Interactions News Wire #05-09
6 February 2009
Content: Press Release
Date Issued: 6 February 2009
CERN to set goals for first LHC physics
Geneva, 6 February 2009. At the conclusion of a workshop held in Chamonix
this week, recommendations have been made to the CERN management for the
restart schedule of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). If accepted in a
management meeting on Monday, these recommendations will ensure that the
LHC starts to produce physics data in late 2009, running through the
winter and on to autumn 2010 at an energy of 5 TeV per beam and ensuring
sufficient data for the experiments to produce their first new physics
"These recommendations represent the best way forward for the LHC and for
the field of particle physics in general," said Steve Myers, CERN's
Director for Accelerators and Chair of the Chamonix workshop.
Among the topics discussed in Chamonix was the underlying cause of the
incident that brought the LHC to a standstill on 19 September last year.
The incident was traced to a faulty electrical connection between segments
of the LHC's superconducting cable. Since the incident, enormous progress
has been made in developing techniques to detect any small anomaly. These
will be used in order to get a complete picture of the resistance in the
splices of all magnets installed in the machine. This will allow improved
early warning of any additional suspicious splices during operation. The
early warning systems will be in place and fully tested before restarting
Following the incident, a further two suspect connections have been
identified. One of these has now been investigated, revealing that the
splice between cables had not been correctly carried out. As a result the
magnet containing the second will also be removed from the tunnel for
repair. Since resistance tests can only be conducted in cold magnets,
three of the LHC's eight sectors remain to be tested: sector 3-4 where the
original incident occurred and the sectors on either side. Within sector
3-4, the 53 magnets that are being replaced in the tunnel will all be
tested before cool down, and the sectors either side will be cooled down
early enough to intervene if necessary with no impact on the schedule.
This leaves around 100 dipole magnets that cannot be tested until
September, and a correspondingly small chance that repairs may run into
currently scheduled running time.
"CERN's priority for 2009 is to get collision data for the experiments,
but with caution as the guiding principle," said Myers. "The
recommendations made to the CERN management are cautious, while achieving
the goal of running this year."
"A lot of hard work went into the Chamonix workshop," said CERN Director
General Rolf Heuer, "giving my management team all we need to make the
right decision on LHC restart when we next meet on Monday."
The restart schedule for the LHC will be announced following the CERN
Directorate meeting on Monday 9 February.
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*CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is the world's
leading laboratory for particle physics. It has its headquarters in
Geneva. At present, its Member States are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the
Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy,
Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden,
Switzerland and the United Kingdom. India, Israel, Japan, the Russian
Federation, the United States of America, Turkey, the European Commission
and UNESCO have Observer status.