LHC investigates solutions to short circuit




The start of the second run of the Large Hardron Collider was postponed this week due to a short circuit in one of the sectors. The location of the ground fault was quickly established. The reason now seems clear: a piece of scrap metal is the culprit.

Reported Cern Friday on its website . The 27-kilometer-long particle accelerator would be complete this week started to work slowly towards the first proton beams around late May. Unfortunately caused a short circuit or grounding problem last Saturday for postponing the weather fully booting the machine. The short-circuit occurred in the wiring of one of the magnets that are to direct the proton beams. Solving the problem is made particularly difficult in that the magnets are cooled with liquid helium to below -270 degrees Celsius. The weather warming and cooling of the magnets takes weeks.

There is no permanent damage to the circuitry in the troubled sector. Probably a backward piece of metal the culprit of the short circuit, which contact is made between the tube functioning as earth and one of the cables to a diode lead box that sits under the magnet. To see what the problem is likely, there are X-ray images created by the sector. From the pictures it can be seen that there is some rubbish is in the tube, but the results are not yet conclusive.

Example of a diode-box in LHC

An example of a diode-box

Now for ways to get rid of the piece of metal. The first way in which engineers look at, is to send an electric shock through the wiring in an attempt to melt the metal piece. The hope is that the metal burns and the problem is solved. Another option is the pressure of the helium in that perform specific cryogenic sector and then quickly lowering the pressure, making the object is moved. Unfortunately, it may well be that the piece of metal causing problems elsewhere.

The third method requires the heating of a portion of the cryogenic industry, and it is opened from the part where the piece is located. This entire procedure requires that everything is heated and then cooled again. It takes about six weeks.

The LHC was in 2008 also delayed due to a malfunction. When the particle accelerator ran hefty damage, causing the start of the LHC had to be delayed for a year.


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