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The LHC, one week later

By Jon Cartwright

Many of you will be wondering how the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has been getting on since last Wednesday’s celebrated “switch on”. Well, if you are willing to overlook one 30 tonne hitch, commissioning is still going well.

On the switch-on day itself, if for some reason you left the planet, the operations team managed to get proton bunches all the way around the LHC’s 27 km-long ring in both directions. But even though the media had trickled away by early evening, the LHC team didn’t stop ploughing ahead, as I discovered when I went to the control centre the morning after. By then they had already had an anticlockwise bunch endlessly circulating, albeit spread or “de-bunched” around most of the ring. To correct the de-bunching, the team initiated their radio-frequency systems, which by Friday had been successfully tuned in both frequency and phase.

Friday, unfortunately, also brought difficulties. A transformer weighing some 30 tonnes developed a short circuit, forcing the team to replace it. As I hear from Lyn Evans, the LHC project leader, the new transformer has been lifted into place and the electrical systems, which feed the vital cryogenics systems, should soon be back on line.

The good news, however, is that Evans is planning to try some low-energy collisions next week. Hang on to your hats.

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  1. As

    Maybe the media will be back as “Doom’s day” would, as some believe, be when collisions occur, not when the switch is turned on!

  2. Skip Jordan

    Thanks, Jon, for the updates. I have a question, if you have time to respond.
    It appears that the collisions will produce matter as a result of the energy/matter relationship per E-MC2. But, if so many protons are in the mix, how will we know which are involved in collisions so that an accurate measurement of mass production be accomplished?
    Skip Jordan

  3. andreicio

    Yet another hitch glitch or hiccup. What a surprise. With the usual excuse of “this is such a big machine it’s ok to screw up for 20 years.” WHy doesn’t Evans and all the other incompetents just resign?

  4. Fafner

    Gee, it would really be great news to hear that you were running the joint instead of all those incompetents.

  5. andreicio is going to build one that works and then fix the sun.

  6. Robie Goldwell

    what a bunch of pessimists you all are!

  7. Wkrasl

    Not all of us.
    I would dearly love to see this blog ban “short selling” by critics that can’t see past the wart on the end of their nose.

  8. Gaina, Alex

    I would like to answer to Skip Jordan. Quantum mechanics is a probabilistic theory, then we never can told which of the proton namely from the bunch will produce a colission given. But we can calculate the probability of any colission.

  9. michael Clarke

    Ban Andreicio, he is the most miserable negatavist
    I see on these comments,


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