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On the morning of Wednesday, 10 September, 2008, the first particle beam was successfully sent around the full circuit of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (Cern).
The new science resulting from this grand experiment will turn up in the coming weeks and months, but what Wednesday's event did prove was that the world's largest machine works. Part of that machine is the cathedral-sized Atlas detector, one of two general-purpose detectors (the other is the Compact Muon Solenoid, or CMS) in the LHC.
Atlas's development and construction benefited from a great amount of UK involvement, particularly that of the Science & Technology Facilities Council. Pictured above is the very first image from Atlas showing the particle beam passing through.
ZDNet.co.uk was at a Science & Technology Facilities Council event in Westminster to see, via video-link, the LHC being initiated. On the following pages are some initial reactions from those involved in Atlas and the wider LHC project.