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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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Just Chillin': Large Hadron Collider Cold and Ready to Start Up Again
16 October 2009 2:34 pm
After 13 months of repairs and modifications, the world’s largest particle smasher is once again ready to start circulating particles, officials at the European particle physics laboratory, CERN, near Geneva, Switzerland, announced today. The guts of the Large Hadron Collider’s (LHC’s) more than 1700 large superconducting magnets have been cooled with liquid helium to a frigid 1.9 K, and now that the 35,000 metric tons of hardware are cold, physicists can soon resume feeding particles into the machine’s twin rings, says CERN spokesperson James Gillies. “Were back to the more-routine steps that we went through last year,” he says. “So the first injection tests should begin next week.”
The LHC is designed to smash protons together at energies seven times as high as any previous particle collisions in hopes of discovering new particles and even new dimensions of space. The $5.5 billion accelerator broke down last fall just 9 days after physics first passed particles all the way around its two rings, and researchers have been busy fixing it ever since. Physicists are on track to have beams zipping through LHC’s two rings in late November and to collide the counter-circulating beams at a low energy in December. But with many systems to check—including new systems to protect the machine against a repeat of last year’s catastrophe—researcher may not achieve higher energy collisions for data taking until early next year, Gillies says. “There’s still a possibility for December, but more realistically it’s looking like January,” he says. Even then, just to be on the safe side, officials have limited the energy to half of the LHC’s design maximum.