Atom Smasher Out 2 Months

Experiments postponed; heating and recooling elements takes weeks
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 20, 2008 10:53 AM CDT
Part of the LHC (Large Hadron Collider) is seen in its tunnel at the CERN (European Center for Nuclear Research) near Geneva, Switzerland.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – It turns out that the glitch with the Large Hadron Collider is worse than originally thought and will keep the massive atom smasher out of commission for at least 2 months, the Telegraph reports. The collider, which seeks to replicate the Big Bang and solve mysteries of creation, began to malfunction the day after its first test last week.

"A delay like this in a 20-year project isn’t an utter disaster and I’m sure the team at CERN will fix it, and make it more robust as they go," said one physicist. Most of the repair time is spent heating up supercooled elements so they can be worked on, and then cooling them again. “These kind of teething problems happen with particle colliders,” a CERN spokesman said.