Sometime this fall or early winter, they are going to turn the Large Hadron Collider back on. It may run for several minutes or hours and then break down again. In fact, expect that. This is a huge machine the like of which have never before been seen. Why would we expect it to work without several startups?

Absurdly, the LHC press office and others have been conversing about what is going to happen next without much (or any) mention of the likelihood of a repeat performance of last year’s breakdown (though presumably with a different technological problem). When it comes to physics, De Nile is a big ol’ river in Europe.

But none of that is the point, actually. The point is that the LHC will run through the winter, instead of shutting down to save money given high energy costs in Europe during the winter, if it gets going. This will be paid for out of their standard budget, as they have not been paying the energy costs for normal operation over the last several months. Details here.

And this just in: A film from the LHC, featuring Chief Engineer Clark Griswold, showing what it will be like when the LHC turns on later this year: