Wednesday, September 30, 2009

0.32 nanoOhms!

If read the title ala Doc Brown in Back to the Future, you'll have the right idea :)

The latest news from the LHC is very encouraging; the average resistance of the splices in Sector 1-2 is 0.32 nOhms. It's great news because 1) the resistances are within specs for that sector and 2) they are able to measure the resistances that precisely! If you remember from the incident last year, one of these splices with a high resistance (probably around 100 nOhms) caused a massive quench and the release of helium... and our >1 year delay.

So we continue to monitor the cooling progress, especially of Sector 6-7, which will be the last 1/8th of the ring to be "cold":

You can see it still has a way to go before 1.9 K, but it's getting there. Nothing like low resistances to brighten my week :) Let's hope the rest of the sectors follow suit.

A bientôt!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Hawking Education

On Wednesday afternoon, I had the privilege of seeing a lecture by Stephen Hawking on "The Creation of the Universe".

I was up in the cheap seats:

and had to get there almost 90 minutes ahead of time for one of the last seats in the auditorium. But it was worth it :)

I was expecting people to ask questions after, but alas none came. I guess when you're faced with asking him a question:

a little trepidation is normal. I feel like I'm building up a repertoire of stories to bore future generations of students... "I remember when the LHC was just about to start, Stephen Hawking came to give a lecture at CERN..." And the students will think to themselves, ugh, not the Hawking story... at least she isn't going on about Tom Hanks again ;)

A bientôt!