Whatever happened to the LHC?

I gave a talk to the Hamilton Astronomical Society last night on the Large Hadron Collider. It was all very topical back in September, when it was ‘switched on’, but following its breakdown soon later it has rather faded from the popular press. So what is happening now?

The simple answer is that it is still under repair. The troublesome cooling system is still being attended to, and, in fact, CERN have taken the opportunity to carry out some previously scheduled maintenance work at the same time. The currently scheduled ‘switch on again’ date is September this year – a whole year’s delay. They hope to be getting data-generating collisions by the end of October. (Link to latest press release).

So you have a bit of time breathe easily, knowing that the world will not end again for another few months at least.

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