Saturday, September 20, 2008

End of the world postponed

Tongue firmly in cheek here.

CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research) has temporarily shut down the Large Hadron Collider to fix a helium leak. Presumably the helium is from liquid helium coolant for the big electromagnets.

CERN estimates two months before it resumes startup of the LHC . Those expecting microblack holes to eat the Earth must fret a bit longer.

Here is the little bit so far announced.

1 comment:

Edward M. Lerner said...

The fault is worse than a leak. An electrical short between electromagnets caused the leak.

The bigger issue is that it takes a month to warm the big electromagnets from their operating temperature near absolute zero to where people can go in to make a repair -- and a second month to cool them down again.