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CERN's LHC To Shut Down For Repair & Upgrades

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the rotate-the-tires dept.

Science 97

hypnosec writes "CERN has revealed that the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is going into hibernation and will be shut down for a period of two years for upgrades. The LHC will go through a maintenance and upgrade phase starting in March that will bring the atom smasher up to speed with its maximum energy levels. From the article: 'The machine that last year helped scientists snare the elusive Higgs boson – or a convincing subatomic impostor – faces a two-year shutdown while engineers perform repairs that are needed for the collider to ramp up to its maximum energy in 2015 and beyond. The work will beef up electrical connections in the machine that were identified as weak spots after an incident four years ago that knocked the collider out for more than a year.'"

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Flux Capacitor... fluxing (4, Funny)

eksith (2776419) | about 2 years ago | (#42495969)

Time to get the Black Hole Machine ready for 1.21 Jigawatts

Re:Flux Capacitor... fluxing (3, Funny)

FunkyLich (2533348) | about 2 years ago | (#42495993)

*rubbing hands evilly*

And them Standard Model bastards will see how dead SuSy is. Mwwwaaahahahahaa....

Close... (4, Informative)

Roger W Moore (538166) | about 2 years ago | (#42496981)

Time to get the Black Hole Machine ready for 1.21 Jigawatts

Not far off - but the LHC power consumption is only ~0.3 GW and won't change much with the higher energy since the magnets are superconducting and most of the power goes into keeping them cold. However with a 27km circumference don't expect to find it mounted in the back of a Delorean anytime soon.

Re:Close... (1)

geminidomino (614729) | about 2 years ago | (#42501243)

No, at that size, they'll need an SUV for sure.

Re:Flux Capacitor... fluxing (1)

GargamelSpaceman (992546) | about 2 years ago | (#42504591)

I'm waiting for it to discover John Titor's time machine black hole breakthough thingy.

Another reason for the delay (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42496011)

With the resolution of the NHL strike, a lot of Zambonis and their skilled operators will be shipped over to North America and thus won't be available for the regular icedowns required by the LHC track.

Re:Another reason for the delay (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42497369)

Game On!

Two years, eh? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42496031)

Hmm... Just when they get a whiff of the Higgs they shut down. Curious. Either "those in the know" have to have some time to make sure things like the LHC don't really find it, or they need a little time to reengineer the Higgs so as to make it less detectable.

Re:Two years, eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42496077)

And the dumbasses come out of the woodwork.

Re:Two years, eh? (5, Informative)

FunkyLich (2533348) | about 2 years ago | (#42496257)

Hmm... Just when they get a whiff of the Higgs they shut down. Curious. Either "those in the know" have to have some time to make sure things like the LHC don't really find it, or they need a little time to reengineer the Higgs so as to make it less detectable.

I don't really know whether it will be or any use to reply to this post, but I will take my chance anyhow.

In extremely few words, shutting down the LHC has nothing to do with finding the Higgs Boson, as of now. The data from the particle collisions is NOT processed in real time. The data is stored and processed at a much slower rate compared to that of which it is produced. Already there's TONS of data that needs to be processed and analysed. The necessary data for determining whether there truly is a Higgs Boson or not is already there, waiting only to be looked at and analysed. The fact our ability to process $DATA is slower than our ability to produce $DATA has nothing to do with 'those in the know redesigning Higgs to fit their needs'.

You should *watch less* conspiracy theory movies, and *read more* real science.

Re:Two years, eh? (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42496413)

You should *watch less* conspiracy theory movies, and *read more* real science.

That's just what they (you) want us to think, isn't it?!

Well, I'm on to you buster! And I *know* that when the Higgs Boson was found, aliens came to visit and actually offered to solve the European debt crisis, cure cancer, bring Word peace, and give every woman on this planet at least 'C' cup boobs!

But no! You people conspired with the aliens so that you can keep power and keep all the decent sized boobed women to yourselves!

I will NOT be fooled! No sir!

Re:Two years, eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42496485)

I think it's WORLD peace, but who knows, perhaps the alien civilization has lasted as long as it has because it settled the choice of word processor aeons ago? Who would have thought... Rather than nuclear armageddon it was textual compatibility!

Re:Two years, eh? (1)

Goose In Orbit (199293) | about 2 years ago | (#42503929)

Nah... he meant getting rid of the ribbon bar...

Re:Two years, eh? (1)

Jetra (2622687) | about 2 years ago | (#42496455)

Real science is boring. Where are our futuristic devices we were supposed to have since the 1940s?

