It didn’t fail, and it didn’t end the world: Early this morning, the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, Switzerland successfully ran a major, highly anticipated experiment, sustaining a 7 TeV particle beam [that is, 7 trillion electric volts] and colliding protons at three times the previous record energy level.
From CERN’s press release:
Geneva, 30 March 2010. Beams collided at 7 TeV in the LHC at 13:06 CEST, marking the start of the LHC research programme. Particle physicists around the world are looking forward to a potentially rich harvest of new physics as the LHC begins its first long run at an energy three and a half times higher than previously achieved at a particle accelerator.
“It’s a great day to be a particle physicist,” said CERN1 Director General Rolf Heuer. “A lot of people have waited a long time for this moment, but their patience and dedication is starting to pay dividends.”
“With these record-shattering collision energies, the LHC experiments are propelled into a vast region to explore, and the hunt begins for dark matter, new forces, new dimensions and the Higgs boson,” said ATLAS collaboration spokesperson, Fabiola Gianotti. “The fact that the experiments have published papers already on the basis of last year’s data bodes very well for this first physics run.”
Here’s a rather choppy video (with audio intact) of the CERN physicists’ reaction to the successful experiment: We’ll sub in something better should it come along. You can also check out CERN’s streaming video feed, which largely consists of discussions of the event.