Proton beams at 3.5 tera-electron-volts (TeV) were first circulated in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at 5:23am on Friday, Cern's director of communications, James Gillies, told ZDNet UK on Friday. Reaching that level of intensity in circulating beams is an important landmark, as it will enable physicists to start working towards the target energy of 7 TeV, he added.
"It's great — there's really nothing in our way now to starting our physics program for 7 TeV," said Gillies.
Cern's physicists hope the 7 TeV beam intensity will allow them to test out predictions in high-energy physics, including verifying the existence of the Higgs boson, a hypothetical elementary particle. The accelerator, which is funded by countries including EU member states, the US and Japan, is located deep underground in a 27km circuit that spans the French-Swiss border.
Cern did not collide the beams during the Friday circulation, said Gillies, who added that the first collisions should take place within the next few weeks.
For more of this story, read LHC takes a step closer to full power on ZDNet UK.