The day the LHC made physics history

The day the LHC made physics history

Summary: Behind the scenes at the Large Hadron Collider as physicists waited to see if they could perform high-energy collisions and start groundbreaking research

TOPICS: Emerging Tech

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  • On Tuesday, scientists at Cern prepared for the world's largest particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider, to circulate and collide proton beams at 7 tera-electon-volts (TeV), the highest energy ever. The collisions should generate data for research into fundamental physics.

    This picture shows Cern physicists in one of the control rooms for the Compact Muon Spectrometer (CMS), one of four detectors at Cern that will be used to chart the paths of nuclear particles escaping from collisions.

  • Preparations for particle collisions at 3.5 TeV, which physicists believe will start to enable the study of new physics, were halted at 6:17am local time in Geneva after a corrector magnet tripped. The beams are directed and focused by a number of superconducting magnets. Corrector magnets help to focus the beams.

    After the magnet tripped, the beams of protons circling in the 27km ring had to be dumped into blocks of metal. The process of powering up and injecting fresh beams into the machine began again.

Topic: Emerging Tech

Tom Espiner

About Tom Espiner

Tom is a technology reporter for He covers the security beat, writing about everything from hacking and cybercrime to threats and mitigation. He also focuses on open source and emerging technologies, all the while trying to cut through greenwash.

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