Re:Two years, eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42496537)

You're reading this on one.

Re:Two years, eh? (1, Informative)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 2 years ago | (#42496535)

*watch fewer*, Mr. Pedant. If you're going to correct others, at least do it correctly.

Re:Two years, eh? (1)

Old Wolf (56093) | about 2 years ago | (#42500149)

Re:Two years, eh? (1)

perceptual.cyclotron (2561509) | about 2 years ago | (#42511947)

Or we could at least attempt to maintain sufficient precision [mtholyoke.edu] in our language to be able to communicate cogently...

Re:Two years, eh? (2)

Wizzu (30521) | about 2 years ago | (#42496875)

Also, this shutdown period was planned already when the LHC went into operation, two years ago.. As far as I remember anyway.

Re:Two years, eh? (3, Informative)

Pro-feet (2668975) | about 2 years ago | (#42497201)

Correct.
The shutdown was originally planned to start a month or so ago, but the run got extended to make sure we had the maximum number of collisions to sudy the Higgs boson in detail. It could not be extended more, because of issues with contracts planned long ago for this shutdown.
The LHC performed very well this year, but not above its own expectations, and therefore we have now a dataset which is big enough to say a few words about how this boson really looks like the Higgs boson, but to really characterize it further we need more data. For instance, with the data still being analysed, we know that the spin will not be unambiguously determined - well, depends on the definition; at least not with the usual 5 sigma.

Not Quite Certain (5, Informative)

Roger W Moore (538166) | about 2 years ago | (#42496919)

The necessary data for determining whether there truly is a Higgs Boson or not is already there

Actually that is not quite correct. To really determine whether we have a Standard Model Higgs boson we need to see its decays into things called fermions (particles that make up matter) and so far we have only see it decay into bosons (particles that create forces). The problem is that the heaviest fermions the "Higgs" can create, b-quarks, are also created by different physics that is ~a billion times more likely than a Higgs decay so it's like try to find a piece of straw in a haystack (a needle is easy if you have a big enough magnet!). The next heaviest fermions, tau leptons - a very heavy cousin of the electron - decay in a way which makes them look very much like quarks and so, to a large degree, suffer the same problem (identifying taus in the trigger is something I actually work on).

So to be able to see these decays we need a lot of data and it is not entirely clear whether we will have enough in the current dataset to see these decays - my best guess is that we might hit 3 sigma "evidence" but without some very clever analysis I think a 5 sigma "discovery" is unlikely. In addition we also need to measure the spin of the Higgs to confirm that it is a scalar, spin-0, particle. This again requires large statistics and again I don't know that we have enough data yet - time will tell.

The big reason for the shutdown is for the energy upgrade. If this new particle really is the Higgs then we can expect new physics out there to explain why the Higgs is so much lighter than the planck scale - the energy where gravity becomes important (the reasons behind this are complex!). This new physics may also explain what Dark Matter is so there is a great deal of hope that getting the energy up to ~13TeV (which is what is expected after the upgrade) may give us access to this new physics.

Re:Not Quite Certain (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42497273)

best post ever.

Re:Not Quite Certain (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42498505)

James Bond and a genius, I'm impressed.

Re:Not Quite Certain (1)

Jetra (2622687) | about 2 years ago | (#42498675)

Where have you been hiding this entire time!?

Re:Two years, eh? (1)

brucer42 (1685778) | about 2 years ago | (#42507215)

Should! Should! Should! I prefer to watch real science; Can you point me to some sources for that? I thnk I've plumbed the depths of Star Trek etc.

Re:Two years, eh? (5, Informative)

Lord Crc (151920) | about 2 years ago | (#42497131)

Just when they get a whiff of the Higgs they shut down. Curious.

Not curious at all. And, as mentioned in previous posts, the shutdown has been planned for several years already. If the Higgs' energy was higher than the roughly 125 GeV it seems to have, LHC would have found it a lot sooner.

The reason for not shutting down earlier was that they wanted to be sure that if it wasn't found by the time they shut down, then the accumulated data would be sufficient to rule out the Higgs. They calculated that in order to do that, they had to run until the end of 2012.

In fact, the current run at LHC was extended [cds.cern.ch] after the Higgs discovery was made, for the sole reason of gathering more Higgs data.

Re:Two years, eh? (1)

Alioth (221270) | about 2 years ago | (#42503363)

The shut down is actually scheduled, and was planned long before the run that produced the Higgs boson data. You'll need to get another conspiracy theory, I'm afraid.

