GENEVA, Switzerland, March 10 (UPI) -- The Large Hadron Collider is to be shut down at the end of 2011 for as long as a year to strengthen its magnets, officials in Geneva, Switzerland, said.
The collider later this month is expected to reach a collision energy of 7 trillion volts -- a world record -- but needs stronger magnets to achieve even higher atom-smashing levels, said Steve Myers, a director of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, which built the collider,
"It's something that, with a lot more resources and with a lot more manpower and quality control, possibly could have been avoided," Myers said, "but I have difficulty in thinking that this is something that was a design error."
The collider began operating in September 2008, but shut down after a week of operation to replace 53 damaged superconducting magnets. It was started up again in November.
Myers said the collider is pushing technology toward its limits and scientists need to prepare thoroughly for future increases in collision energy. The ultimate goal is to produce collision energies of 14 trillion volts, the BBC reported Wednesday.