LHC temporarily closed due to helium leakage.

September 20, 2008

in Miscellaneous,News

The Large Hadron Collider, which is a gigantic particle accelerator, has been closed for atleast two months because of large helium leak, officials said. The multi-billion dollar LHC was officially launched on september 10 when the first particle beam was succesfully sent arountd the full circuit.

The six experiments at the LHC are all run by international collaborations, bringing together scientists from institutes all over the world. Each experiment is distinct, characterised by its unique particle detector.

BBC has reported over this incident by saying that:

“The superconducting magnets in the LHC must be supercooled to 1.9C above absolute zero, to allow them to steer particle beams around the circuit. As a result of the [leak], the temperature of about one hundred of the magnets in the machine’s final sector rose by around 100C. A spokesman for Cern confirmed that it would now be difficult, if not impossible, to stage the first trial collisions next week. Further delays could follow once the damage has been fully assessed over the weekend.”

Although a full investigation is still underway, CERN announced Saturday that the section of the tunnel will have to be “warmed up” for repairs, which means the LHC will be down for at least two months.

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