"revealed" (5, Insightful)

Bananenrepublik (49759) | about 2 years ago | (#42496043)

For how many years needs something to be known before it is no longer a revelation? Seriously, this schedule has been in the plans for several years, it was also clear from even before the initial start that before going to design luminosity (i.e. beam intensity in layman's speak) and design energy a shutdown for refurbishment would be necessary. This is no surprise at all -- after all running the world's highest energy particle collider (the LHC at 7 TeV) would necessarily teach us something about running a machine at even higher energies (the LHC which will run at 13-14 TeV starting 2014) that we didn't know before.

Re:"revealed" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42496131)

So... they did or did not find the "elusive" Higgs boson? I quoted elusive because I don't believe particles have volition...

Re:"revealed" (2)

Alwin Henseler (640539) | about 2 years ago | (#42496507)

From reading the reports, I gather 'something' was found that aligned nicely with Peter Higgs' predictions, so it's (more or less?) considered "Higgs boson found!", and he got credit accordingly. Subject to further research & discoveries of course - as usual in the scientific process.

Re:"revealed" (4, Funny)

SydShamino (547793) | about 2 years ago | (#42496145)

Certain parts of the Bible are heading towards 2000 years, and they are still called Revelations.

Re:"revealed" (2)

Jetra (2622687) | about 2 years ago | (#42496253)

What doesn't that freaking book have? How to please a woman in 100 ways?

Re:"revealed" (3, Funny)

TeknoHog (164938) | about 2 years ago | (#42496789)

What doesn't that freaking book have? How to please a woman in 100 ways?

That part is called Song of Songs.

Re:"revealed" (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 2 years ago | (#42506317)

I've always heard it called the Song of Solomon.

Re:"revealed" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42497141)

"How to please a woman in 100 days" because that's how long it takes. amirite??

Re:"revealed" (1)

timeOday (582209) | about 2 years ago | (#42496177)

I was kind of surprised the upgrade will cost "only" 40 million. That is less than 1/2 of 1% of the $9 BN program cost. In other words their expenditures must be down a lot this year during the upgrade.

Re:"revealed" (3, Informative)

BetterNever (2809481) | about 2 years ago | (#42496685)

It's just a poorly written article. $40m in the original story referred to the cost of repairs after the 2008 accident. There's nothing about how much is being spent during this maintenance window.

Re:"revealed" (1)

Lost Penguin (636359) | about 2 years ago | (#42501791)

They offset the cost by selling antimatter to a Pope's assistant.

Re:"revealed" (1)

necro81 (917438) | about 2 years ago | (#42504057)

The use of the word "revealed" seemed odd to me to - the shutdown isn't something new or unexpected. But, given the literacy and intelligence of science journalism these days, I'm just glad that they managed to write the article without once mentioning "God Particle."

Re:"revealed" (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 2 years ago | (#42506445)

I'm just glad that they managed to write the article without once mentioning "God Particle."

That phrase would have been far less offensive if the newspaper prudes hadn't censored it. I was "God damned particle, because it was so elusive it pissed the researchers off that they hadn't found it. When the term was published in the popular press, "damned" was censored out.

God damned prudes and their contempt for clear communication...

We need more power!!!! (1)

Jetra (2622687) | about 2 years ago | (#42496103)

I gotta ask, what the heck is powering this thing? Several nuclear reactors? I think it's time we work on Fusion reactors if they're going to upgrade at this point.

Re:We need more power!!!! (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 2 years ago | (#42496139)

Well all they are doing to accelerating a few atoms. you should not need very much power to accelerate masses that small.

Re:We need more power!!!! (2)

Jetra (2622687) | about 2 years ago | (#42496169)

I needs electricity to power the magnets and the lights and the computer cores as well as whatever other machinery they got going there.

Re:We need more power!!!! (5, Informative)

Pro-feet (2668975) | about 2 years ago | (#42496245)

Cooling and magnets take the largest chunk. At full power it consumes about the power of a small-to-midsize city, like neighbouring Geneva, Switzerland.

Re:We need more power!!!! (5, Informative)

mpoulton (689851) | about 2 years ago | (#42497193)

Well all they are doing to accelerating a few atoms. you should not need very much power to accelerate masses that small.

