Skepticism, Medicine and Science News

LHC: Damage Report

Earlier this year the Large Hadron Collider was fired up, but sadly it did not take long before it broke down. In fact, only nine days after the opening CERN was forced to shut it down again due to an accident during one of the test runs. An electrical connection melted, which subsequently led to failures in the pipes containing liquid helium. Because the superconducting magnets require temperatures at about -271°C (that is only about 2 kelvins!) to function properly, they failed dramatically when the helium cooling system was damaged. When the magnets started overheating, they damaged nearby equipment with a massive burst of pressure. The forces at play were so great that several of the magnets supports were literally ripped from the ground were they were secured. 

But, they say they will be able to fix the problem, an have the LHC up and running again next summer.


December 11, 2008 - Posted by | Physics | , , , , , , , , , , ,

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