magnet.

Some of the cyrogenic magnets gave serious trouble last year, but apparently it's not as bad this time.

Re:Cyro status: sector 34 at 20K-80K (0)

inKubus (199753) | more than 5 years ago | (#25082849)

How many magnets are there? I mean, if there's 2000 of them 1 or 2 failing isn't that big of a deal

Re:Cyro status: sector 34 at 20K-80K (2, Informative)

perturbed1 (1086477) | more than 5 years ago | (#25083073)

About right... There are 1232 dipole magnets in total.

Re:Cyro status: sector 34 at 20K-80K (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25083243)

As opposed to a monopole magnet? ;-)

Re:Cyro status: sector 34 at 20K-80K (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25083351)

As opposed to a quadrupole, which you use to focus the beam (at the loss of longitudinal focusing, since Liouville's Theorem applies and magnets are Hamiltonian processes). There's one main quadrupole after every three dipoles in the LHC.

Also there's even higher order and other special purpose magnets for fine control and other wacky stuff (beam dump, injection, etc).

Re:Cyro status: sector 34 at 20K-80K (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25083657)

actually that might be worse; if all magnets must be online to keep the beam stable, having many magnets just make the statistical incidence of failure higher...

Re:Cyro status: sector 34 at 20K-80K (2, Informative)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#25083869)

Pardon me, but have you or whoever modded that up any clue about that? It could be that way, or it could be that a missing magnet will cause the beam to veer off course, hit where it shouldn't and create a major fuck-up. These aren't exactly guide rails, they're the only thing keeping the particles in their place.

Re:Cyro status: sector 34 at 20K-80K (1)

AySz88 (1151141) | more than 5 years ago | (#25084033)

I think it should be noted that "sector 34" is not the 34th out of some large number, it's "the sector between points 3 and 4", which is an entire eighth of the assembly [web.cern.ch] .

Maybe this is just the Universe's way of saying... (3, Funny)

stonetony (464331) | more than 5 years ago | (#25082889)

STOP!!!!!

Is anyone listening?

Time to take it back... (0, Redundant)

NormalVisual (565491) | more than 5 years ago | (#25082955)

LHC salesdroid: "See, I TOLD you that you were gonna want that extended warranty. But NOOOOO!"

So I guess the world isn't going to end this week. (1)

HiVizDiver (640486) | more than 5 years ago | (#25083181)

Guess I better make that credit card payment I was going to blow off.

Re:So I guess the world isn't going to end this we (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 5 years ago | (#25083199)

Guess I better make that credit card payment I was going to blow off.

Let me guess; you work for Fanny Mae. Splains alot.
         

Provident? (1)

caliburngreywolf (1218464) | more than 5 years ago | (#25083263)

End of the earth put off for another few months? but hey, the mayan calender of whatnot said 2012, right?

Right. (1)

The Living Fractal (162153) | more than 5 years ago | (#25083275)

That sure is a great theory about how the LHC cannot work. Wonderful, actually.

And completely ridiculous.

When the LHC does start the kooks are going to come out and say that it just simply doesn't have the power to create these particles -- yea, that's why it's working now.

And then we'll get our first pictures of the boson. And yet, for some strange reason, hardly anyone will remember that a bunch of people were behaving like total fools, and the world will go on. And the kooks will claim we're not looking at what we think we're looking at.

And the world will go on.

Call me when the LHC actually accomplishes something.

No, wait, scratch that. I'll be happy enough just waiting until whatever it might accomplish actually reaches my doorstep in one manner or another.

I'm all for it, don't get me wrong. But I'm pragmatic -- there's nothing about it that I can change one way or another. So, I say bring it on, and let the amazing world-changing events happen. I'm just not holding my breath nor am I doubting it in the meantime.

I can't say I am surprised.. (1)

RichiH (749257) | more than 5 years ago | (#25083441)

This is a hige project. More than two decades were spent on it. A myriad of components has been used, many of which were designed for the LHC. Some stuff just simply _has_ to break.
That being said, I think those people will be able to fix the issues that come up from time to time and then have a smooth-running experimental setup.

