Page last updated at 18:17 GMT, Monday, 17 November 2008

Hadron Collider repairs cost 14m

Large Hadron Collider (LHC)
The 5bn Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is intended to smash protons - one of the building blocks of matter - into each other

Repairing the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) near Geneva will cost almost £14m ($21m) and "realistically" take until at least next summer to start back up.

An electrical failure shut the £3.6bn ($6.6bn) machine down in September.

The European Organization for Nuclear Research (Cern) thought it would only be out of action until November but the damage was worse than expected.

It is hoped repairs will be completed by May or early June with the machine restarted at the end of June or later.

Cern spokesman James Gillies said: "If we can do it sooner, all well and good. But I think we can do it realistically (in) early summer."

Fundamental questions

The LHC was built to smash protons together at huge speeds, recreating conditions moments after the Big Bang, and scientists hope it will shed light on fundamental questions in physics.

The fault occurred just nine days after it was turned on with Cern blaming the shutdown on the failure of a single, badly soldered electrical connection in one of its super-cooled magnet sections.

The collider operates at temperatures colder than outer space for maximum efficiency and experts needed to gradually warm the damaged section to assess it.

"Now the sector is warm so they are able to go in and physically look at each of the interconnections," Mr Gillies told Associated Press.

The cost of the work will fall within the Cern's existing budget.

Dr Lyn Evans, the Welsh-born project director has called the collider "a discovery machine, the most sophisticated scientific instrument of our time."



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FROM OTHER NEWS SITES
CNET News.com LHC restart gets reset to June - 14 hrs ago
ZDNet UK LHC restart date now June at earliest - 19 hrs ago
The Independent Large bill for Large Hadron Collider fix - 22 hrs ago
Sydney Morning HeraldAnother big bang for atom-smasher - 38 hrs ago
Sydney Morning HeraldAtom-smasher restart delayed further - 40 hrs ago
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