Quenched: Large Hadron Collider Halted
The LHC (Large Hadron Collider) suffered a coolant leak yesterday. causing scientists and engineers to shut down the massive experiment for repairs... repairs that could take months.
Part of the giant physics experiment was turned off for the weekend while engineers probed a magnet failure.
But a Cern spokesman said damage to the £3.6bn ($6.6bn) particle accelerator was worse than anticipated.
On Friday, a failure, known as a quench, caused around 100 of the LHC's super-cooled magnets to heat up by as much as 100C.
The fire brigade were called out after a tonne of liquid helium leaked into the tunnel at Cern, near Geneva.
At least one of the LHC's more than 1700 superconducting magnets failed, springing a leak and spewing helium gas into the subterranean tunnel that houses the collider [...]
He said: "A full investigation is still under way but the most likely cause seems to be a faulty electrical connection between two of the magnets which probably melted, leading to a mechanical failure.
"We're investigating and we can't really say more than that now.
"But we do know that we will have to warm the machine up, make the repair, cool it down, and that's what brings you to two months of downtime for the LHC."