'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 I was a Woman Against Feminism too
- 2 Fifty Shades of Grey movie trailer released: First look at Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey
- 3 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 4 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 5 Israel has discovered that it's no longer so easy to get away with murder in the age of social media
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned
Peaches Geldof: Her final day – and her fatal decision
Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
Israel-Gaza conflict: Israel may have committed war crimes, says UN human rights chief
John Barrowman praised for Commonwealth Games opening ceremony gay kiss
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
£30000 - £38500 Per Annum + 25 days holiday, pension, subsidised restaurant: C...
£34000 - £37000 Per Annum + excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Lt...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + Pension, Holiday, Flexi-time: Progressive Recruitm...
£280 - £320 per day: Progressive Recruitment: C#, WinForms, Desktop Developmen...