Feeds

LHC knocked out by ANOTHER power failure

'Birdy bread-bomber from the future' involved?

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

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. ®

The Power of One Infographic

More from The Register

next story
World Solar Challenge contender claims new speed record
One charge sees Sunswift travel 500kms at over 100 km/h
SMELL YOU LATER, LOSERS – Dumbo tells rats, dogs... humans
Junk in the trunk? That's what people have
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
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?
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
Jurassic squawk: Dinos were Earth's early FEATHERED friends
Boffins research: Ancient dinos may all have had 'potential' fluff
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.