Skip to comments.Particle collider magnet self-destructs
Posted on 04/03/2007 9:35:12 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
GENEVA - A 43-foot-long magnet for the world's largest particle collider broke "with a loud bang and a cloud of dust" during a high-pressure test, and officials said Tuesday they are working to find a replacement part.
The part that failed March 27 was in a super-cooled magnet designed to focus streams of protons so that they collide and allow scientists to study the results of the collision, giving them a better understanding of the makeup of matter, according to Fermilab, based in suburban Chicago, which has an accelerator of its own and is helping build one deep beneath the Swiss and French countryside outside Geneva.
Fermilab, which built the magnet for the 17-mile circular collider, said its teams, working with colleagues from the European Organization for Nuclear Research, have determined what caused the "serious failure" and are working on a solution.
"It's impossible really to say whether that (schedule) can be maintained at this stage," said James Gillies, spokesman for the European group, known by the French initials CERN. But, he added, "everything else is going as if we're still heading for the schedule of this year."
In a statement posted on its Web site, Fermilab said the failure that broke a glass cloth-epoxy laminate support resulted from a test of "asymmetric" or irregular force. Subsequent testing showed that the support was inadequate to withstand the longitudinal forces, which had been overlooked in the design process.
Fermilab said it hoped that the redesign and repair can be completed without delaying the startup of the Large Hadron Collider, which has been under construction for years and is being eagerly awaited by scientists around the world.
"We took a pratfall on the world stage," said Pier Oddone, director of the lab, which has its own, smaller collider at Batavia, Ill. "We are dumbfounded that we missed some very simple balance of forces."
The aim of the CERN experiment is to make subatomic particles in this case protons travel at nearly the speed of light until they collide, emitting a shower of even smaller particles that will reveal mysteries about the makeup of matter.
There will also be hundreds of other, smaller magnets in the circular tunnel, which is big enough for a subway train and 160-500 feet under the Swiss-French border, CERN said.
The $1.8 billion collider is replacing a less-powerful model that was removed from the tunnel in 2000.
The magnets will be cooled to a temperature of 456 degrees below zero so they can convey extremely high currents without any loss of energy, enabling them to control the path of the protons, which are 2,000 times heavier than the much more easily directed electrons that were used in the earlier accelerator.
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Next week, Fermilab will demonstrate a self-destructing Stretch Armstrong.
Particle Collider Magnet Failure Blamed on Faulty EngineeringUh, I think "piss poor" is the phrase they were looking for. I was trying to find the photos of the magnet being moved through the streets of the little town nearby, and couldn't. This thing was really big. They won't be able to just call up Edmund Scientific and get another one.
by JR Minke
April 03, 2007
Giant magnet attracts big attention
Tech Blorge | March 1st, 2007 | George Gardner
Posted on 03/04/2007 11:27:15 PM EST by SunkenCiv
Why does resistence go down as the temperature approaches such low temps? Is the matter approaching a Bose-Einstein condensate in some fashion?
No one knows. There’s a conjecture about it, I think it’s probably called the Cooper Conjecture. Google the term “cooper pairs”. It was clear as mud to me. :’)
“The band gap suggested a phase transition in which there was a kind of condensation, like a Bose-Einstein condensation, but electrons alone cannot condense into the same energy level (Pauli exclusion principle). Yet a drastic change in conductivity demanded a drastic change in electron behavior. Perhaps coupled pairs of electrons with antiparallel spins could act like bosons?”
Thanks, I’ll dig around in it.
I keep seeing huge sums of money going into these things. Has there been any benefit coming out of these things? Will they ever pay for themselves?
:’) Uh, no.
I keep seeing huge sums of money going into these things. Has there been any benefit coming out of these things? Will they ever pay for themselves?Think of these things as a large-scale 'college' education; in and of itself, useless.
But it paves the way for progress down the road.
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