World's Supercollider Back on Track

April 2, 2015 9:20 PM

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Physicists around the world eagerly await the resumption of operations of the Large Hadron Collider, a huge particle supercollider located near Geneva, Switzerland. This facility will allow researchers to study some of the oldest scientific questions ever posed. After a very successful data taking period between 2010 and 2012, the LHC shut down for two years for refurbishment, retrofits and upgrades. These retrofits were completed in late 2014 and the scientists started cooling down the magnets that make up the heart of this huge machine. Expectations were high for a spring 2015 startup.

On March 24, LHC scientists discovered that one of the magnets in the LHC had developed an intermittent electrical short. By taking x-rays of the offending magnet, engineers discovered a stray sliver of metal that was bridging the gap between a conductor and the outside of the magnet.

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