By Hamish Johnston
Physicists like a bit of gossip — especially if it’s about when the Large Hadron Collider will be back in action after its catastrophic failure last year.
Woit refers to a “draft” of the latest repair schedule that was presented by LHC operations leader Roger Bailey at a recent conference in Oxford. The document clearly shows that the first beam will be circulated during week 43 of 2009 — which begins on Monday 19 October.
By contrast, the schedule released in February says the beam should be commissioned the week of 21 September.
The draft schedule seems to suggest that the problem is related to repairing sector 34, the section of the accelerator where the disaster occurred.
I asked CERN spokesman James Gillies what was going on. He said like any major project, “time is lost and time is gained” in various aspects of the repairs and there is no point in putting out a new schedule every time this happens.
He also said that CERN is now looking for ways to make up the extra time identified by Bailey and he said that the repair team are confident of having the LHC running towards the end of September as planned.