You might think so based on the miniscule resting mass of the particles, but remember that they are being accelerated very close to the speed of light, so they gather a staggering amount of kinetic energy (and/or additional mass, relativistically). The LHC particle beam is the closest thing to the death star's destruction ray that humans have created. Each of the collider's two counter-rotating sets of particle bunches carries 360,000,000 joules of energy - about as much as 300 sticks of dynamite, or a passenger train moving 90MPH. The stored energy in the pair of beams could melt a ton of copper instantly. All that, in a "flying rod of protons" about 0.3mm in diameter and moving 186,000 miles per second. The LHC uses a pair of huge graphite cylinders 22 feet long and 2 feet in diameter to dispose of the accelerated protons. Each beam dump is water cooled and surrounded by 750 tons of radiation shielding deep underground. But even that isn't quite good enough on its own. The particles beam is deflected into a circular pattern as it is directed into the graphite absorber so the energy is spread over a larger volume to avoid excessively damaging the graphite.

Re:We need more power!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42497641)

Awesome explanation. Thanks!

Would you happen to know roughly how long the 0.0mm wide 'rod' of protons running around the beam is, and how many protons the cloud/rod consists of?

Re:We need more power!!!! (3, Informative)

mpoulton (689851) | about 2 years ago | (#42499255)

Each beam is really a loop of proton bunches, since they circulate indefinitely around the ring. There are 2808 bunches per beam maximum, and each bunch contains about 1.15x10^11 protons. The bunch length is something like 8cm, and the diameter actually varies a lot but runs about a fraction of a millimeter through most of the ring, and focuses down to about 16 microns (hair diameter) at the crossing point where the beams collide. The design minimum bunch spacing is 25ns (about 25 feet at the speed of light), but they have been running wider spacing than that I think. The bunches are not uniformly spaced, either, since there are large gaps to allow time for the beam dump and injection apparatus to activate without getting proton blasted during switching.

Re:We need more power!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42500817)

Wow, thanks for the information! I had always been under the wrong impression that there was a single bunch that went around, got up to speed, hit at the target collision area sensor, then a new bunch got started up.

So if they have more than a thousand bunches, each going around the ring quite a few times per second, do you know what fraction of those 1.15x10^11 protons collide with one from the bunch going the other direction each pass through the the sensor area?

Thanks again for all the detailed information.

Re:We need more power!!!! (2)

mpoulton (689851) | about 2 years ago | (#42502285)

It's a very small number of collisions compared to the number of protons. One source says something like 20 collisions per crossing, which works out to about 600 million collisions per second. That may seem like a large number, but it's extremely small compared to the number of protons passing close to one another every second!

Re:We need more power!!!! (1)

fsterman (519061) | about 2 years ago | (#42501729)

OMG, you mean the LHC is really just an alpha test for the Death Star?!?! That's why the first death star is circular and the second one is linear!!!

Re:We need more power!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42497505)

I was reading once how these "few atoms" have as much kinetic energy as a "fully loaded fright train at speed"(paraphrased).

Re:We need more power!!!! (5, Informative)

imsabbel (611519) | about 2 years ago | (#42496171)

There is a reason they usually power down in the winter, when the french nuclear power plants have higher load from homes (Over here, there is no AC peak int he summer).

IIRC, LHC uses something between 250 and 350 MW power to run.

Re:We need more power!!!! (2)

Jetra (2622687) | about 2 years ago | (#42496195)

That seems kind of small.

Re:We need more power!!!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42496657)

That's what she said. BAZINGA!

Re:We need more power!!!! (1)

dissy (172727) | about 2 years ago | (#42499449)

That seems kind of small.

250 to 350 mW is equivalent to 2.5 to 3.5 billion 100 watt light bulbs.
With a "b", as in 2,500,000,000 bulbs.

According to the DoE, the average US household uses 1 kW of electricity at any given time.
250 mW usage would be equivalent to the same amount of power consumption as a quarter of a million US homes (250,000)

Put another way, if you or I were to use this amount of electricity at home it would cost $25,000 every hour. In a 30 day period, the electric bill would total 180 million dollars ($180,000,000)

* Assuming the average US residential rate of $0.10/kWh...
** Of course the LHC is both not in the US nor would be paying the higher residential rates, so they are not paying nearly that much. It's just what we would pay, if hell froze over and the electric co would actually run that much current to a single home

Re:We need more power!!!! (1)

Jetra (2622687) | about 2 years ago | (#42499567)

...wait. I think I got Megawatts mixed up with something else. 1 mW = 1 Million watts?

