Today, 9 March, marks the end of CERN’s annual winter shut down. The Laboratory’s massive accelerator complex will soon begin to lumber out of its winter hibernation and resume accelerating and colliding particles.
But while the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has not been filled with protons since the Year-End Technical Stop (YETS) began on 4 December 2017, its tunnels and experimental caverns have been packed with people performing maintenance and repairs as well as testing components for future accelerators.
Today, CERN’s Engineering department hands the accelerator complex back to the Beams department, who will commence hardware commissioning for 2018. This commissioning will culminate in the restart of the LHC, planned for early April.