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CERN's massive Large Hadron Collider went online today, performing even better than expect. It's now the world's largest particle accelerator and it's scheduled to start probing the universe's most puzzling questions in just a few short months.  (Source: CERN)
The launch of the world's largest particle accelerator is going almost seamlessly thus far

CERN's Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has gone online, becoming the world's largest operational particle collider.  The LHC was the result of $9B USD and years of collaboration from researchers worldwide.  It promises to unlock great mysteries such as the Higgs boson and deeper insight into how antimatter behaves.

The launch did have its share of hassles.  First, researchers were alarmed by death threats from fearful observers who worried the device would generate huge black holes, despite reassurance from the world's top scientists that any tiny black holes that did arise would quickly evaporate.  Second, according to CERN officials, late last night the LHC was experiencing some "small electrical problems".

None of these issues could put a damper on the launch though and it continued on schedule.  It turned on at 9:30 AM CEST and at 9:49 AM the first beam of protons was fired through the first 3-km of the 27-km ring.  It took 48 seconds to generate the pulse. 

Firing ramped up and by 10:25 AM the proton beam was travelling the entire track.  The tests went quicker and had fewer issues than expected.  Counterclockwise beams are currently being tested.

CERN expects the LHC to be fully operation and unlocking the mysteries of the universe within a few months based on the strong initial testing.  After the counterclockwise tests, the next step will be to perform the first atom smashing later this month, colliding two proton beams together. 

Expect to hear much more news about the world's largest particle accelerator in the near future.

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RE: and. . .
By NicePants42 on 9/10/2008 9:04:54 AM , Rating: 5
Of course it didn't, don't be silly. The world-eating black holes won't spawn until they actually start smashing atoms, so we've got at least a week or two yet before everyone needs to worry about millions of extremely low-orbit black holes wreaking untold destruction and eventually eliminating any physical traces of our solar system.

People need to relax.

RE: and. . .
By hrishi2das on 9/10/2008 9:11:54 AM , Rating: 3
Don't worry, all we need is an anti-black hole creator which will annihilate all the created black holes.

Don't you guys watch Eureka ?

RE: and. . .
By FITCamaro on 9/10/2008 1:43:03 PM , Rating: 2
Love that show.

RE: and. . .
By Shadowself on 9/10/2008 9:45:51 AM , Rating: 2
They're *not* smashing atoms, just protons.

The Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider at Brookhaven is an atom smasher.

RE: and. . .
By timmyeatchips on 9/10/2008 10:13:22 AM , Rating: 3
Well, protons are hydrogen ions =)

They're also going to use the LHC to collide lead nuclei.

RE: and. . .
By Oregonian2 on 9/10/2008 3:21:13 PM , Rating: 2
People need to relax.

I predict that at the end of the month when things start to get serious that we will NOT be reading resulting reports on how black holes were generated that did away with the earth. I'll put my reputation on the line right now that we won't be reading any reputable reports about any such happenings.

RE: and. . .
By mindless1 on 9/11/2008 4:58:10 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sure that if black holes did away with the earth, the most important thing on everyone's mind would be your reputation. Not that it's going to happen of course but the logic of reading resulting reports once the earth has been done away with is only a brief luxury a few on the ISS would have.

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007

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