“CERN: Damage to new collider forces 2-month halt”

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The path of the large hadron collider, cern, switzerland/france

http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5iF3eB5oJHa4q5phLpr8u8gitxkiAD93AJPBO1

The world’s largest atom smasher — which was launched with great fanfare earlier this month — has been damaged worse than previously thought and will be out of commission for at least two months, its operators said Saturday.

Experts have gone into 17-mile (27-kilometer) circular tunnel housing the Large Hadron Collider under the Swiss-French border to examine the damage that halted operations about 36 hours after its Sept. 10 startup, said James Gillies, spokesman for CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research.

“It’s too early to say precisely what happened, but it seems to be a faulty electrical connection between two magnets that stopped superconducting, melted and led to a mechanical failure and let the helium out,” Gillies told The Associated Press.

Gillies said the sector that was damaged will have to be warmed up well above the absolute zero temperature used for operations so that repairs can be made — a time-consuming process.

“A number of magnets raised their temperature by around 100 degrees,” Gillies said. “We have now to warm up the whole sector in a controlled manner before we can actually go in and repair it.”

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http://newsaddicts.com/?p=79783


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