Feeds

LHC knocked out by ANOTHER power failure

'Birdy bread-bomber from the future' involved?

Business security measures using SSL

Exclusive The Large Hadron Collider - most puissant particle-punisher ever assembled by the human race - has suffered another major power failure, knocking not only the atomsmasher itself but even its associated websites offline. The machine remains unserviceable at present. However its crucial cryogenics seem to have been unaffected, and no catastrophic damage is thought to have occurred.

The component believed to have downed the LHC

No baguette visible this time.

News of the outage emerged when keen amateur LHC-watchers (at independent site the LHC Portal) noticed that most of CERN's web presence related to the Collider had disappeared. Presently much of it returned, and with it came an official account of events released by control-room staff.

It appears that a failure occurred at 01:23 Swiss time this morning in an 18,000-volt power line at the Meyrin site above the mighty collider's subterranean circuit. This caused a power cut across the site, shutting down the main computer centre among other things and causing an abrupt cessation of operations.

However according to CERN controllers and the publicly-viewable web readouts (now back online) the LHC's magnets stayed chilled down to their operating temperature, just 1.9 degrees above absolute zero - colder than deep space. This is critical, as re-chilling the magnets had they warmed beyond a certain point would have been a lengthy and involved process.

"Diesels cut in OK" noted the controllers, adding that the Meyrin site is now drawing limited grid power from an alternative connection via the Prevessin site. The boffins don't anticipate resuming operations until at least 18:30 local time today. They later supplied the pic above of the faulty high-voltage component believed to have caused the problem.

The exact cause of the fault remains to be established, though in a machine so complex a lot of routine teething troubles are to be expected. However, with interest in the LHC so intense, colourful speculation is to be anticipated.

"Maybe it was a birdy bread-bomber from the future," jokes Chris Stephens of the LHC Portal - referring to the well-known wingnut theory that that the mere possibility of the LHC unmasking certain phenomena engenders forces which act backwards through time to sabotage it before this can happen.

We ourselves find it hard not to suspect the involvement of some pan-dimensional police force, seeking to prevent humanity acquiring parallel-universe portal capability before we're ready to use it responsibly. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
SCREW YOU, Russia! NASA lobs $6.8bn at Boeing AND SpaceX to run space station taxis
Musk charging nearly half as much as Boeing for crew trips
PORTAL TO ELSEWHERE scried in small galaxy far, far away
Supermassive black hole dominates titchy star formation
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub
Boozed-up ancients drank beer before tearing corpses apart
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.