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A look at the damage that halted the Large Hadron Collider

The European Center for Nuclear Research (Cern) released photos of damage to the Large Hadron Collider, the particle accelerator was damaged by a liquid helium leak in September.

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1 of 5 Andy Smith/ZDNet
On Friday, the European Center for Nuclear Research (Cern) released photos of damage to the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), Cern's flagship particle accelerator. The particle accelerator was damaged by a liquid helium leak in September, nine days into an experiment to test fundamental theories of physics by colliding beams of protons inside a 27km ring.

This picture shows two of the most severely broken interconnects, which are between the magnets in LHC sectors 3 and 4. The superconducting magnets, used to direct and focus the proton beams in the experiment, are cooled by liquid helium. An electrical fault caused the liquid helium to leak, resulting in a need for repairs that has put the experiment out of action until at least summer 2009.

Captions from ZDNet UK.

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2 of 5 Andy Smith/ZDNet

This picture shows damage to the support of one of the quadruple magnets in sectors three to four. The LHC uses quadruple magnets to focus opposing proton beams, and dipole magnets to keep the beams on their respective paths.

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3 of 5 Andy Smith/ZDNet

This picture shows the site of the electrical fault that caused the helium leak. A resistive zone developed in one of the electrical connections, creating an electrical arc that punctured one of the helium enclosures around a magnet, according to an analysis by Cern. The warming helium expanded in the vacuum enclosure of the central sub-sector of the pipe, damaging the vacuum barriers separating the central sub-sector from the neighbouring sub-sectors.

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4 of 5 Andy Smith/ZDNet

A faulty electrical connection between two magnets (shown in red) is believed to be the cause of the incident in sector 3-4 of the Large Hadron Collider on September 19.

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5 of 5 Andy Smith/ZDNet

A technician is making final preparations to replace a magnet that was the cause of the damage to the Large Hadron Collider.

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