Feeds

Helium hole hiccup halts Hadron

Problem-prone particle project postponed

The Power of One Infographic

Leaks have been found in the vacuum of the Large Hadron Collider's insulating layer, causing yet another postponement of its restart from October to November.

The £2.7bn LHC machine - a particle accelerator in a 17 mile-long tunnel under the French and Swiss borders at Geneva - was set to restart in October, after a previous failure in its cooling systems caused serious damage when it was initially started up in September last year.

CERN (European Organisation for Nuclear Research) said that the damage was caused by a faulty splice in the high-current superconducting cable between two magnets in LHC sector 3-4. An internal CERN bulletin said that the latest delay has been caused by: "Vacuum leaks... found in two "cold" sectors of the LHC. The leaks were found in Sectors 8-1 and 2-3 while they were being prepared for... electrical tests... the leak is from the helium circuit to the insulating vacuum."

The bulletin says: "The repair necessitates a partial warm-up of both sectors. This involves the end sub-sector being warmed to room temperature, while the adjacent sub-sector "floats" in temperature and the remainder of the sector is kept at 80 K (-316 degrees Fahrenheit) – a process that will require several weeks to complete)... the intervention will have an impact on the schedule for the restart. It is now foreseen that the LHC will be closed and ready for beam injection by mid-November."

Since the September shutdown, Austria has said it will withdraw from CERN involvement. The decision was later reversed. At the time, any suggestion that the UK might pull out was downplayed by CERN. Since then the scale of the black hole in UK government finances has emerged, as has the beginnings of a realisation that several years of public expenditure cuts may be needed to get finances back to normal. The government says it wants to preserve front line services, and the risk that UK funding of CERN may have to be scaled back is becoming greater. ®

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 claimed lives of HIV/AIDS cure scientists
Researchers, advocates, health workers among those on shot-down plane
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
Mwa-ha-ha-ha! Eccentric billionaire Musk gets his PRIVATE SPACEPORT
In the Lone Star State, perhaps appropriately enough
MARS NEEDS OCEANS to support life - and so do exoplanets
Just being in the Goldilocks zone doesn't mean there'll be anyone to eat the porridge
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Diary note: Pluto's close-up is a year from … now!
New Horizons is less than a year from the dwarf planet
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.