ScienceDaily informs that Robert Aymar, the boss of CERN, personally sealed the last interconnect in the world's largest cryogenic system.
36,800 tons of material have to be cooled down to 1.9 Kelvin (about -271°C), cooler than the microwave background. This seemingly difficult task to fight against global warming in 27 kilometers of Switzerland and France is achieved by 10,000 tons of liquid nitrogen and 130 tons of liquid helium. Over 40,000 welds must be leak-tight to make it work.
LHC: Collider, Demo 2000
Things are going very smoothly. All eight sectors should now be cooled down: I really mean that the hardware work is finished. The process of cooling could also be straightforward because one of the sectors has already been cooled down and warmed up in the first half of 2007, for pedagogical reasons. Most of the sectors will be largely cooled by the Christmas and the rest will follow at the beginning of 2008.
CERN's 3-minute self-promotion
Unless unexpected hurdles occur, first beams could be injected in May 2008. They will start to circulate in June or July. The physicists will therefore have several long days to find SUSY before the fuzzy deadline of our USD 1,000 bet in Summer 2008 that I hope will be extended. ;-)
ExistentialistCat, a beautiful 19-year-old girl and musician called Kim (see her 39 videos) who thinks that she doesn't have a terribly technical brain, describes the rate of Higgs, mini-black-hole, and strangelet production at the LHC and astrophysical bounds constraining these rates. She also mentions that they have a comparable but smaller collider in New York. ;-)