Cern shuts down LHC for two years: plenty of data to work on

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Cern has completed its LHC (Large Hadron Collider) first three-year running period, which, the Geneva organization says “has seen major advances in physics, including the discovery of a new particle that looks increasingly like the long–sought Higgs boson, announced on 4 July 2012. And during the last weeks of the run, the remarkable figure of 100 petabytes of data stored in the CERN mass-storage systems was surpassed. This data volume is roughly equivalent to 700 years of full HD-quality movies.”

The shutdown came at 07:24 Thursday 14 February, when a crew extracted the beams from the LHC. “We have every reason to be very satisfied with the LHC’s first three years,” said Cern Director-General Rolf Heuer. “The machine, the experiments, the computing facilities and all infrastructures behaved brilliantly, and we have a major scientific discovery in our pocket.”

The LHC will be run again in 2015, with the rest of the Cern complex starting up again in the second half of 2014: during the shutdown Cern will have plenty to keep it busy. Major consolidation and maintenance work will be carried out across Cern’s entire accelerator chain, the LHC will be readied for higher energy running, and the experiments will undergo essential maintenance,” Cern says in a statement.

“There will be plenty of physics to do during LS1, and not only at the LHC,” says Sergio Bertolucci, head of research. “The LHC is the flagship of CERN’s experimental programme, but is nevertheless just one component of a very varied research infrastructure. All of the other experiments here have on-going analyses, so I’m looking forward to many interesting results emerging as LS1 progresses.”