By Hamish Johnston
It’s been quite a rollercoaster ride for physicists working on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN. When the collider was first switched on in 2008 it suffered a major explosion when a superconducting connector failed – and was shut down for over a year for repairs. Then in 2010 the LHC began taking data and the excitement about the imminent discovery of the Higgs boson grew and grew – and then on 4 July last year, CERN physicists announced the discovery of a Higgs-like particle.
Now, things have gone quiet again as the LHC has been shut down for what CERN calls “consolidations” – a funny way of saying that tens of thousands of modifications and checks will be made to the collider.
If you are interested in what these will be, this graphic from CERN outlines the main work ahead. Click on the image for a larger version.