CERN: "Big Bang" collider incident caused by electrical fault

11:17, 17 October 2008
Science and IT
696

 Between two of the magnets

A helium leak incident that led to the shutdown of the world`s largest particle collider was caused by a faulty electrical connection, the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) said on Thursday, according to Xinhua.

    Investigations confirmed that there was a faulty electrical connection between two of the magnets of the Large Hadron Collider(LHC), said the Geneva-based organization in a statement.

The LHC, housed in a 27-km circular tunnel under the French-Swiss border, was built to recreate conditions just after the "Big Bang" 13 billion years ago so that many secrets of the universe could be unlocked.

    It started operation with great fanfare on Sept. 10, but the helium leak into the tunnel 10 days later forced scientists to shut down the huge machine.

    "This incident was unforeseen," said CERN Director-General Robert Aymar in a statement.

    "But I am now confident that we can make the necessary repairs, ensure that a similar incident can not happen in the future and move forward to achieving our research objectives," he said.

    CERN said that the powerful collider would not restart until spring 2009 due to the delay caused by the helium leak problem and related repair work.

Xinhua

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