‘end of the world’ machine breaks down again

'end of the world' machine breaks down againfrom press tv: The European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) says its particle collider will be shut down due to a helium leak into its tunnel. “There has been an incident in a test. One section of the machine will have to be repaired,” CERN spokesman James Gillies announced on Saturday.

The collider, the largest of its kind in the world, will be taken offline for at least two months following a “large helium leak” due to a fault which occurred Friday afternoon. “Preliminary investigations suggest that the most likely cause of the problem was a faulty electrical connection between two magnets, which probably melted at high current leading to mechanical failure,” a CERN statement explained, adding that it poses to threat to people.

This is the second fault the Large Hadron Collider has suffered. On September 10 the LHC was started for the first time but had to be taken offline due to a problem in its cooling system. The LHC is the most advanced scientific experiment of its kind, and aims at giving the scientific community a glimpse into the invisible world of the sub-atomic and answer mysteries.

update: large hadron collider shut down until spring ’09
from natl geographic news: Full-power operation of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) won’t happen until early spring 2009, after an electrical glitch sparked a large helium leak inside the machine’s tunnels. Although repairs should take just about two months, the collider needs to be shut down in the winter to save costs. Officials with the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) therefore decided not to restart the particle accelerator until next year. “Coming immediately after the very successful start of LHC operation on 10 September, this is undoubtedly a psychological blow,” CERN Director General Robert Aymar said in a press release. “Nevertheless, the success of the LHC’s first operation with beam is testimony to years of painstaking preparation and the skill of the teams involved in building and running CERN’s accelerator complex. I have no doubt that we will overcome this setback with the same degree of rigor and application.”