The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) completed its first three-year running cycle at 7:24am today, when its crew removed its beams and entered it into its first long shutdown period. Called LS1 (Long Shutdown 1), the LHC will undergo maintenance and consolidation work, enabling it to run at a higher energy when it is fired back up in 2015.
The maintenance and consolidation work will be performed to the LHC itself, but especially to its entire accelerator complex, which will have the magnet interconnections rebuilt to run at energy level 7TeV per beam. According to the announcement, the CERN complex will resume running in the middle of next year, ahead of the LHC’s scheduled restart in 2015.
CERN’s Director General Rolf Heuer had this to say about the LHC’s long shutdown: “We have every reason to be very satisfied with the LHC’s first three years. The machine, the experiments, the computing facilities and all infrastructures behaved brilliantly, and we have a major scientific discovery in our pocket.”
Over the last three years, the LHC has achieved some monumental things, including discovering what is believed to be the Higgs boson particle, which was made public in summer 2012. In addition, just recently the 100 petabytes of stored data was exceeded, which CERN reports being approximately equal to 700 years of 1080p HD movies.