As viXra readers know very well, the current plan for the Large Hadron Collider is to run until the end of 2011, have a Xmas shutdown and then run again during 2012 with possibly higher energy and luminosity. Then there will be a long shutdown to replace the magnet splices and make other upgrades so that it can run at the full 14 TeV energy from mid 2014. After a few more years there will be further long shutdowns with other upgrades leading eventually to the High Luminosity LHC.
When this plan was excepted in July 2010 it looked like this
Since then the plan has evolved a little bit, with the long shutdown becoming a little longer and the later shutdowns being delayed further. The currently accepted plan looks like this (as always you can click on the image see a bigger version)
Of course we have also learnt that LHC plans do not stay fixed for very long and it is now a poorly kept secret that this plan is also due for some major revisions. The latest provisional plan now looks more like this.
The change in plan starts at the next end of year shutdown when the usual two month is replaced with a longer 4 month period. This provides an opportunity for more upgrades, the nature of which is still obscure. Hopefully this improves the likelihood of the 2012 run being at an intermediate energy, 10TeV would be nice, but it may just be that there will be some essential detector upgrades during this break.
The extra delay means that the 2012 run continues well into 2013 until April. There is just a short two week stop over Xmas 2012. The long shutdown is pushed back even further with no 14TeV physics at all until 2015. The later date and the prospect of some very high lumniosity runs during 2012/2013 means that the detectors will be in need of some major work during the long shutdown while the splices are being replaced. We can now expect some of the major parts of ATLAS and CMS to be replaced with upgraded components, including the central beam pipes.
The delay of nominal energies may be disappointing but the prospect of better luminosity and possibly higher energy during 2012/2013 will certainly make up for it.