June 19, 2009

Progress Report: LHC

From CERN's press release:

At the 151st session of the CERN Council today, CERN Director General Rolf Heuer confirmed that the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) remains on schedule for a restart this autumn, albeit about 2-3 weeks later than originally foreseen. Following the incident of 19 September 2008 that brought the LHC to a standstill, a great deal of work has been done to understand the causes of the incident and ensure that a similar incident cannot happen again.

“Many new tests have been developed,” said CERN’s Director for accelerators, Steve Myers. “That’s given us a wealth of information about the LHC splices, and confidence that we will be in good shape for running this year.”

As you read this, technicians are warming up Sector 4-5 to check for splice problems and making sure the new QPS (quench protection system) is working. QPS will "trigger evacuation of the stored magnetic energy quickly and safely should a part of the LHC’s superconducting system warm up slightly and cease to be superconducting," thus (hopefully) avoiding last year's eleventh-hour debacle.

The CERN Bulletin has more detail; Interactions talks splices; and Dennis Overbye sums up the success of the World Science Festival.

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