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Bug Hardware Science

LHC Repair To Cost At Least $21 Million 163

ThanatosMinor writes "September's quench at the Large Hadron Collider is going to cost CERN at least $21 million and delay future collisions until June of 2009 at the earliest. Enjoy your last few months outside of an event horizon."
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LHC Repair To Cost At Least $21 Million

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    • by Z80a ( 971949 )
      but that would not cause something like a "invisible force field" that protects the sub particles of being formed instead of lets say the whole thing break down?
      • The article says:

        The study is authored by Holger Nielsen and Masao Ninomiya, who argue that the very particles the LHC produces will prevent the accelerator from ever being used. Harvard post-doc and CERN collaborator Kevin Black relates their argument to the grandfather paradox - that a particle like the Higgs boson goes back in time and prevents its own birth (i.e. the future changes the events of the present).


        As evidence, they provide the failed Superconducting Super Collider, which Congress canned in 1993 after spending $2 billion on the project.

    • by Thanshin ( 1188877 ) on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @09:27AM (#25800527)

      This reminds me of my early childhood, when I bet my sister that no matter how many of her cookies she gave me I'd be able to eat them all.

    • Wouldn't that theory also prevent stars from forming?
    • by leuk_he ( 194174 )

      Such large project are automatically going to have delays. that is easy to predict.

      Everyone working in a project knows that the most sure way to make a project go late is to add people. On the LHC thousends of scientists are working. SOmeone wil decalre it will be ready in june, but in reality it will not be fully functional the next years.

      Don't worry. It will not make sense unless you work in that particulare field for the next decades.

  • by erroneus ( 253617 ) on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @09:18AM (#25800415) Homepage

    Professor Farnsworth's doomsday devices are a lot more expensive and they haven't even been invented yet!

  • by oodaloop ( 1229816 ) on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @09:19AM (#25800427)
    ...they should fire that thing at a small gold pin. What could possibly go wrong?
  • Perspective (Score:4, Funny)

    by Thanshin ( 1188877 ) on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @09:20AM (#25800449)

    If you worked at the LHC you too would be happy to hear "The repair will cost at least $21 million."... ... If the last comment before that was "Dear God it's all falling appart!".

  • zzzzzz (Score:4, Funny)

    by apodyopsis ( 1048476 ) on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @09:26AM (#25800519)
    bbc reported the same thing... []

    I like their quote "The cost of the work will fall within the Cern's existing budget" though it does make me idly speculate on the size of their budget and how large a secret fortress I could build with it....
  • Erm (Score:5, Funny)

    by sleeponthemic ( 1253494 ) on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @09:28AM (#25800535) Homepage
    Large Hadron Forever?
  • by Pluvius ( 734915 ) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `3suivulp'> on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @09:30AM (#25800545) Journal

    Complete sense-of-humor failure over there. It's also in a couple of the above replies.


  • by maillemaker ( 924053 ) on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @09:34AM (#25800579)

    Great work if you can get it. Need 20 million in funding? Drop a wrench into something that looks complicated. :)

    • Why not? They can afford to spend that much every minute on Iraq.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        Yes, but compare results! Bush succeeded in turning Iraq into a black hole, sucking in blood, money, and the least important thing, his reputation, the LHC has yet to create any!
    • by Agripa ( 139780 )

      Great work if you can get it. Need 20 million in funding? Drop a wrench into something that looks complicated. :)

      First rule in government spending: why build one when you can have two at twice the price?

    • Great work if you can get it. Need 20 million in funding? Drop a wrench into something that looks complicated. :)

      ... for some values of "something". For others [], it might not be such a good idea.

  • by Lord Bitman ( 95493 ) on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @09:39AM (#25800633) Homepage

    They should have planned for this kind of thing and taken it into account, like by having a few months of performing shake-down tests and finding any problems then!

    Oh, wait...

  • They are gonna get me a black hole for my birthday!

    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It'll be the greatest fireworks display you were ever embedded in.

