$10 billion collider to be started up at half-power; costly repairs to continue

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by The Associated Press

wfaa.com

Posted on August 8, 2009 at 12:00 AM

Updated Monday, Oct 19 at 3:45 PM

GENEVA - When launched to great fanfare nearly a year ago, some feared the Large Hadron Collider would create a black hole that would suck in the world. It turns out the Hadron may be the black hole.

MARTIAL TREZZINI/The Associated Press
The Large Hadron Collider near Geneva was completed in 2008 but has worked for only nine days and has not yet smashed any atoms.

The world's largest scientific machine has cost $10 billion, has worked only nine days and has yet to smash an atom. The unique equipment in a 17-mile circular tunnel with cathedral-size detectors deep beneath the Swiss-French border has been assembled by specialists in many countries, with 8,970 physicists eagerly awaiting the start-up.

But despite the expense, thousands of physicists around the world insist that it will work and that it is crucial to mankind's understanding of the universe.

The European Organization for Nuclear Research, known as CERN, said Friday that it would restart the collider in November at half power under pressure from scientists eager to conduct experiments.

But spokesman James Gillies told The Associated Press they would have to shut down again next year to finish repairs so that the collider can operate at its full energy of 7 trillion electron volts - seven times higher than any other machine in the world.

The Associated Press

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