LHC to be re-started late 2009

Sunday, February 8, 2009, 18:27 by Tech Correspondent

The Large Hadron Collider, which had failed last year September due to a serious fault between two large superconducting bending magnets, will now be restarted by late 2009. The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the world’s largest and highest-energy particle accelerator.

Talks are going on about when to restart the LHC. A likely date for the restart is expected to be late 2009.

As talk of the LHC restart begins, the same doomsday fears that were voiced during the initial startup are being heard again.

Last year, Walter Wagner and Luis Sancho, had approached the 9th circuit course of appeals in San Francisco to ask for a stop to the LHC, as they feared it would lead to the creation of small stablee blackholes or strangelets. However, the court ruled they didn’t have enough evidence to prove the fact that if the accelerator is started, if would create a black hole in the centre of the machine and subsequently the world would witness doomsday – or rather no one will survive to witness that. The to gentlemen are now endeavouring to bring new evidences to the court and intervene in the labs’ progress.

While CERN is gung-hp about restarting the LHC, their approaching the court is not expected to have an outcome favorable to them.

Numerous studies and research have been made about the safety of the LHC, and none of them are in compliance with Wagner’s and Sancho’s conclusions.

Another argument put forward by the duo was that America had invested around $531 million in this project. But it would seem rather seem astonishingly small as compared to the $12.85 billion Europe invested.

A workshop was held in Chamonix this week and recommendations have been made to restart the project. If these recommendations are accepted in a management meeting of CERN, they will start collecting physics data later this year.

“These recommendations represent the best way forward for the LHC and for the field of particle physics in general,” said Steve Myers, CERN’s Director for Accelerators and Chair of the Chamonix workshop.

Among the topics discussed in the meetings were the causes for the malfunctioning of the device in September last year. Enormous progress and effort has been made to diagnose the smallest error produced and to debug it.

“CERN’s priority for 2009 is to get collision data for the experiments, but with caution as the guiding principle,” said Myers. “The recommendations made to the CERN management are cautious, while achieving the goal of running this year.”

“A lot of hard work went into the Chamonix workshop,” said CERN Director General Rolf Heuer, “giving my management team all we need to make the right decision on LHC restart when we next meet on Monday.”

The restart schedule for the LHC will be announced following the CERN Directorate meeting on 9 February, 2009.

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