Re:We need more power!!!! (1)

Old Wolf (56093) | about 2 years ago | (#42500173)

M = mega (1 million)
m = milli (1 thousandth)

Re:We need more power!!!! (1)

dissy (172727) | about 2 years ago | (#42500433)

...wait. I think I got Megawatts mixed up with something else. 1 mW = 1 Million watts?

Now that you mention it, I think I too got my unit abbreviation mixed up.
I intended to mean megawatts, aka a million watts. That might be MW however, not mW.

But in the end, the LHC uses 250 to 350 million watts.

Re:We need more power!!!! (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 2 years ago | (#42510585)

1 kw at any given time? That sure sounds low; a toaster takes 1kw, microwave 1100w, fridge? Don't know but it's a lot. Furnace blower? Especially in the summer when the AC is sucking juice 1kw sounds really low.

Re:We need more power!!!! (1)

ysth (1368415) | about 2 years ago | (#42497411)

The Europeans are taking fusion very seriously [efda.org] and making nice progress [iter.org] .

Re:We need more power!!!! (1)

Jetra (2622687) | about 2 years ago | (#42497627)

Link on left is broken.

Re:We need more power!!!! (1)

ysth (1368415) | about 2 years ago | (#42497813)

Oh, great. I even tested it, but FF "corrected" it for me. Why on Earth would it ever be supposed to do that on a *link*?

Re:We need more power!!!! (1)

Jetra (2622687) | about 2 years ago | (#42498255)

No idea. You were here before me. I came fairly recently and know very little about the ins and outs.

Re:We need more power!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42497709)

While the USA is relying mostly on Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz

Re:We need more power!!!! (1)

ysth (1368415) | about 2 years ago | (#42497831)

Sorry, that should be: very seriously [efda.org]

Re:We need more power!!!! (1)

hughk (248126) | about 2 years ago | (#42503415)

They get their power from France (Mostly nuclear) and Switzerland (lots of Hydroelectric). When the LHC is running, it can take the same sort of power as the whole of Geneva. I am not sure how they procure their power, but given the mild winter, power has been a lot cheaper than expected unfortunately the decision to extend the run was made some months ago and they may already have locked in the price.

didn't end the world the first time (4, Funny)

Trepidity (597) | about 2 years ago | (#42496119)

Their plans to end the world have failed, so they're retooling with more power to try again!

Re:didn't end the world the first time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42496157)

But perhaps they did accidentally create 10**12 new universes from the one we used to have (I doubt that this one is it).

I was trying to figure out whether that was a Good Thing or a Bad Thing.

Re:didn't end the world the first time (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 2 years ago | (#42497337)

But perhaps they did accidentally create 10**12 new universes from the one we used to have (I doubt that this one is it).

SERN Dis-topic Recommendation Engine:
People who posted comments like yours also liked: Steins;Gate [imdb.com]

Re:didn't end the world the first time (2)

El_Oscuro (1022477) | about 2 years ago | (#42500529)

But perhaps they did. At the exact moment the Mayan clocks ran out, so did our power, I didn't come back on for several hours. Afterwards, everything was the same, or was it? Perhaps we are under *new* management?

Re:didn't end the world the first time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42499683)

Apparently the black hole only lasted long enough to consume a few essential parts.

Re:didn't end the world the first time (1)

White Flame (1074973) | about 2 years ago | (#42500721)

You've got it backwards. LHC saved us from the 2012 disaster. Its difficult and secretive mission now accomplished, it's taking a much-needed rest.

Must be frustrating (1)

muddysteel (1404041) | about 2 years ago | (#42496127)

To try and use the collider and have to peel the onion to deal with the unknowns. Then again, could be the Laundry [wikipedia.org] at work.. ;)

105% power (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 2 years ago | (#42496293)

there is little chance of a resonance cascade

Re:105% power (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42496497)

its the zombies that you want to watch out for.

Two years? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42496735)

Is there a way a 3D printer can speed that up? Or maybe we can put the LHC into a private space orbit and let the free market take over?

Safe for now (1)

sparrowcz3 (1982618) | about 2 years ago | (#42496747)

Yay! No black holes for the next two years!

Re:Safe for now (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42499433)

Don't borrow large amounts of money unless the payment plan is well over 2 years.

just great (1)

slick7 (1703596) | about 2 years ago | (#42496791)

Another upgrade, is this run by Microsoft?

LHC to be shut down? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42496915)

Just a quick question. How can the particles that have been produced be turned off? Also where does SARAH fit into this "shutdown" I thought with ALICE they were to help the growing findings?

