rufey writes "The recent problems at the Large Hadron Collider will now keep it idle until spring 2009. The official press release is here. The LHC went offline due to a suspected failure in a superconducting connection, which overheated and caused around 100 of the LHC's super-cooled magnets to heat up by as much as 100 degrees. This resulted in the accidental release of a ton of liquid helium. The process required to repair the failed superconducting connection involves weeks of warming up the affected area from -456 degrees Fahrenheit to room temperature, and then several more weeks to cool it back down after the repair is made. The total amount of time to do this will spill over into CERN's scheduled winter maintenance/shutdown period, which is partly done to save money on electricity during the period of peak demand."