'Big Bang' machine to be ready by summer
The £4bn "Big Bang" machine, which suffered a catastrophic malfunction soon after being switched on last September, is expected to be restarted in June.
The Large Hadron Collider suffered a catastrophic malfunction soon after being switched on amid a fanfare of publicity last September.
A faulty electrical connection led to a leak of super-cold helium causing damage estimated at £20 million.
As a result, 53 of the magnets used to accelerate sub-atomic particles around the machine's 17-mile underground tunnel have had to be brought to the surface for repair or cleaning.
Engineers have now designed fail-safe protection systems to ensure that a similar accident never happens again.
Electronic monitors will provide early warnings of hazards, and the magnet network will also be fitted with pressure-release valves to confine the damage caused by any future leak.
The LHC, the biggest atom-smashing machine ever built, straddles the borders of France and Switzerland and is operated by Cern, the European particle physics laboratory near Geneva.
It is designed to simulate the "Big Bang", which started the universe 15 billion years ago, by smashing sub-atomic particles together at energies never before achieved.
Scientists hope this will help them find the answers to big questions, such as what causes mass and whether hidden dimensions exist in space.
There is also a possibility of tiny black holes being created in the Collider. Experts insist that if this happens, they will pose no threat.
LHC project leader Lyn Evans said: "We have a lot of work to do over the coming months, but we now have the roadmap, the time and the competence necessary to be ready for physics by summer. We are currently in a scheduled annual shutdown until May, so we're hopeful that not too much time will be lost."
The total cost of repairing and refitting the machine is likely to exceed £30 million.
- 1 Man who was struck and killed by lightning in Brecon Beacons 'was carrying a selfie stick'
- 2 Lisa Randolph-Gant: Queen Elsa cake maker says she will carry on baking and will not let people 'break her spirit'
- 3 Tube strike: This pedestrian-friendly map tells you time it takes to walk between stations
- 4 Pamplona Running of the Bulls 2015: Three men gored and 10 hospitalised on first day of festival
- 5 Sarah Jessica Parker explains why she is not a feminist: 'It's not just about women now'
Man who was struck and killed by lightning in Brecon Beacons 'was carrying a selfie stick'
Greece debt crisis: Greek future in the euro slips into deeper uncertainty as Alexis Tsipras arrives at emergency talks without written plan
Man soars over Calgary after tying 110 balloons filled with helium to his lawn chair for PR stunt, gets arrested for mischief
Tube strike: This pedestrian-friendly map tells you time it takes to walk between stations
Pamplona Running of the Bulls 2015: Three men gored and 10 hospitalised on first day of festival
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Sickness and disability benefits could be reduced by £30 a week as part of £12bn welfare cuts
Greece debt crisis: Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande issue Athens with 24-hour ultimatum to avoid crashing out of the euro
Greece crisis: Referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its lack of genuine legitimacy
£23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Analyst is required ...
£16000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To succeed, you will need to ha...
£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join an award winni...
£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...