back to article LHC downed until after Xmas - Boo

Proton-punishing boffins at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) have confirmed that a recent technical mishap will down the colossal particle-masher until well into next year. The various treats promised once the LHC began living up to its name will not, now, arrive in time for Christmas. Physicists had hoped that the tremendous …


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  1. Simon Bache

    Physicists had hoped....

    That second paragraph caused a tea-through-nose incident. Thanks Lewis :-)

  2. Mike Richards

    Okay Lewis...

    ...perhaps it's time to switch to decaff?

  3. Chris Miller

    M25 analogy

    Like it! In fact, it's as though the M25 had a contraflow every few miles .. oh, hang on ...

  4. gfs
    Thumb Up

    Darkened Room

    Mr Page

    I hope that you were allowed a bit of a lie down in a darkened room after writing this?


  5. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    "sift the riven hadron guts for auguries into the very essence of the cosmos"

    I actually love Lewis Page

  6. Mark Lockwood Silver badge

    In a quote from the boffins...

    They said, "There have been speculations that the Universe is not in its most stable configuration, and that perturbations caused by the LHC could tip it into a more stable state, called a vacuum bubble, in which we could not exist, unless one of the magnets goes titsup, in which case you can wave Mont Blanc goodbye"

  7. Steven


    "would by now be spraying sub-particulate roadkill wreckage like zillionfold femto-entrail hail" - Love it :)

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Stop Giving This Man Coffee

    I think Lewis is approaching some sort of linguistic event horizon. I worry for his safety. He needs to be taken off the LHC / DARPA beat and write kitten stories for a few weeks.

    It's probably just as well that the LHC has been replaced by some light music at the moment.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    On the plus side

    we get a whole new media frenzy when they fire it up again...

    (that's a sarcastic thumbs-up, btw)

  10. Beelzeebub

    LHC projected first collision date


    which, of course, is 6/6/6 upside down.

  11. Simon

    Hadron roadkill

    That second paragraph had me giggling like a small girl, well done sir.

    The CERN cafeteria? Have you been there? It isnt too bad, they do fantastic coffee in there, however the evening meals seem to encourage me to eat everything "Avec frites".

    The information that I have seen says that the downtime clashes with a compulsary winter shutdown period. I suspect most people (Including the media) wont know this and will simply report the LHC as "Broke" till next year (You got it correct in the article, well done) So this doesnt mean it will take until spring to fix the problem with the faulty magnets, only a couple of days in fact, then a couple of weeks to cool them down again. Nothing to worry about.

    Most people at CERN see this as a "Crisatunity" to iron out the bugs in other areas of the system and get things all ship-shape for the turn-on in the spring.

    All those people who breathed a sigh of relief when the world didnt whistle down a cosmic plughole, well it wasnt due to happen on the 10th of September, the machine wasnt attempting to run at full power then, you will have to wait till 2009 for that, please remain under your desks...

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Well at least Frankie Boyle can sleep easy.

    As Frankie said "if they want to watch something spinning around at a million miles an hour they should come watch my fucking gas meter."

  13. Chris Richards

    oh, but that means...

    ...we won't have any stories about proton punishing, Higgs harassing and boson bothering boffins until after christmas!!

    (and @AC, the media frenzy seems to be more aimed at the switch on than whenever the first collision happens - which is probably a good thing. Nobody likes expecting to be pulled into a not-so-microblackhole feet first - this way it'll be a nice surprise).

  14. Greg


    Brightened up my Wednesday - nice one Lewis.

  15. breakfast
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    The cosmic M25

    This must surely be the most charmingly baroque physics-related news story I have ever read on The Register.

    Outstanding work.

  16. Paul Lingwood

    a result....

    ... they may not have created a black hole .... but the certainly created a hole ... in one of the magnets.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thank you

    My thanks to the alien race that stepped in and switched off our universe destroyer.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    LHC downed until after Xmas - Boo, as..

    ..a CERN spokesbozon later said, "well, we really want to start our New Year Party with a big bang, sod piddling display fireworks we said, lets go for the big one.."

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  21. J D Wakefield

    Trying to communicate?

    All the extremely large, flowery, un-impressive language gets in the way of just telling us the story!!! Lanugage is meant to communicate a message and your message is barely in there!

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    Keep it up Lewis!

  23. glennog

    Economy 7

    Actually, after a Radio 4 interview this morning, Dr Brian Cox (yes, him of D-Ream notoriety) has said that there was never any intention to be smashing little bits of almost-nothingness together until next year anyway, and that they were always going to shutdown the LHC over the winter anyway. It turns out that CERN have as much trouble funding their power bills just the same as the rest of us, so they don't do science during the winter months, when electricity costs more! All they wanted from Santa was a working platform, it won't actually to be until the new year that they'll be using it send the earth up its own poop-shute.

  24. Nic Brough

    I reckon...

    ... they've been reading

    Mine's the one with the Tickle-Me-Cthulhu in the pocket.

  25. Thomas

    Terrific article!

    Any chance we could sort out some sort of caffinated beverage-based IV system for Mr Page?

  26. Jeff Rowse Bronze badge

    I welcome our new Alien Overlords...

    and congratulate them on fooling 99.999999999% of the worlds' population.

    The LHC is, of course, still running at maximum power and opening all those lovely little wormhole/singularity event horizons for our new masters to ferry in their loyal minions.

    Chris de Burgh was out slightly - it should have been "When 2-thousand-and-8 years of your time has gone by", not 2000...


    I claim first dibs on "Quisling traitor in charge of Attractive Women"...

    [Exeunt stage left, muttering Lewis Carroll's "Hunting of the Snark"]

  27. Oli Beaumont

    That makes 3 monitors you owe me

    For the last two weeks alone. Thanks, Lewis - great work!

  28. Anonymous Coward

    @ Stop Giving This Man Coffee

    "He needs to be taken off the LHC / DARPA beat and write kitten stories for a few weeks."

    No no, that's still too organic and thus close to entrails and other messinesses.

    Rather, comparative reviews of seminars on Web 2.0 !

    "Linguistic event horizon" indeed :-)

    Next station, Ontological Singularity!


    (The Penguin, 'coz he's under-represented)

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    LHC Rap

    For those unsure what the LHC is about, theres a pretty cool rap on Utube

  30. Sillyfellow

    does it get too cold for the LHC in winter?

    hehehe... why the winter shutdown? does it get too cold for the LHC in winter?

    (a bit like brown crinkly leaves being a danger to trains in the autum perhaps?)

    ps. brilliantly written article. nice one.

  31. Mr Mark V Thomas
    Paris Hilton

    Re: last comment

    No, it costs too much, to run in winter due to higher electricity costs....

    Basically the LHC will use more power than the City of Geneva, when operational...

    How would Paris Hilton explain the concept of Charge Parity Violation...?

  32. Mark

    Look on the bright side

    Unlike past christmas, this time there'll be no earthquake because there's no LHC to arouse the wrath of the Sky Lord.

    After all, if he kept it up, how would we know when he's angry with us?

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