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LHC To Idle All Accelerators In 2012 117

sciencehabit writes "Particle physicists and science fans everywhere knew that the European particle physics laboratory, CERN, near Geneva, Switzerland, would shut down the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world's largest atom smasher, for all of 2012 for repairs. Many expected that the shutdown would stretch to more than a year, which CERN officials confirmed today. But most probably did not expect CERN to idle all its other accelerators at the same time, shutting down a variety of smaller projects and forcing hundreds of scientists not working on the LHC to take an unanticipated break in data taking. The longer shutdown could be a chance for US scientists working on the Tevatron at Fermilab in Batavia, Illinois, if researchers there can persuade lab management to keep the machine going instead of shutting it down in 2011 as currently planned." Reader suraj.sun notes other CERN news making the rounds right now about plans for the International Linear Collider, a 31-kilometer-long collider designed to complement the LHC. Construction on the ILC could begin as soon as 2012.
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LHC To Idle All Accelerators In 2012

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  • by jaymz2k4 ( 790806 ) <jaymzNO@SPAMjaymz.eu> on Monday July 26, 2010 @03:18PM (#33035060) Homepage
    It might be essential but it saddens me a bit how much of a let down the LHC has been. Fermliab however has been a real story of inspiration. I hope we see results from Geneva in the future but so far it's not exactly been inspiring stuff and this decision to shut down everything sounds a bit OTT.
  • by bucky0 ( 229117 ) on Monday July 26, 2010 @03:24PM (#33035182)

    You're comparing apples and oranges. All of these big experiments have things they need to get to get worked out before they're running at their design strength. That's the problem with building machines that are their own prototypes.

    I can't speak for all of them, but the detector I work on has been performing excellently (all its detector subsystems, etc..). There was a flaw in some of the accelerator magnets of the main LHC ring, and it needs to be fixed, which involves warming up and cooling down the magnets (which takes 3 months each eway)

    Fermilab, by comparison has been running for something like 20 years, they did their shakedown phase a long time ago, and now they're tuned to run optimally. It's the lifecycle of these things.

  • by TheHawke ( 237817 ) <rchapin.stx@rr@com> on Monday July 26, 2010 @03:37PM (#33035362)

    They'll delve into the masses of data accumulated over the years, peering at impact traces, peeling back gig after gig of data in search for that miracle that would flip the universe as we know it upside down...

  • by bucky0 ( 229117 ) on Monday July 26, 2010 @03:39PM (#33035400)

    To add to the parent, there's so many top quarks (something that's pretty rare, even on the tevatron), that we're planning on subtracting it out as a background for other events (tops share some decay channels with other, more interesting particles)

  • ILC (Score:4, Interesting)

    by PiMuNu ( 865592 ) on Monday July 26, 2010 @03:50PM (#33035546)
    I really hope the ILC gets the go ahead But you would not build it until you know the Higgs mass (if the Higgs exists) because you want to work with e+e- collisions on the centre of mass. Until you can prove the Higgs mass is in the design range of the machine, you simply wouldn't built. So I think that story is yarbles.

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