Problems with the Large Hadron Collider

You know this is breaking my heart. I want it online now and forever. “Why?” asks my former Cub Scout Hiland. “It can’t kill us all with a localized black hole if it’s offline.”

And I can only remind him that it also can’t kill off the forces of evil on the other side of the black hole either. And you know they are out there. Waiting. Building their own LHC. Firing it up. Going offline. Worrying. Asking Why?

The Associated Press: Q&A about problems with Large Hadron Collider.

3 comments

  1. bobsykes says:

    Whoa! Heavy stuff this Black Hole. But imagination prevails, it enable us to reasonably formulate the thought that if we go through the black hall we will come out the other side at the end of our current world and universe and realize every thing is just a big circle. And, like Nietzsche, we begin to understand we really are in hell and having a great time!

  2. Slice of Heaven says:

    I defer to Lawrence Ferlinghetti. (If
    NASA can quote him, so can I.)

    OLBERS’ PARADOX

    And I heard the learned astronomer
    whose name was Heinrich Olbers
    speaking to us across the centuries
    about how he observed with naked eye
    how in the sky there were
    some few stars close up
    and the further away he looked
    the more of them there were
    with infinite numbers of clusters of stars
    in myriad Milky Ways & myriad nebulae

    So that from this we can deduce
    that in the infinite distances
    there must be a place
    there must be a place
    where all is light
    and that the light from that high place
    Where all is light
    simply hasn’t got here yet
    which is why we still have night

    But when at last that light arrives
    when at last it does get here
    the part of day we now call Night
    will have a white sky
    little black dots in it
    little black holes
    where once were stars

    And then in that symbolic
    so poetic place
    which will be ours
    we’ll be our own true shadows
    and our own illumination
    on a sunset earth

    -Lawrence Ferlinghetti

  3. Bjean says:

    From http://www.dailytech.com:

    LHC Mess Continues With Restart Date Pushed Even Further Back

    Jason Mick (Blog) – December 1, 2008 10:32 AM

    The bad news keeps stacking up for the world’s largest particle accelerator; will only be partially functional next year

    The largest particle accelerator in the world, the Large Hadron Collider was a bold multinational effort that cost billions of dollars and required some of the world’s brightest minds. However, this once glowing beacon of scientific progress became a massive mess not long after it went operational.

    Coming online in September, the LHC blew a transformer that controlled its cooling in preliminary test firings. Without the cooling, the LHC could not operate. It was later found that a single bad solder was to blame for the failure, which not only blew out the transformer, but melted much of the attached circuitry.

    Initially, the $21M USD repairs were expected to take a couple months at most. This deadline was quickly pushed back in statements by CERN director Robert Aymar to April 2009 and then finally to the summer (June 2009). Now the expected completion date for repairs has slid yet again.

    CERN spokesman James Gillies, surely beleaguered by having to bear all the bad news of late, broke the latest development on Friday. He describes the new restart target date as “the late summer of 2009”.

    He described two plans for the LHC — “Plan A” and “Plan B”. “Plan A” involves bringing the accelerator online in the late summer 2009, with lower power firings. This plan would attempt to restore operation as early as possible, but at the cost of full functionality. If you think “Plan A” sounds unattractive, try “Plan B”; “Plan B” would put the LHC out of commission until 2010 at the earliest.

    “Plan B” would entail waiting until the LHC’s pressure-relief system, the system of the accelerator that suffered from electrical failure, was totally replaced by an upgraded design.

    For now, says Mr. Gillies, CERN will pursue “Plan A”. He states, “The priority is to get collision data from the experiment. The LHC will run next year.”

    Under the current plan, only the three currently warmed segments of the eight total loop segments will be outfitted with the “fixed” pressure design. Upgraded pressure-release valves will be installed in the cryostats on the dipole magnets for each of these three sections. The remaining segments will not be warmed and will only receive the fix once they are warmed for other routine maintenance, sometime in the future.

    The LHC design was supposed to produce an extremely powerful 7 tera electron-volts (TeV) beam, however it will be limited to 5 TeV or less, thanks to the problems. Says Mr. Gillies, “The five undamaged sections can run at 5 TeV, and the rest of the machine can run at 4 TeV. The highest we’re hoping to run next year will be lower than 7 TeV.”

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