Friday, February 15, 2013

CERN Shuts Down LHC for 2 Year Maintenance

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is world famous for scientists a glimpse of what may be the Higgs Boson, as well as many other incredible discoveries of mass and physics. Yesterday, Thursday, it was shut down for a two-year revamp that will allow it time to repair and rebuild its power.

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC), straddling the border between France and Switzerland, has been working non-stop for three years to find the elusive Higgs Boson that is theorized to explain the mysteries of mass and would allow scientists to see what formed out galaxy and possibly other galaxies.

The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), which operates the collider, said its crew began winding down the vast facility just after 7:00 am (0600 GMT) on Thursday and it is due to go completely offline on Saturday.

"We have every reason to be very satisfied with the LHC's first three years," CERN's director general, Rolf Heuer, said in a statement.

"The machine, the experiments, the computing facilities and all infrastructures behaved brilliantly, and we have a major scientific discovery in our pocket."

The massive structure that is the LHC smashes invisible particles together to better understand the micro-moment after the creation of our Universe some 14 billion years ago.

British physicist Peter Higgs is one of the physicists who theorized in 1964 that the boson could be what gave mass to matter as the Universe cooled after the Big Bang.

At a cost of up to 50 million Swiss francs (40 million euros/$54 million), the upgrade will boost the level of energy at which the LHC smashes protons together.

Located in a 26.6-kilometer (16.5-mile) circular tunnel, the LHC was the scene of an extraordinary discovery announced in July 2012.

CERN's scientists said they were 99.9 percent certain they had found the Higgs Boson, an invisible particle without which, theorists say, humans and all the other joined-up atoms in the Universe would not exist.

This is necessary to confirm definitively that its particle is the elusive Higgs, and allow the LHC to probe new dimensions such as supersymmetry and dark matter.

The LHC is due to be back online by 2015, but CERN will not be idle during the shutdown.

Its scientists have to sift through a vast mountain of data, equivalent to 700 years of full HD-quality movies.


Daniel, Jedi Editor
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