GENEVA, September 18 (RIA Novosti) - The Large Hadron Collider resumed work on Thursday, a day after it was switched off due to an electrical fault, a Russian scientist working on the project said.
The European Organization for Nuclear Research, known by its French initials as CERN, said Wednesday that the fault had affected the cooling system for the collider's guiding electromagnets.
"There was a one-day halt due to minor problems with the electricity supply in one of the units. A transformer was changed in one place. Now everything is OK, and work is continuing," said Vladimir Karzhavin, the head of the team from Russia's Joint Institute for Nuclear Research working on the CERN project.
On September 10, scientists successfully fired the first beam of protons round the vast underground circular device, which is run from a control room in a suburb of Geneva on the French-Swiss border.
The collider, located 100 meters below ground with a circumference of 27 km, enables scientists to shoot sub-atomic particles round an accelerator ring at almost the speed of light, guided by a powerful field produced by superconductor magnets.
Particles are sent round the ring in extreme vacuum cooled by liquid helium to minus 271 degrees C.
By colliding particles in front of immensely powerful detectors, scientists hope to detect the Higgs boson, nicknamed the "God particle," which was hypothesized in the 1960s to explain how particles acquire mass. Discovering the particle could explain how matter appeared in the split-second after the Big Bang.
Karzhavin told RIA Novosti that the recent power problem came as no surprise given the huge complexity of the device.
"This is nothing like launching a power station, in which all the equipment is serially produced," he said. "Everything here is far more complex, so such halts will happen again."
He said that over the next month the machine's power supply will be gradually raised to 5 TeV.
Edward Boos of Moscow State University's Institute of Nuclear Physics told RIA Novosti that the interruption was not a major setback.
"Essentially things are going to schedule," he said. "As preparations are now being made for organizing the first collisions, some things need to be turned off in order to shift to other regimes. These are all scheduled activities, to prepare for the first collisions at low intensity, and to see how they go."
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