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LHC transformer malfunction

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posted on Sep, 18 2008 @ 11:38 PM
According to the news, it was the cooling transformer had failed just 1 day after starting it up last week.

GENEVA - The world's largest particle collider malfunctioned within hours of its launch to great fanfare, but its operator didn't report the problem for a week.

In a statement Thursday, the European Organization for Nuclear Research reported for the first time that a 30-ton transformer that cools part of the collider broke, forcing physicists to stop using the atom smasher just a day after starting it up last week.

CERN had not reported any problems with the project since its launch Sept. 10, but issued its statement shortly after The Associated Press called asking about rumors of troubles.

[edit on 18-9-2008 by damefool]

posted on Sep, 18 2008 @ 11:53 PM
I'm not suprised there was a malfuction. It is one of the most complicated devices ever created. The part that bothers me is that the operator didn't report it for a week.

posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 01:45 AM
I'd be incredibly surprised if everything went according to plan on it's first run.

The amount of pin point precise calibrations that have to be made just to direct the proton beam, let alone accelerate it near light speed whilst doing so is baffling!

Transformers go... so much power, so many coils, so tightly wound... all it takes is the very thin insulation of one wire to wear just a bit... and bang, arc through it, fuses, shorts, and there goes the breakers.
... most of the time it's caused by heat... which is slightly ironic considering this one was powering a cooling unit. But not really.

They must have been on a tight deadline. A week of forgetting about a transformer that didn't pass inspection, he was obviously pre-occupied with a demanding and heavy workload. As everyone is.

The guy doesn't deserve to be fired, just reprimanded.

Mistakes are made, the lesson being, don't let it happen again.

I'd rather work with someone who's made mistakes, than someone who has yet to.

... I could go on with a story about a co-worker who boasted he never got electrocuted, and then one day... but... that's another story.

[edit on 19-9-2008 by johnsky]

posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 07:43 AM
I'd like to know exactly when (date/time) the LHC was shutdown. A really bizarre thing happened to me yesterday.. I was sitting my living and a spark came flying at me, went thru my jaw and kept going thru the window for about 10meter before it disappeared out of sight. Coincidence?? Maybe I imagined the whole thing, but it looked damn real to me. I live on the other side of the planet from the LHC, but if there where particles emitted, could they have gone astray? It was about 3pm central, and it was perhaps the strangest thing I have ever seen in my life. Maybe this damn thing isn't so safe afterall.

posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 09:46 AM
Is that even possible???

A spark coming out of nowhere and going through someone's jaw???

That must be imagination and not related to anything esle right??

[edit on 19-9-2008 by Mrrrr]

posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 10:00 AM
I saw a spark traveling through the air on two separate occasions.
One traveled toward me about 3 feet along the top of my brothers couch.
The other traveled about 2 feet toward me above my old monitor.

The sparks were like bluish orange and about the size of peppercorn. The speed was about the speed of a human walking slow.
Way before the LHC.
What a weird thing to see!

posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 10:54 AM
reply to post by Mrrrr

Yeah, dude... I might be nuts but I told me girlfriend about this when she got home and at the time I admitted to her that it could have been my imagination, but it was a small spark smaller than a pea glowing orange/white and it had a trail behind it, and it was it was moving fairly fast and in a straight line.

I was not really thinking of the LHC until my girlfriend texted me that in the news this morning that they had a malfunction with the electronics which I assume is responsible for containing the beam within the collider.

Now I do have reason to believe it was a figment of my imagination... because I was reading about that guy who was hit with the proton beam and it passed thru his head front to back and it didnt kill him... and it was linked to another story about the experiments performed on the Apollo missions where they were measuring cosmic radiation passing thru their brains/retinal nerves. So admittedly this was something I was thinking about as I was reading it. But II definitely saw this spark traveling thru matter (my house and me). Might sound crazy, but thats what happened.

I am not a fear monger at all, I am actually the biggest advocate of the LHC and science in general, but this does make me wonder about the power and safety of the machine. (if that was even the cause of this spark)

posted on Sep, 20 2008 @ 03:54 AM
Hrm, looks like if this isn't part of the same issue, they have even greater problems:

Plans to begin smashing particles at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) may be delayed after a magnet failure forced engineers to halt work.


A "quench" almost sounds like a good thing...almost.

I can just hear all the french/swiss firefighters all running around sounding like the chipmunks.

[edit on 20-9-2008 by 4N6310]

posted on Sep, 20 2008 @ 04:36 AM
reply to post by 4N6310

It is a little disturbing the LHC Homepage News makes no mention of the shutdown. Matter of fact.... no news since September 8th?? Whats up with that?

