“Shutdown” on the online collider status monitor has changed to “machine test”. In the next few days, scientists plan to prepare the accelerator for the resumption of work, in particular, it is planned to check the state of the beam transfer system from the SPS accelerator to the main ring of the collider.
The Large Hadron Collider, which began operation in February 2010 after several months of calibration and minor troubleshooting, completed its first “working year” in December 2010 and was shut down until mid-February 2011.
Last year, the accelerator operated at half energy – 3.5 teraelectronvolts per beam, while the design energy is 7 teraelectronvolts per beam. The collider will operate on this energy in 2011 as well.
The collider was originally supposed to be shut down for a year in 2012 to prepare for the transition to design power. However, later scientists decided not to stop it for a one-year “upgrade”.
The new schedule stipulates that after the completion of a session in 2011 and a number of safety checks in 2012, the collider will be powered at 4 teraelectronvolts per beam, and the “long shutdown” will thus be shifted to 2013, reaching a design energy of the beam will only happen in 2014.
The Large Hadron Collider, the cost of which has exceeded 6 billion euros, is the largest particle accelerator in history, created to obtain fundamentally new data on the nature of matter and fundamental physical laws. The word “collider” is derived from the English word collide (“to collide”) and means that particles flying in opposite directions collide in it, and not a beam of particles and a stationary target, in Russian this term sounds like “accelerator on colliding beams.”
The creation of the facility began in the late 1990s, and in September 2008 it was solemnly launched – physicists successfully conducted proton beams in both directions, but a week later a major accident occurred at the accelerator associated with the release of one of the magnets from the superconducting state. The collider repair and modernization, in particular the installation of the QPS system to protect against the recurrence of such accidents, took more than 14 months and demanded $ 40 million.
In November 2009, the installation was restarted and at the end of March it was brought to a total energy of 7 teraelectronvolts.
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