Ok, one thing for the naysayers... (2, Informative)

imsabbel (611519) | more than 5 years ago | (#25083537)

I would expect at least a douzend of failures and faults of that magnitude until full power is reached.
Its just too complex.
And about the "expensive!!!1" aspect: A few months delay are so much cheaper than spending twice as much before so try to get everything 200% perfect. And even then things might go wrong.

Even in a tiny normal synchrotron, shit happens. At the ALS in Berkelely they managed to detonante a main PSU because they only tested them one at a piece, and when build in they had bad crosstalk. Beam was down for several weeks.
At the SLS in Villigen, even months after the full ramp-up beam instabilities or drops happened on rather regular basis.

Such things happen.

It's those guys at Anomalous Materials again... (1)

Xtense (1075847) | more than 5 years ago | (#25083611)

...messing with god knows what!

Gordon, what the hell were you thinking, pushing that crate in front of the descending laser shield!?

The LHC is a series of tubes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25083751)

Ten hadrons rushing around that, that LHC, and what happens to your own personal experiment? I just the other day got, an experiment was sent by my staff at 10 o'clock in the moring on Tuesday and I just didn't get it yesterday. Why?

Because it got tangled up with all these cooling problems and helium leaks going on the LHC auxiliarily.

[...]

They want to deliver vast amounts of hadrons and experiments over the LHC. And again, the LHC is not something you just dump something in. It's not an internet.

It's a series of tubes.

And if you don't understand those tubes can be filled with helium and if they are filled, when you put your experiment in, it gets in line and its going to be delayed by anyone that puts into that tube enormous amounts of helium, enormous amounts of helium.

So it WON'T play Crysis... pffft (1)

implodeme (1361041) | more than 5 years ago | (#25083755)

DiDnt think it was powerful enough to play Crysis, now its proving it.

This is what a 'quench' is... (5, Informative)

Richard Kirk (535523) | more than 5 years ago | (#25083767)

If you are not familiar with superconducting magnets, then some of these terms may seem a bit mysterious. So, here goes...

A superconducting magnet is essentially a big coil of superconductor. Initially, you put current into the superconductor to build up the magnetic field. You then 'join the ends' of the superconducting loop, so the current circulates endlessly, and the middle has a constant magnetic field.

There is a lot of energy in the magnetic field. An 11-tesla magnetic field has about the same energy per unit volume as TNT. Worse than TNT, there is no rest mass to the 'explosive' so all the magnetic field energy would be dumped straight to the surround. The surround is already under a lot of tension due to the magnetic field, so the magnet would blow apart spectacularly, if it wasn't properly designed.

The magnet has a link in the superconductor which is heated to drive it 'normal': this is used when the magnetic field is being built up. This link usually has a great big conventional shunt resistor in parallel with it with great big heat sinks, and this arrangement is usually on the top of the magnet. If the helium level gets low or something else funny happens, the hope is that the coil superconductivity will go at this point rather than anywhere else. The magnetic energy, instead of getting dumped into the magnet's structure, gets dumped into this shunt resistor. It may glow yellow, and boil off lots of helium, but the magnetic field can collapse over a few seconds rather than instantly, and won't release an electromegnetic pulsed that might set off a chain reaction with the magnets next door.

What has happened here is that the safety system has gone off in one of the magnets just as it ought to. I expect they will inspect the shunt assembly to check nothing has scorched when all the energy got dumped, and also to try and find out why it did. However, with luck they can get it all going again without interrupting the vacuum.

Update (1)

JoeKuboj (918191) | more than 5 years ago | (#25083855)

Large Hadron Collider to be shut down for two months to undergo repairs for damage caused by an electrial fault, AP reports.

at least 2 months of downtime (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25084059)

According to a press release from CERN, they plan at least two months of downtime, since sector 34 needs to be warmed in order for the repair to take place:

http://press.web.cern.ch/press/PressReleases/Releases2008/PR09.08E.html

Quote (1)

michaelhood (667393) | more than 5 years ago | (#25084069)

On my Google page just now:

If the world should blow itself up, the last audible voice would be that of an expert saying it can't be done. - Peter Ustinov

In Soviet Russia... (2, Funny)

itsdapead (734413) | more than 5 years ago | (#25084153)

Universe destroys Large Hadron Collider!
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