      (Yes, I know nothing will happen, don't worry your stupditity-detectors)

  • Dimensions (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @09:43AM (#25800667)
    The parallel universes in which the LHC works without failure are already wiped out by the LHC, that's why any concious being, like you, can only be in a universe in which the LHC fails!
  • Lies Kill (Score:4, Insightful)

    by radtea ( 464814 ) on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @09:57AM (#25800789)

    "The media portrayal of the LHC experiments has been branded as irresponsible and sensationalist by psychologists - especially since the death of a 16-year-old Indian girl, who killed herself after being distressed by the coverage on an Indian news channel." []

    The threat to human life from people like KDawson posting sensationalist anti-LHC garbage to places like /. is real and documented. At least one person has actually, demonstrably died due to the precise behaviour that KDawson is exhibiting on this story.

    The supposed threat from the LHC, on the other hand, is a fantasy made up and promoted by irresponsible, money-hungry media shills like KDawson to sell ads.

    The LHC is safe. People like KDawson kill.

    • actually (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Reality Master 201 ( 578873 ) on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @10:33AM (#25801193) Journal

      At least one person has killer herself because she went into an irrational panic, and did something stupid and rash. That's often a sign of psychological problems.

      Yeah, the media coverage has been sensationalist and dumb. But it didn't kill anyone.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Stupidity kills. That's ridiculous, claiming that he could kill people. You know what? I don't much like kdawson either, but anyone that kills themselves because they were told the world was going to end deserves a some kind of nationally recognised award for being a fucking moron.

      Her own abject stupidity, her appalling lack of critical thinking skills killed her. She killed herself because of a doomsday claim that she could've found to be false in an hour, if she actually bothered to evaluate it. She

      • She would've found that there have been thousands of doomsday claims over thousands of years, and that every single one was without merit.

        Of course every doomsday prediction has proved false. If one had proved true, we wouldn't be here to debate it!

        • that's good, because I heard a whopper of one. Supposedly this east coast oil tycoon who poses as a Texan, totally fries his brain on cocaine and alcohol, then becomes president of the U.S., creates a police state and runs the country into the ground and starts this huge expensive war to help his oil interests and his buddy's defense contractor business. Right before he leaves office, he convinces Congress to "save the economy" with a law costing hundreds of billions of dollars, but the money just gets gi

    • I want to know the logic that girl fallowed. I might die so instead I'll kill myself? My math might be a little rusty but I'm pretty sure that even the slimmest chance of living is better than no chance. I imagine I'm going to die someday, guess I should just get it out of the way now....
      • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

        I want to know the logic that girl fallowed. I might die so instead I'll kill myself? My math might be a little rusty but I'm pretty sure that even the slimmest chance of living is better than no chance. I imagine I'm going to die someday, guess I should just get it out of the way now....

        I think when someone is already irrational, then logic flies out the window. Honestly, I really suspect someone who's already deranged enough to commit suicide (and not seek help about it - there are tons of anonymous suppo

    • What's with everyone blaming kdawson? I thought it was a scientifically proven fact that KDawson never, ever reads the stories he publishes here, much less writes them.

    • Could it be possible he was only joking? Or is it a woosh for me, and you're mistakenly moded insightful instead of funny?
    • According to Wikipedia, at least one technician was killed during the construction of LHC. So, yeah - LHC kills.
    • And how many people kill themselves each year for other crap because they're depressed?

  • "The Pentagon now spends about $21 million every hour to develop and procure new defense systems." []

    Surely one hour's R&D expenses could be spared for the LHC.

    • > Surely one hour's R&D expenses could be spared for the LHC.

      Unless they're researching a black hole repeller shield, of course.

  • by C_Kode ( 102755 ) on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @10:10AM (#25800929) Journal

    Enjoy your last few months outside of an event horizon.

    It's been my life long dream to experience an Event Horizon. The only shame is I won't be able to contemplate such a great experience afterwards. ;)

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Krupuk ( 978265 )
      Sure you can. You'll have an almost infinite amount of time to contemplate it ;)
  • by NotQuiteReal ( 608241 ) on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @10:17AM (#25801011) Journal
    for not buying the extended warranty!
  • Pocket change (Score:5, Informative)

    by BlueParrot ( 965239 ) on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @10:22AM (#25801061)

    The total cost of the is estimated to be somewhere between 3 billion to 7 billion. A couple of tens of millions will increase the overall cost by less than 1%.