Thank You

Re:LHC to be shut down? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42496929)

My name is Sarah. Not Annonimous Coward!!

Atom smasher? (1)

ClickOnThis (137803) | about 2 years ago | (#42497055)

No grandpa, it's a sub-atomic particle smasher.

I just had a scary thought! (1)

xQuarkDS9x (646166) | about 2 years ago | (#42497251)

In two years from now when it is upgraded and running at maximum levels will anyone think to warn Gordan Freeman??? :)

Re:I just had a scary thought! (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 2 years ago | (#42497373)

In two years from now when it is upgraded and running at maximum levels will anyone think to warn Gordan Freeman??? :)

I agree with your sentiment, but you've nothing to fear. You must have hopped dimensions: In this universe his name is Morgan Freeman, and I'd say he's pretty much on top of such things... [imdb.com]

0123456789 (0)

Greek Dude (858577) | about 2 years ago | (#42497419)

0123456789

They should have made the tunnel bigger (4, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | about 2 years ago | (#42497533)

The LHC beam tunnel is just barely big enough for the beam line and magnets. The layout is as tight as a submarine. Getting magnets in and out is a huge pain. The original intent was that it wasn't going to be necessary to do that very often. It didn't work out that way.

But after the last failure, they discovered that the electrical connections between the sections weren't as solid as they needed to be. The trouble four years ago happened because a weld wasn't good enough. A connection went non-superconducting and became resistive, and all the energy stored in the associated superconducting magnets was converted to heat. The area of the joint exploded and most of the liquid helium in the system converted to gas, blowing out a lot of cryogenic plumbing.

Because of the tight spaces, tasks which ought to be done in parallel have to be done sequentially. That increases downtime.

The unfinished US Superconducting Supercollider had tunnels big enough for railroad trains. (It was in Texas and a pork program; what would you expect?) CERN built cheaper, but they pay for it in downtime.

Re:They should have made the tunnel bigger (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42497751)

The unfinished US SSC was, well... unfinished. So we don't know what had happened with it. Judging by the morons that stopped it, not very nice things.

Re:They should have made the tunnel bigger (2)

Pro-feet (2668975) | about 2 years ago | (#42498261)

I'm not sure if space is the issue here. You can bike in the tunnel (useful, since it's looong). [and by the way, the beamline is contained in the magnets, so that saves space ;-)]
Parallellizing means also more expert manpower for less work: I could imagine it's practically impossible to train 1000 expert welders to each repair one joint.
Note also that the LEP tunnel that is housing now the LHC was far from cheap...

Re:They should have made the tunnel bigger (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42498493)

I agree with much of what you say but the SSC was going to be 25 on 25 TeV, much more powerful than the LHC. There were const overruns but it was not a pork barrel project.

Re:They should have made the tunnel bigger (3, Insightful)

joe_frisch (1366229) | about 2 years ago | (#42498555)

Unfortunately the way projects are funded, there is strong pressure to minimize the initial cost, even if the total cost in the long run will be higher. "operating" costs can usually be taken into account, but most funding agencies are very reluctant to spend more money not for future non-approved upgrades.

Re:They should have made the tunnel bigger (1)

fsterman (519061) | about 2 years ago | (#42501785)

Our version was going to run at a higher power and the circumference was ~3 larger. And, well, this was also a pork program for Europe.

Re:They should have made the tunnel bigger (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42502549)

The LHC tunnel was second hand, so they had to make do with what they got. On the other hand, it meant a big cost saving.

Anti-Matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42498273)

damn it.. where is all the anti-matter? without it how can I ever control the universe??

Star Gate (2)

CuteSteveJobs (1343851) | about 2 years ago | (#42498517)

> CERN has revealed that the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is going into hibernation and will be shut down for a period of two years for upgrades.

Clearly they have discovered a network of interstellar wormholes and are are trying to hush it up while assembling a team of space commandos a la Richard Dean Anderson.

Slashdot: Embellished news for nerds.

This just shows that the Europeans can't hack it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42499175)

All the best science is done by the US. We invented technology - radios, cars, jet aircraft, rockets. Now you see what happens if we don't keep science in the USA, where it belongs...

Re:This just shows that the Europeans can't hack i (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42501861)

Go back to watching FOX News, this is Slashdot.

Re:This just shows that the Europeans can't hack i (1)

Shimbo (100005) | about 2 years ago | (#42502515)

I presume GP was joking, as none of the above were invented in the US.

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