Monday, April 21, 2008

Emergency Measures At The LHC

Relax, it's not the plugged sink in the CMS washroom. Not the wacky grad student with the predigital Kodak Photo Flo right in the toilet. Not something gone terribly wrong with Oprah's New Reality, >OpraH. See it amaze you at theOnion. No, the LHC is in no danger of sinking unlike the Tevatron (no kidding), not even ATLAS the Titan, though we all remember what happened to the Titanic on her maiden voyage. Well, the LHC at 30% over budget is due for one soon enough, after about 3 years of delays. The latest estimate is a complete ring cool down by mid-June this year, with a rush on to start the first beam injections at 5 TeV each, 2 months later, instead of the now abandoned low energy engineering run at 0.45 TeV each. Then boosted to 0.9 TeV each and abandoned again. Time to play catch-up. Though CERN says it will be safe, as they will use fewer bunches of protons for the initial run. After the Tevatron, we hope these physicists are always right.

Ahem. High Expansion Foam test at CMS, in case of electrical fires, from 2006, before most of the CMS was installed. With a million electrical connections later, moisture no good. Good thing they don't sell liters of vodka at the Bar Snack. It's a Polish installation. Here you need to have some French, sou^l comme un polonais, ou bien, un logiciel americain. It worked, a proven and reliable technology from the 1970's. Hope they remembered to install it on a separate shielded feed from their substation, in case of electrical fires. Remember the Tevatron. Even their abort beam system wasn't on a separate feed. See the earlier post, Daily Battles At The Tevatron and shimming all those magnets.

Don't worry. CERN has the best of the best. Overheard at the Bar Snack, CMS to ATLAS. Yeah, see a mess, but so what's a postdoc know? When it comes down to proton for proton. (tap-tap) Our Russians are better than your Russians. Ours come from Fermilab.

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