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Large Hadron Collider schedules holiday for 2012, full 7 TeV power for 2013

Vlad Savov
It's good to know that even huge inanimate objects appreciate the need for a work-life balance. After a nice winter hiatus, Switzerland's Large Hadron Collider is coming back online soon, set to resume smashing protonic beams at one another with the force of 3.5 trillion electron-volts (TeV) per beam, or 7 TeV in total. We have to swallow hard when we hear such force described as "low-energy," but that's what the LHC designers consider it, and moreover we're learning they'll skip past the middle and go for the full 14 TeV potential smashes after a retooling break during 2012. Although this may delay the discovery of the Higgs boson particle, other physics research shouldn't be stalled in the meantime -- scientists claim they'll be able to extract data from the low-energy collisions that could lend us more information on aspects of string theory, extra dimensions, and supersymmetry. Doesn't all this sound like nerds trying to avoid getting real jobs?