LHC electrical failure will keep it down for 2+ months

Contributed by
Sep 20, 2008

By now you've probably heard that there was a problem with the LHC; it looks like an electrical connection between two magnets shorted out, causing a failure which allowed about a ton of liquid helium to escape. The helium is what cools the magnets to near absolute zero, and without it the magnets lose their superconducting ability.

To fix the problem, they'll have to warm up the loop and get inside to look around, and that means they have to switch off for at least two months, which is a major bummer to say the least. But the good news is that the failure was not catastrophic. The damage is most likely minimal, and the worst problem is just being offline for so long.

I'm sure all the blogs and other media will be following this problem as it goes.

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