Wednesday, September 10, 2008

At World's End

The Large Hadron Collider is expected to go into action this morning at precisely 9:30am [CET], the biggest experiment in the history of physics at a cost of £5 billion. Cern has two live streams, one in Windows Media format, the other in Flash. Composed of millions of individual pieces, the collider uses more than 9,000 magnets to accelerate two beams of protons to almost the speed of light.

When the beams collide, they shatter into their constituent parts, allowing scientists to glimpse particles that don't exist in standard environments [
Source]. The aim of this experiment is to discover whether dark matter, extra dimensions and the Higgs boson known as 'God's particle' actually exist. This story is everywhere today, are we about to witness something incredible? Is this experiment going to trigger the end of the World? I am going to put the kettle on while I wait and see what happens...


If you are reading this message then we have all survived, I was ready to take refuge underneath my desk but the Large Hadron Collider hasn't destroyed the World...

The Large Hadron Collider is the largest and most complex scientific instrument ever built and the highest energy particle accelerator in the world. The accelerator is located 100 m underground and runs through both French and Swiss territory. ( 27km circumference) Year 2008 marks the culmination of 20 years of work by over 8000 scientists thousands of engineers, technicians and support staff from over 80 different countries.

I followed the developments online through various sites and so far we are safe. Various sites were set up to monitor the historical events taking place. I followed and they provided updates to inform the followers of the activity as it happened. I have listed below in a timeline, all updates are [CET] ~

9:30. First beam injected and stopped at 1/8 of a circuit. Loud applause in the control room

10:00 The beam has now done half a lap. Still going well.

This is the big moment. Next injection should one full circuit.

10:25, 10 September 2008. Historic moment. The LHC first beam has just circulated. Amazing moment.

13:55, the LHC's second beam is now on its way.

15:02, that's it. Second beam all the way round and the LHC is up and running

Scientists have hailed the switching on of the Large Hadron Collider successful, although this is only the beginning of the experiment which will recreate the conditions a few moments after the Big Bang. They have now fired two beams of particles called protons around the 27km-long tunnel but are yet to go fully operational which will involve smashing the atoms together. You can follow the activity here via a live web stream direct from CERN.

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