LHC Repair Update: Temperature Must Be Raised so Repairmen Don't Die

In case you were still worried about the LHC bringing on the biblical apocalypse, you can calm down, because it turns out the Collider is going to be out of commission for a lot longer than previously thought. The "electrical transformer" problem wasn't the cause of the shutdown at all, and the real problem means the LHC won't be back up and running for at least two months.

CERN spokesman James Gillies explained, ""It's too early to say precisely what happened, but it seems to be a faulty electrical connection between two magnets that stopped superconducting, melted and led to a mechanical failure and let the helium out." The specific section will have to have its temperature raised significantly above its usual absolute zero so engineers can go in and repair it without dying, which is apparently a very time-consuming process. This kind of failure isn't unusual for particle accelerators, but the LHC's internal temperature makes the whole ordeal much more difficult. Each warm-up or cool-down takes a minimum of several weeks, so the total repair will last more than two months. I suppose we've waited a long time already to unlock the secrets of the universe, so a couple more months can't hurt, right? [CNN]