The Latest from the LHC: The LHC is cold!

On Thursday 8 October, sector 6-7 reached the cryogenic temperature of 1.9 K; it was followed, this week, by the last one, Sector 3-4, thus marking an important step towards the final commissioning of the machine.

As soon as a sector reaches the nominal operating temperature, magnets are powered: three sectors are presently being commissioned with 2 kA current in the main circuits (the so-called Phase 2) and three are being powered with lower current. In the coming weeks, the hardware commissioning team will gradually increase the current in all sectors to reach 4 kA and finally 6 kA. This latter value is the one needed to correctly guide particle beams travelling in the machine at the nominal energy of 3.5 TeV.

Splice resistance measurements were also carried out in three sectors; there are thousands of splices in each sector and they are all showing normal values. Teams are also continuing to test the different components and layers of the complex Quench Detection System that, in case of need, have the delicate task of detecting a splice malfunction at an early stage and then protecting the machine from the punctual excessive energy released. These tests are confirming the high performance of the detection system.