Anonymous asked: Hey sayitwithscience - if I'm not mistaken, the featured post regarding the Higgs boson is a bit misleading; I would think it's too early to draw such a conclusion since the LHC isn't running at full power yet? Here's a bit of info from a quick google search: "...LHC will be shut down at end of 2011 with a view to run at full capacity in 2013" Hope you can clear this up for me ~ thanks!
We can’t seem to find the post you are referring to on the featured section! Sorry!
Perhaps it had something to do with this?
Since the particles accelerators collect a tremendous amounts of events (images of the collisions taken by the detectors), physicists have not yet finished analyzing the data completely to be able to conclude anything about the existence of the Higgs. Rolf Heuer (director general of CERN) himself has told journalists that this conclusion will be drawn by the end of 2011. Even by then, the LHC will still not be running at its maximum power. The reason behind this is because according to theory, the Higgs is supposed to be able to be detected at a certain mass range (114GeV-145GeV) and both the Tevatron and LHC have already reached these energies!
The current plan for the LHC is that from now until about end of October they will continue the proton-proton collisions and from November to December they will collide heavy ions for the ALICE detector. As you have read, at the end of 2011 there will be an “extended technical stop” but after that, the LHC will continue running again until the end of 2012. After that, there will be a prolonged shutdown (roughly 17-19 months) where they will upgrade the Quench Protection System further prepare the LHC to run at even higher energies and luminosity.
The best source of information regarding the LHC is on the Quantum Diaries blog. If anyone has doubts or questions regarding the rumours circulating about the LHC, I recommend that they should consult this site.