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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: We are all gonna die...................
By Adonlude on 9/10/2008 1:18:15 PM , Rating: 3
We are venturing into unknown territory with forces we don't truly understand. No one can totally, absolutely, undoubtedly say for sure that it is safe which is always a bit scary.

We as humans constantly try to wrap our little minds around this massive universe with so many theories that almost work except for this little thing or that group of things but none of them seem to work for everything. We fill in many gaps through trial and error but big trials can lead to big errors. It is not a rediculous notion that we could experiment ourselves to death.

By Spuke on 9/10/2008 5:13:36 PM , Rating: 2
It is not a rediculous notion that we could experiment ourselves to death.
I think it'll be more likely that we'll die from soybean poisoning than from tiny black holes.

By Pavelyoung on 9/10/2008 10:19:44 PM , Rating: 2
Oh come on!, they know the risks and they know basically what will happen. The power required to make a black hole is substatially higher than what they are using.

The LHC is no threat at all. The only thing that might come from the experiments are confirmation of the BH particle. If we are lucky, like Dr. Michio Kaku says, we will get our first glimps of hyper space.

"Intel is investing heavily (think gazillions of dollars and bazillions of engineering man hours) in resources to create an Intel host controllers spec in order to speed time to market of the USB 3.0 technology." -- Intel blogger Nick Knupffer

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