The Large Hadron Collider is running better than ever this week with record peak luminosities of 7.2/nb/s and a record-shattering 0.3/fb delivered in the last 24 hours.
After they reached the 10/fb total luminosity milestone for 2012 a couple of weeks ago they undertook some messing about that included a polarity switch for ALICE. One outcome of all that was that CMS accidentally lost its solenoid for a few days which gave them an opportunity to do some more tests in the shadow. I am not sure of all the details but there seem to have been some collimator changes and the end result is that everything is now running much better so they should be able to make up the lost time. If anyone has a better description of what went on please do let us know.
A couple of days ago there was also a Machine Advisory Committee Meeting to report on where they go next. There is a new schedule with a few changes. It looks like they want studies for running after the long shutdown as a priority, and are making the case that enough luminosity has been delivered already. I think they still need to get as much as they can to help resolve the Higgs cross-section anomalies. A good compromise would be to attempt 25ns run after the next technical stop with a smaller beta*. Without a webcast of the MAC talks it is hard to tell where they are really heading but they seem to be planning for at least some more 25ns development runs.
Another thing they are thinking about is replacing the injection kicker (MKI8) that has been suffering from overheating since luminosities peaked earlier this year. This has been forcing them to delay some fills while it cools down. The change would be risky and could result in lost time, but if they can test out the replacement before the long shutdown it would put them in a better position when they restart at higher energy in 2015. It looks like a big job though.