Bibliography - Science - The energy crisis has also frozen the Large Hadron Collider's experiments

Bibliography – Science – The energy crisis has also frozen the Large Hadron Collider’s experiments

14.09.2022 19:34

The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) is considering shutting down and “slowing down” the particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider, in response to Europe’s energy crisis.

The Swiss Scientific Institute will turn off the particle accelerator and collider (LHC), which was delivered in 2008, to save energy. Shutting down the cooling structure too slowly will delay ongoing experiments by several weeks.

CERN will also turn off the accelerator completely in considerationbecause they want to help stabilize the electricity grid in the region.


The Large Hadron Collider, which restarted in the spring after a forced hiatus of three years, would have had an important task: to prove the existence of a fifth fundamental natural force or interaction. In experiments currently underway, the LHC has been used to investigate how bottom quarks decay. News of the suspension of the ambitious tests came after Russia’s state-owned Gazprom announced last Friday that it would indefinitely halt supplies of natural gas from the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to Germany.

Three days before the announcement, delivery had already been halted for “maintenance” and a turbine failure was cited. According to Gazprom spokesmen, the lack of spare parts also hinders repairs.

But according to German Chancellor Olaf Schulz, this is just an excuse. Already in June, Gazprom reduced Nord Stream shipments by 40 percent, which accelerated the rise in wholesale gas prices.

At its peak, CERN was one of France’s largest energy consumers, and thus could threaten the stability of the grid. Under the savings proposal, CERN will shut down most of its eight particle accelerators to reduce their energy consumption by 25%. The proposal will be presented to representatives of the French and Swiss governments, which fund the operation, at the end of the month.

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For now, scientists only want to shut down the €4.4 billion Large Hadron Collider, because it would take too long to cool the superconducting magnets needed to bend the particle beam around the tunnel. For the duration of the pause, CERN will request a notification from the French energy provider EDF SA to let them know if they need to reduce energy consumption further.

(Cover image: CERN’s Particle Physics Research Institute seen in Switzerland on September 14, 2019. Photo: Ronald Patrick/Getty Images)

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