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The LHC restarts — in a manner of speaking —

6 Apr 2015, 12:45 UTC
The LHC restarts — in a manner of speaking —
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

As many of you will have already read, the Large Hadron Collider [LHC], located at the CERN laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland, has “restarted”. Well, a restart of such a machine, after two years of upgrades, is not a simple matter, and perhaps we should say that the LHC has “begun to restart”. The process of bringing the machine up to speed begins with one weak beam of protons at a time — with no collisions, and with energy per proton at less than 15% of where the beams were back in 2012. That’s all that has happened so far.
If that all checks out, then the LHC operators will start trying to accelerate a beam to higher energy — eventually to record energy, 40% more than in 2012, when the LHC last was operating. This is the real test of the upgrade; the thousands of magnets all have to work perfectly. If that all checks out, then two beams will be put in at the same time, one going clockwise and the other counterclockwise. Only then, if that all works, will the beams be made to collide — and the first few collisions of protons will result. After that, the ...

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