back to article CERN plans LHC switch-on for May next year

CERN's new particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider, will start up in May 2008, the facility's director general announced on Friday last week. Low energy runs on the LHC were supposed to begin this year, but the project has been beset by niggles, technical hitches and other delays. The catastrophic failure of a magnetic …


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  1. Robert Clark

    Damned Americans!

    Its true to say that many things have slowed down the development of the LHC and its Associated experiments (ALICE,ATLAS,CMS,LHCb).

    The final nail in the coffin was the failure of the inner triplet component;

    The LHC is a 27km tunnel with two inner tubes, carrying and propelling particles in opposite directions. The inner triplets sit at the 4 collision points where the experiments are placed. These parts were not correctly tested by our american friends at Fermilab. As such, we in europe, have to wait for the americans to fix their part.

    Its also worth noting that CERN and Fermilab are in a race to make some similar discoveries. Will this failure in design by Ferimlab allow them to take the lead...? Conspiracy theorists, do your worst!

  2. JJ

    Real reason

    More likely someone has decided that if their experiment is going to cause a Big Bang, it may as well be a F**king Big Bang.

    There's usually a reason why you do low energy testing first - it leaves pieces big enough to tell what went wrong.

    Skipping the test schedule because you're behind is rarely a clever thing to do, you always miss something and the outcome is usually expensive.

  3. Tom

    Big bang?

    This is fusion not fission...

    I still see where you're coming from in general, but fusion isn't explosive!

  4. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

    You are mistaken Mr. Clark...

    We Americans want this project to succeed.

    You see if you're successfull, then we can get approval and funding for an even bigger device, over the objections of the tree hugging liberals who don't grok science as anything more than "green good" "nuclear bad". And I do mean anything named nuclear. NMR now MRI as an example....

    The truth is that in our budget cutting, rumor has it that this work was off shored. ;-)

    But hey! What do I know? I'm just adding to your conspiracy theories ...

  5. JJ

    Re: Big bang?

    It's actually high energy particle collisions, which isn't exactly fusion.

    Anything with high energies has the potential to make a bang, even if it's just the equipment letting go. Which is the most likely effect of just whacking everything to 11 and seeing what happens, instead of testing carefully first.

    There's also the argument from the tin-hat brigade that the outcome of some of the experiments might have unfortunate side effects, not that I believe such things but I thought it a good basis for a joke...

  6. Mark Brown

    the end is nigh!

    Its quite obvious that going to high energy straight off is a ploy to create a tiny blackhole (sooner) that will envelop the earth! We're doomed!

  7. Louis Cowan

    Gordon Freeman?

    Isn't this how Half-Life started?

  8. Michael Corkery

    Wasn't this how Flashback started?

    *fires up Amiga emulator so I'm ready when the time comes*

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Begin the countdown

    "There is no big red button when you're starting up an accelerator"

    Whoa, whoa, whoa, there's no need to destroy any illusions I have about science.

    How much would a big red button cost in comparison to making it slightly exciting. I had thought Nasa were the best at making something amazing seem incredibly boring.

    One big red button, a huge whirring noise building up from subsonic to terrifying roar and a oversized knife switch costs zero but would get the kids/adults into science maybe.

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