The Large Hadron Collider, the world's biggest physics experiment, is finally ramping up to do some serious proton smashing. Over the weekend, scientists began cycling protons through the miles-long accelerator. Over at Symmetry Breaking, Daisy Yuhas reports:
The beams had an energy of 450 billion electron volts (GeV), which is the energy at which they are injected into the LHC.
The circulating beams marked the end of a ten week particle-free hiatus for the world's largest particle accelerator, during which LHC scientists and engineers have prepared the machine for its biggest challenge yet, particle collisions at an energy of seven trillion electron volts (TeV). The beams also mark the beginning of the LHC's first long run, expected to last until at least mid-year 2011.
Over the next few weeks, the energy of the proton beams will be ramped up toward this year's goal: colliding 3.5-TeV beams in the center of the LHC experiments.