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Potential new matter spotted at Large Hadron Collider

Potential new matter spotted at Large Hadron Collider

Scientists sifting proton collision data from the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) believe they have identified a new type of matter, revealed by the distinctive paired patterns of fleeing particles splayed after high-speed smashups. The so-called color-glass condensate was spotted by the Compact Muon Solenoid team, MIT reports, with some pairs of particles sent flying with their directions correlated in a number of LHC lead proton runs. It's suggested that quark gluon plasma waves may be at the heart of the patterns, with the collisions causing "a liquid-like wave of gluons."

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Large Hadron Collider restarts stronger than ever

Large Hadron Collider restarts stronger than ever

Scientists hunting the Higgs boson have reactivated the Large Hadron Collider, waking the slumbering proton smasher from its winter slumber, and coaxing it to faster speeds than ever before. Running in 2011 at 3.5 TeV (teraelectronvolts) in each direction - for a total collision speed of 7 TeV - the new running speed is 8 TeV, ostensibly a small step up but one which the team at CERN says will have a significant impact on the potential for discovering new particles.

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Large Hadron Collider suffers another power cut

Large Hadron Collider suffers another power cut

Just a week after triumphantly smashing its first protons, the Large Hadron Collider has experienced another power failure which took not only the collider itself offline but temporarily killed its website.  According to the LHC controllers, the failure took place in the early hours of the morning an affected an 18,000 volt power line; before the supercooled magnets had a chance to warm up, however, the diesel backup generators kicked in.

No specific cause to the problem has been confirmed, though the LHC project released this image of the broken component involved.  Currently the system is partially running from power sourced through a different supply elsewhere on the site, and no lasting damage has been made to the LHC as a whole.

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Large Hadron Collider smashes its first protons

Large Hadron Collider smashes its first protons

Think back over the last 24 hours or so - did you feel a shimmer in the fabric of the universe?  If not, you're obviously not tuned into CERN, who powered up the Large Hadron Collider and fired two proton beams simultaneously for the first time yesterday.  While the first collisions have already been spotted, it's still early days for Higgs boson spotting overall: the scientists in charge of the LHC still have to ramp up the proton speed, with a target of 1.2 trillion electron volts (TeV) by Christmas.

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Large Hadron Collider bombed by carb-loaded bird

Large Hadron Collider bombed by carb-loaded bird

The Large Hadron Collider experienced overheating problems this week after - and we're not making this up - a bird dropped a piece of bread onto part of the machinery.  According to LHC Machine Coordinator Dr Mike Lamont, "a bit of baguette on the busbars" caused temperatures in portions of the system to rise from their regular 1.9 Kelvin to almost 8 Kelvin; the LHC is not currently operational, after previous - more serious - overheating issues back in September, but scientists working on the project claim it would have merely automatically shut down had the bird bombing occurred during actual testing.

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Large Hadron Collider taken offline for now

Large Hadron Collider taken offline for now

Everyone in the science community must have uttered a sigh of disappointment today when word traveled that the Large Hadron Collider had been taken offline due to electrical problems. With all the talk of black hole creation and Higgs-Boson particle finding, it's easy to forget this is a piece of technology, which can malfunction.
 

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