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Magnet Meltdown At The Large Hadron Collider

CERN Director General Robert Aymar said the setback to the particle accelerator was "undoubtedly a psychological blow."
Jean-Pierre Clatot
/
AFP/Getty Images
CERN Director General Robert Aymar said the setback to the particle accelerator was "undoubtedly a psychological blow."

Magnets cooled to extremely low temperatures are an essential element of the massive particle accelerator. Some of these magnets may have overheated last week, causing the Collider to fail its preliminary tests — possibly delaying the project by a year.

Dan Hooper, an associate scientist at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, explains what happened to the LHC, and what physicists are doing to fix it.

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