CERN has announced that the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) will run until the end of 2012 with a short technical stop at the end of 2011. The LHC was previously scheduled to run to the end of 2011 before a long technical break to prepare it for running at its full design energy of 7 TeV per beam. The beam energy for 2011 will continue to be 3.5 TeV.
The change is due to better than anticipated performance in 2010 according a report by the laboratory’s machine advisory committee presented the annual planning workshop held in Chamonix, France. The report rates the chance of finding new physics such as the lightest supersymmetric particle, or the Higgs boson, within the next two years as good, if these exist within the current energy range of LHC.
If there is no new physics in the energy range currently being explored by the LHC, continued running in 2012 will give the LHC experiments the data needed to fully explore this energy range before moving up to higher energy.