Scientists have fixed the short-circuit at the world’s largest particle collider, making possible a restart of the proton-smashing machine “within days’ time” after a two-year shutdown.
A piece of metal in one of the magnet circuits of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) near Geneva had delayed putting the apparatus back into service. The fragment was removed on Monday, according to a statement released by the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN).
“The largest collider in the world should be ready for beam operations in a few days’ time,” CERN announced on Tuesday.
The restart of the huge laboratory aims to help physicists to find out more about the essential building blocks of all matter. Another goal of the scientists is to discover how the forces that control the basic matter of the universe work.
Researches must carry out several tests on all the circuits in the area that experienced problems, which happened on March 21. The issues forced CERN to delay the much anticipated restart by several weeks.
The Large Hadron Collider has been shut down since February 2013, for maintenance and improvement works. The new circuits and magnets will give it almost double of its original power.
The collider is a 17-mile long ring-shaped tunnel that crosses the French-Swiss border. In it, scientists send two beams of protons in opposite directions, with the help of powerful magnets, which bend the beams so that they collide at specific points around the track. Four state of the art laboratories, with clusters of sensors, analyze the chain reactions that are produced during those clashes.
Scientists at CERN, one of the world’s top research centres on particle physics, announced in 2012 they had found the Higgs boson, which existed until then only in theory. The Higgs boson is considered the mass-giver to all matter. The discovery was rewarded with the 2013 Nobel Prize in physics.
Scientists believe the new series of experiments of the Large Hadron Collide can bring theoretical concepts like dark matter or dark energy, but also possible extra dimensions into reality, just like it happened with the Higgs boson.
Cern’s scientists explained that although the collider is performing scientific experiments that have never been tried before, LHC is safe. A safety study group which has covered LHC’s first run has said that the collisions present no danger and there are no reasons for concern.
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