The Large Hadron Collider. One of the coldest places in the Universe appeared on Earth
All eight sectors of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) are cooled to a working temperature of 1.9 degrees Kelvin (minus 271 degrees Celsius).
The operating temperature of the LHC, located in a 27-kilometer tunnel on the border between France and Switzerland, is only slightly higher than the minimum possible temperature, the so-called “absolute zero” (-273.15 degrees Celsius).
For comparison, the temperature in remote areas of space is about -270 degrees.
Scientists are going to accelerate in the collider two streams of protons and heavy hadron nuclei to speeds close to the speed of light. Physicists want to study what happens when these flows collide.
This information is expected to help shed light on the concept of mass and other fundamental problems of physics.
Magnets that provide particle acceleration must have superconductivity - that is, the resistance should tend to zero, which ensures minimal energy loss.
Very low temperatures are required to achieve superconductivity. For this purpose, the LHC uses liquid helium. Cooling is one of the main steps before restarting the collider, which will happen in the second half of November.
Representatives of the laboratory in an interview with the BBC said that tests at low speeds can begin in the second half of October. In this case, not the entire length of the collider will be involved, but only some of its sectors.
In preparation for the launch of the collider, scientists have installed hundreds of detectors that provide information on the temperature of the magnets used to accelerate particles.
It was the overheating of one of the magnetic modules that led to the loss of conductivity and leakage of helium. As a result, the work of the LHC was stopped on September 19, 2008.
Repair of the Large Hadron Collider cost 40 million Swiss francs (about 38.6 million US dollars).