back to article Helium hole hiccup halts Hadron

Leaks have been found in the vacuum of the Large Hadron Collider's insulating layer, causing yet another postponement of its restart from October to November. The £2.7bn LHC machine - a particle accelerator in a 17 mile-long tunnel under the French and Swiss borders at Geneva - was set to restart in October, after a previous …


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  1. Bilgepipe


    Much as I support scientific research - even that which may create a swirling black hole of doom and suck us all into a fiery maelstrom of death - in this economic climate I would rather see the UK's contribution go towards our own numerous problems. Perhaps we could pay Gordon Brown to p*ss off with it.

  2. Adam 10

    -316 Fahrenheit?

    Was this reference to Fahrenheit added in by the article author or the CERN staff?! If the latter, then perhaps all the troubles have been caused by conversion factors.

    Miles, feet and inches are useful for real-world stuff, but when it comes to engineering and theoretical physics they're a PITA. The only times any engineer should be using Imperial units is when dealing with legacy hardware that was designed and built in Imperial units (i.e. steam engines and... ermm... steam engines) or when describing something informally ("the ATLAS detector is about 150 feet long")

    17 mile tunnel, yes. -316 Fahrenheit, no.

  3. NedSeagoon

    Some said....

    that a black hole would be created when the LHC was turned on. It looks as though a couple have - one in the LHC insulating layer and another in the UK governments finances.

  4. John Bayly
    Thumb Up

    Got to love the halliteration

    It's headlines like this that make me come here in the first place.

  5. James 85


    Creation of coal coloured chasm curbed.

    Procreation of pitch puncture prorogued.

    I'll be going now.

  6. Stu Pid

    Amazing alliteration astounds all.

    Comments can cause consternation.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hmmm, a leak in a vacuum?

    Is this some sort of zen thing?

  8. BoldMan


    Cancel the damn expensive aircraft carriers and keep the LHC!!!

    The one with the particle accelerator backpack please...

  9. Filippo


    As much as I too would be doubtful of starting a megascience project right now, I think that withdrawing support *after* the megabucks have been spent, just to save the upkeep, would be exceptionally myopic.

    The blessed thing has been built already - it has some kinks to work out, but the major part of the investment has already been done. Who would spend a million to build a house, and then refuse to spend a few thousands to furnish it so they can actually use it? Shutting down the project now would mean that all that money has been spent for nothing.

  10. Martin 6 Silver badge


    >I would rather see the UK's contribution go towards our own numerous problems

    It does - thats why projects like this are so expensive.

    All the contracts for the project are doled out to the member countries in proportion to their contribution.

    The bids naturally go to companies with experience of bidding for government contracts (cough)BAe(cough) who then sub the job out to someone who actually knows how to build the magnets.

    So the magnets are built by one company but they have 10 different 'customers' managing the purchases and all taking a cut.

  11. I didn't do IT.

    Kelvin vs. Farenheit (Bless you!) (@ Adam10)

    I am unable to determine if you are refuting the measurement *as a value* or chastising the use of the particular measurement scale used...

    In any case, the cooling lines are not discussed (which may be where the -316F or 78K temperature may apply), but the magnets used for the collider are cooled to 1.9K with the liquid [He].

    This is -456.25 F. :)

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Pull the other one

    "after a previous failure in its cooling systems caused serious damage when it was initially started up in September last year."

    Yeah right mate, pull the other one. I've played Half Life, I know what you mean by "serious damage".

    Serious damage to the inter dimensional portals more like.

  13. Sean Hunter

    Get on with it!

    I wish these guys would just get on with destroying the earth. All these delays are becoming tedious.

  14. Anonymous Coward

    @Stu Pid

    Comments can cause consternation.

    More likely constipation.

  15. Anonymous John

    @ Get on with it!

    Agreed. Thinks of the money they could save by not producing the swine flu vaccine.

  16. G Murphy

    Pull the plug...

    Pull the plug on our funding of this, and put the entire load in to ITER and fusion research, something which may alter our lives forever versus an experiment which might show us that there really is a gravity boson. whoop.

  17. Andy Bright

    Yeah.. riiight..

    "said that the damage was caused by a faulty splice in the high-current superconducting cable"

    Like any of us are going to believe that. Science fiction abounds with comments like "the simplest explanation is usually the truth" and other such sage advice.. and the simplest explanation is that the monsters they ripped from other dimensions in their devil-worshiping apocalypse inducer have borrowed their way out into the world.

    It's a well known fact in Alaska that one of them is controlling Sarah Palin, having wormed its way into her brain. Obviously only something that can crawl through micro fractures is small enough to fit in such confined and cramped quarters.

  18. Adrian Esdaile

    Curiosity econmically unviable, say experts....

    No profitable returns can be made from fundamental science, said economic EXPERTS today.

    Speaking from their mink-lined thrones wrought of diamond-encrusted platinum, the EXPERT economists presented a mountain of supporting presentations on their unobtainium-clad iphones, proving that CERN's LHC should be dismantled to make room for shoe and fashion sweatshops, and the worlds largest and most efficient rubber dogshit factory, thus fulfilling massive world-wide ECONOMIC demand.

    They later went on to describe how the wheel is economically unviable, and how a return to feudal systems and legal slavery would greatly increase profits and economic indicators, and would be welcomed by SHAREHOLDERS, the MOST IMPORTANT BEIGNS IN THE COSMOS.

    [aside] My list of 'first against wall when revolution comes' is getting large. Might need a bigger wall.

  19. Chris 96

    @G Murphy

    Nuclear physics is particle physics which is the primary field of the LHC. Understanding the interraction of particles and the forces that operate on them leads to a better understanding of how to manipulate nuclear particles to close in on the fusion goal.

    What you suggest is like saying, I want a faster more efficient car, so put all the money into designing the bodywork and cupholders, but dont spend anything on the motor because we are going to stick with this steam engine!

    @ all those who still believe the LHC is capable of creating earth destroying black holes or grey goo - the only black holes are the ones in your heads where the grey goo should be!

  20. Wilko


    ...for unforeseen consequences

  21. expat matt

    I'm ready...

    Just letting you all know if it does open a portal to the following:-

    -free floating full torso vaporous apparitions

    -focused, non-terminal, repeating phantasms

    -class 5 full roaming vapors

    -class 3 animating spectres

    -class 1 supernatural secretions

    I am now a fully trained ghostbuster, completed my studies at the university of PS3.

  22. Tony Paulazzo


    >I wish these guys would just get on with destroying the earth. All these delays are becoming tedious.<


    >My list of 'first against wall when revolution comes' is getting large. Might need a bigger wall.<

    Might I suggest the LHC, the wall is 17 miles long, apparently.

    Warning, Discovery channel level science, so a few 'facts' might not be. Is any one else worried that these brain boxes who are going to be smashing particles at each other at the speed of light (or whatever), couldn't even design the 'gun' correctly?

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