Anywayz, thanks for the BBC news link. Says

At 1127 (0927 GMT) on Friday, the LHC's online logbook recorded a quench in sector 3-4 of the accelerator, which lies between the Alice and CMS detectors.

Wonder what a quench is? Doesn't sound good. Says there was a ton of Liquid Helium lost, and loss of vacuum. Hope the Cern Fire Brigade can control a ring of fire. At this point we must sit back and question the competency of those involved in this project.

I am all for scientific progress, but now I just waiting for sparks to fly.

posted on Sep, 20 2008 @ 05:22 AM
reply to post by mapsurfer_

Cosmic radiation

I immediately thought of the cosmic radiation experiments although id say its highly unlikely, thats just a small link i couldnt find the photos ive seen before of the helmets, you may have faulty electrical equipment or as you said just imagination. Doubt it would be LHC related.

posted on Sep, 20 2008 @ 02:56 PM
reply to post by mapsurfer_

Well, the article goes on:

A spokesman for Cern told the BBC it was not yet clear how soon progress could resume at the £3.6bn ($6.6bn) particle accelerator.

(snip)failure was "not good news"(/snip)

...and the quench:

As a result of the quench, the temperature of about 100 of the magnets in the machine's final sector rose by around 100C.

Makes me think of what a blacksmith does to metal when they dunk it in water.
That can't be good for the magnets. I've got some experience with thermal effects on rare earth magnets and as we've all learnt from NIST, heat weakens magnetic attraction in molecules. So I ended up with a paperweight instead of a motor after getting it to about 121C. Let's hope the LHC magnets don't need replacement. I'm sure it's a fairly different kind of magnet anyways.

There's more information on quench tests here:

Kinda technical, but the "LHC QPS Overview & Status 04.pdf" on that page has some graphs that appear to indicate a gradual reduction in quench efficiency each time.

I'm not quite sure why they have "quench heaters" when they are trying to keep the magnets cold. Maybe some kind of thermal pumping technique?

[edit on 20-9-2008 by 4N6310]

posted on Sep, 20 2008 @ 06:17 PM
reply to post by mapsurfer_

You're being pretty paranoid. By what known scientific mechanism would a malfunction on the other side of the planet cause a "spark" to show up in your vicinity? It's not related and it's most probably your imagination.

posted on Sep, 20 2008 @ 06:29 PM
reply to post by mapsurfer_

Sound to me like you and Toadmund are describing a form of ball lightning, that can be pea-sized, orangy in colour and leave a trail. Its a naturally occuring phenomenon and can pass through solid objects.

Read here for more info

[edit on 20/9/08 by woogleuk]

posted on Sep, 22 2008 @ 11:16 PM
Here is 1 theory of Ball Lightning-> [edit] Black hole hypothesis
Yet another hypothesis is that some extreme ball lightning is actually the passage of microscopic primordial black holes through the Earth's atmosphere. Inspired by M. Fitzgerald’s account of ball lightning on August 6, 1868, in Ireland that lasted 20 minutes and left a 6 meter square hole, a 90 meter long trench, a second trench 25 meters long, and a small cave in the peat bog, Pace VanDevender, a plasma physicist at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and his team found depressions consistent with Fitzgerald’s report and inferred that the evidence is inconsistent with thermal (chemical or nuclear) and electrostatic effects. An electromagnetically levitated, compact mass of >20,000 kg would produce the reported effects but requires a density of > 2000 times the density of gold, which implies a mini black hole. He and his team found a second event in the peat-bog witness plate from 1982 and are currently trying to geolocate electromagnetic emission consistent with the hypothesis. His colleagues at the institute agreed that, crazy though the hypothesis seemed, it was worthy of their attention


posted on Sep, 25 2008 @ 12:53 AM
reply to post by Toadmund


posted on Sep, 25 2008 @ 07:24 AM
reply to post by johnsky

the first or your post sums it up well

give cern a break, they have only built the largest, most advance ever to grace the earth, it stands to reason it wasent going to "just work"

anyone that is trying to critisize cern for this needs to go out, and try building their own super advance machine without anythgin going wrong. It stood to reason that with a machine that big it wasnt going to be completly plain sailing, as nothing is when building anythgin from scratch!

posted on Sep, 25 2008 @ 07:27 AM
Apparently now it won't be operational until next spring.

The Large Hadron Collider, built to simulate the conditions at the very start of the universe, will not restart until spring, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) said.


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