Time to Cross the Beams! LHC to Commence First Proton Smashing Tomorrow

Monday, March 29, 2010 - 15:42 in Physics & Chemistry

Although some of us feel like we've heard this story before The Large Hadron Collider has been coming along in fits and starts, but the European Organization for Nuclear Research plans to begin colliding the highest energy proton beams ever conjured tomorrow, heralding a new era of science and discovery. If it works, that is. The LHC has been set back by mechanical failure and even breakdown-by-baguette after a bird dropped a bread crust into an exterior piece of machinery. But the world's largest and most expensive science experiment has been revving up to 3.5 trillion electron volts with no problems over the last ten days with no real problems, hurtling hundreds of billions of protons around the 17-mile underground tunnel at unprecedented speeds. If the first beam collisions at that energy don't happen tomorrow, it will likely be a matter of finesse rather than failure; it could take up to a...

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