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Decision for the LHC: 1 Inverse fb at 7 TeV or Bust!

29 Jan 2010, 18:34 UTC
Decision for the LHC: 1 Inverse fb at 7 TeV or Bust!
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

Last week in Aspen we learned that this week would be when a major decision was reached by CERN at the annual Chamonix meeting as to how to operate the LHC at high energy. Following the magnet quench incident in September 2008, a year-long shutdown ensued for repairs to the magnets, and retrofitting of the rest of the machine for better quench protection circuitry and helium pressure release valves. Not all sectors were warmed up to room temperature for the retrofit last year, but all magnets were trained to go as high as beam energies of 5 TeV (design energy is 7 TeV per beam).
In November and December the LHC commissioning resumed, and it became the world’s highest energy collider on December 8, eventually delivering about 50,000 collisions at 2.36 TeV to CMS and ATLAS before shutting down for Christmas.
But the question facing the LHC managers this week was whether attempting to operate the LHC at 5 TeV on 5 TeV in 2010 was worth the risk to the machine itself. Clearly another disaster of the scale of the one in 2008 would cripple the program for a long time. In the end the decision is to ...

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