The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Geneva, Switzerland, is set to close for eight to twelve months of 2011 in order to address design issues and conduct general maintenence. The news comes despite good current operational running at reduced power levels, and an imminent world record level of collision energies attempted.
The repairs come after the unfortunate accident in 2008 when the system was shut down due to a helium leak throughout the tunnel. Now operational again, the Collider is currently smashing atoms at levels roughly half of what it can achieve, with the intention to ramp up the speed over time. However, with its closure in order to strengthen the machine’s magnets and address design flaws, a test run at full power has been estimated to have been delayed by over two years.
To learn more about the LHC pick up issue one of How It Works.