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Cern lab goes 'colder than space'
Ms Sans Serif
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[quote:Anonymous Coward 430584:MV81NzU1MDRfODc4MTk1M18xMzU0RTBGQw==] " The machine's cool-down should take another two weeks to complete, provided no serious problems are found. Electrical testing of the magnets may take another couple of weeks. Before the LHC is "switched on" for the first time, the proton beams have to be boosted to high energies in a chain of particle accelerators called the injectors. Once the machine is cold, operators will inject beams into the main ring, threading them through each independent sector of the LHC until they close the circle. " Another month or so to go.. woot. Tell ya one thing.. if there was such a thing as aliens flying around earth, they likely would be getting pretty anxious about what's goin on down here heh. Or at least watching closely to make sure we dont rip the universe in two or some such glp like nonsense :5a: [/quote]
A vast physics experiment built in a tunnel below the French-Swiss border is fast becoming one of the coolest places in the Universe.
The Large Hadron Collider is entering the final stages of being lowered to a temperature of 1.9 Kelvin (-271C; -456F) - colder than deep space.
The LHC has thousands of magnets which will be maintained in this frigid condition using liquid helium.
The magnets are arranged in a ring that runs for 27km through the giant tunnel.
Once the LHC is operational, two particle beams - usually consisting of protons accelerated to high energies - will be fired down pipes running through the magnets.
These beams will then travel in opposite directions around the main ring at close to the speed of light.
At allotted points along the tunnel, the beams will cross paths, smashing into one another with cataclysmic force. Scientists hope to see new particles in the debris of these collisions, revealing fundamental new insights into the nature of the cosmos and how it came into being.
The most powerful physics experiment ever built, the LHC will re-create the conditions just after the Big Bang.
Currently, six out of the LHC's eight sectors are between 4.5 and 1.9 Kelvin, though all sectors of the machine have been down to 1.9 Kelvin at some stage over the last few months.
By comparison, the temperature in remote regions of outer space is about 2.7 Kelvin (-270C; -454F).
link to news.bbc.co.uk
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