On my seminar tour, I took the opportunity to ask about the status of the LHC. I knew, by the end of my first group of seminars, that the damage to the accelerator was extensive in one section and that a lot of work was needed to repair it. I also heard that CERN was talking June 2009 for a turn-on, despite the need for at least a month to cool everything down, a several month winter shutdown, not to mention all the time needed for repairs.
It’s official now. Following on the rumours I heard from many different sources, each frustrated that news was slower in coming out than they’d like, the LHC is now officially scheduled for restart in late summer 2009 .
Whew. That’s a long time, and there are discoveries to be made. That said, I appreciate the hard work the accelerator physicists and engineers have ahead of them, and wish them the very best. Their hard work now will certainly pay off when the machine delivers and the detectors record.