Sounds like repairs are going swimmingly on the world's most gigantic physics experiment, the Large Hadron Collider in Swizerland. Last year, a pipe broke in the newly-built facility, spilling tons of liquid helium everywhere and setting back the experiment by over a year. But now it looks as if we'll be seeing data starting to roll in from the facility in the next 10 months. Can't wait for those beams to create a black hole! Erm, I mean to help us understand quantum particles.

According to Symmetry Breaking:

CERN today announced that the laboratory hopes to run the LHC with 5 TeV beams with collisions in late 2009, producing data suitable for physics analysis. Eventually the LHC will run with 7 TeV beams . . . A CERN management meeting on Monday will determine whether this recommendation is accepted and the start-up schedule does indeed include physics operations in late 2009.

In CERN's regular weekly LHC update, they said that as part of the campaign to avoid another incident like the one that shut down the LHC in September ‘08, a new protection system is being installed in the LHC to detect tiny electrical resistances on the superconducting busbars between magnets. Materials and electronics necessary for the system are being ordered and manufactured, with installation of some components already underway.

via Symmetry Breaking