By Anne Richardson, Reuters
GENEVA (Sept. 20) – A technical glitch has forced scientists to shut down the huge particle-smashing machine built to simulate the conditions of the “Big Bang ” for at least two months, they said on Saturday.
The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) said there had been a major helium leak on Friday into the tunnel housing the biggest and most complex machine ever made.
Just 10 days ago, scientists had celebrated the successful start of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) under the Swiss-French border, hoping it would revamp modern physics and unlock secrets about the universe and its origins.
In order to fix the problem, the machine will have to be warmed up from its operating temperature of minus 271.3 degrees Celsius (minus 456.3 degrees Fahrenheit), spokesman James Gillies said.
“Because the LHC is a superconducting machine that works at very low temperatures, in order to get in and fix it we’ve got to warm it up, then we go and fix it, and then we cool it down again, and that’s a process that’s likely to take two months,” he said.
The Arts can rest easy: we will not have to begin again with our understanding of all of existence just yet. The human opus created hitherto will remain relevant a wee bit longer before it all becomes historical documentation or metaphor.
Do we have Sarah Connor to thank?