    • will increase the overall cost by less than 1%.

      well I usually have to count depreciation into my budgets, at my capital rate this would be $210 million delay, if I sat on a $7 billion asset for 6 months. I realize they had planned to shutdown for much of that time anyway, but they also planned to have some data available to look at during that time, and presumably refine the next test from that.

      I am sure the $21 million repair cost is insignificant compared to the other real costs of this delay. Then again these research projects are a different ballg

  • by KiwiCanuck ( 1075767 ) on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @10:41AM (#25801275)
    I'm guessing that /.'ers know that the LHC is not going to form a black hole. In case you don't here's the math. Mass of a intermediate black hole = 1000x the mass of the sun Mass of the sun = 332,946x the mass of the Earth Mass of the Earth = 6x10^24 kg Therefor mass of black hole = 2x10^(33) kg Mass of a proton = 1.67x10^(-27) kg The crushing force of a black hole is caused by its density, a large mass in a small volume (1000x the mass of the sun in a 1,000km diameter ball -> ~size of the Earth). So flinging around 40 or so protons in a 27km diameter tunnel is not going to destroy our solar system (or reshape the galaxy).
    • by MozeeToby ( 1163751 ) on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @12:11PM (#25802431)

      Whether something is a black hole or not is not determined by mass but by density. In theory, if you can sqeeze the mass into a small enough volume it will collapse into a black hole. No one ever said that any produced black hole will destroy the solar system, let alone impact the galaxy.

      The worst case senario is the blackhole spirals through the Earths crust for the next few hundred thousand years, hardly ever absorbing any matter because of its extremely small size. Even if it were to eventually absorb all the matter of the Earth you would have a black hold smaller than the head of a pin, going around the exact same orbit with the exact same amount of gravitational attraction that the earth had.

      Of course, this ignores the fact that such a small black hole will almost instantaniously evaporate in a puff of Hawking radiation. It also ignores the fact that most likely the LHC is an order of magnitude too weak to produce the micro black holes at all. Finally, it ignores the fact that neutron stars exist. If the LHC is powerful enough to produce a stable black hole, then cosmic rays hitting neutron stars are too. After a few million years we wouldn't have neutron stars as they would all be converted to black holes.

      The point is, there are lots of reasons that the LHC won't destroy the Earth. Not having enough mass to produce a black hole isn't one of them.

    • by zmooc ( 33175 )

      Disclaimer: IANOF!

      Though you're most certainly correct about the LHC not forming a black hole, what you fail to mention, is that at high energies the character of all forces (gravity, electromagnetic etc.) probably becomes equal, like it was at the time of the Big Bang: light is gravity is magnetism etc. Therefore, your assumption that the weight of a proton in rest is a good argument against the LHC becoming a black hole, is wrong. At least, in theory it is.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by stwf ( 108002 )

      I'd also like to point out that the history of science is a history of being the smartest people on the planet being wrong.

      So don't throw numbers that you couldn't possibly back up with fact and think that they make me feel any better.

      Personally I figured God would stop the LHC from running if it were that dangerous, and so far that still gives me more comfort than your napkin back calculations.

  • The time when the black hole jokes was funny has passed. Please move on.

  • Clearly, they won't really get all of the kinks worked out of this thing until December 2012 (see []).
  • Have you ever seen a mini black hole? Everything gets sucked in. It's like a nuclear compression charge going off. Looks good! From a distance.

  • Big numbers! Soo - this works out as what, around 0.3% of the construction budget so far? Or about 3% of their yearly operating budget?
    All in all it sounds to be about equal to paying $2.50 for a spare power cable for the $800 pc you just bought.

    I am surprised it didn't cost more - I suspect that replacing coolant takes quite a significant part in that sum.

Disraeli was pretty close: actually, there are Lies, Damn lies, Statistics, Benchmarks, and Delivery dates.