By Jon Cartwright
In my last blog entry on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) I asked if CERN could make it to Wednesday without any further difficulties. Well, there’s been one — a thunderstorm-induced power cut that took out the cryogenic systems for the weekend — but other than that it’s all systems go for the eagerly awaited “start up”.
On Friday evening, according to CERN spokesperson James Gillies, the LHC operations team successfully performed a third and final synchronization test. Unlike the previous two tests, which concerned “kicking” proton beams from the Super Proton Synchrotron into the LHC’s ring, the aim on Friday was to make sure the protons could be booted out of the ring at the “beam dump” point located between sectors five and six. The latest test also demonstrated that the team could navigate the protons around two sectors, or about 7 km. That means they’ve already reached 25% of their target for Wednesday, when they plan to get a low-energy beam cruising around the 27 km ring in one direction.
Talking about Wednesday, physicsworld.com is now reporting from CERN to bring you all the news in the run-up to the big day. You can also expect an analysis of the events in the October issue of Physics World.