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Wednesday, 15 October 2008

LHC news-the wait is not over...nor the war

My favourite LHC shut down. Again. And for the same reasons. The magnets. Can you actually believe it? I realise it's a big machine and it's complicated to keep all the details intact, but for me 2nd problem connected with the super-conducting magnets may mean only one thing-CERN should sue USA and Fermilab for sabotage or at least for incompetence. It's not about me and my "fight" with USA, I believe scientists everywhere on the world share the same virtues. We're doing it for the science. But these magnets are dangerous and any flaws, can lead to disastrous consequences. What the fuck is wrong with the producers of the magnets?! And what's wrong with CERN for not taking legal actions against them. True, it's a break-trough technology, but it's not that brand new. There are standards and you can't have problems only with one part, even if it's that essential. I'm pissed off.
On the brightest side, the lawsuit against CERN has been dropped in an hystorical burst of intelligence out of US institutions, the Hawai court in the case. I'm very happy about it. You can read the motives, I completely agree with them.

Collider Operations on Hold Until Next Year

Published: September 23, 2008

The world’s newest and largest particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider, will not begin operations again until April, officials at the European Center for Nuclear Research said Tuesday.

The machine is built to speed the subatomic particles called protons to nearly the speed of light and then smash them together in search of new forms of matter and energy that cannot be produced in smaller machines. Two weeks ago, the center for nuclear research, which is outside Geneva, sent the first beams of protons around the machine’s 17-mile-long underground racetrack.

But last Friday the machine was shut down after an electrical connection between two of the superconducting electromagnets that steer the protons suffered a so-called quench, heating up, melting and leaking helium into the collider tunnel. Liquid helium is used to cool the magnets to superconducting temperatures of only about 3.5 degrees Fahrenheit above absolute zero. Stray heat can cause the magnets to lose their superconductivity with potentially disastrous consequences.

To make repairs, it will be necessary to warm the magnets up and then cool them back down again, which takes at least two months, engineers say. And that leaves scant time to run the collider before it has to shut down for the winter in early December to save money on electricity.

Engineers at the European Center for Nuclear Research have already scheduled a series of tests and other activities intended to bring the collider up to its full potential of delivering protons with energies of 7 trillion electron volts to their deaths in primordial fireballs. source

Suit to Halt Big Collider in Europe Is Dismissed

Published: September 29, 2008

A federal judge in Honolulu has dismissed a lawsuit trying to stop the running of a giant particle accelerator outside Geneva, dodging the issue of whether it could actually cause the end of the world.

The judge, Helen Gillmor, said in her ruling Friday that the court lacked jurisdiction over the Large Hadron Collider, which is located on the Swiss-French border and was built by CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, with help from the United States and dozens of other countries.

Last spring, Walter Wagner, a retired radiation safety officer who lives in Hawaii, and Luis Sancho, a science writer and professor in Barcelona, filed the lawsuit, claiming that the collider could produce a black hole that could eat the Earth or cause some other calamitous effect. Predictions of such outcomes have been refuted in safety studies.

This summer, for example, a report by a panel of physicists appointed by CERN concluded that the collider would not produce anything that billions of years of high-energy cosmic collisions had not produced.

Mr. Wagner and Mr. Sancho sued CERN, the United States Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation and the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Federal District Court in Hawaii. The Energy Department and the science foundation have contributed about $531 million of the collider’s estimated cost of $8 billion.

Judge Gillmor decided that the fraction paid by the United States was too small for the collider to constitute a “major federal action,” as defined by the National Environmental Policy Act, and so the court lacked jurisdiction on environmental grounds.

In an e-mail message, Mr. Sancho said, “The lawsuit was an unbelievable success in that it put the collider issue on the intellectual agenda.” Mr. Sancho also said that the most recent and thorough safety report would not have been done without their pressure.source

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