Following a 17-week-long technical stop, Large Hadron Collider restarts for 2017 run: CERN

Over the past month, after the completion of the maintenance work that began in December last year, each of the machines in the accelerator chain have been switched on and checked until last week when the LHC, the final machine in the chain, could be restarted.

By Zee Media Bureau | Last Updated: May 03, 2017, 14:12 PM IST
Following a 17-week-long technical stop, Large Hadron Collider restarts for 2017 run: CERN

New Delhi: The world's largest and most powerful particle smasher Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has restarted this year after a 17-week-long technical stop, said CERN.

Over the past month, after the completion of the maintenance work that began in December last year, each of the machines in the accelerator chain have been switched on and checked until last week when the LHC, the final machine in the chain, could be restarted.

"It is like an orchestra, everything has to be timed and working very nicely together," said Rende Steerenberg, who leads the operations group at the LHC.

"Once each of the parts is working properly, that is when the beam goes in, in phases from one machine to the next all the way up to the LHC," said Steerenberg.

Each year, the machines shut down over the winter break to enable technicians and engineers to perform essential repairs and upgrades, but this year the stop was scheduled to run longer, allowing more complex work to take place.

This year included the replacement of a superconducting magnet in the LHC, the installation of a new beam dump in the Super Proton Synchrotron (SPS) and a massive cable removal campaign.

Among other things, these upgrades will allow the collider to reach a higher integrated luminosity - the higher the luminosity, the more data the experiments can gather to allow them to observe rare processes.

(With PTI inputs)