Sunday, 20 December 2009

Particle accelerator ready for main task


The atom smasher near Geneva has set a record for colliding beams of particles and will move on to its main research effort in February, officials said.
The Large Hadron Collider record ended its first full test period by surpassing expectations, the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) announced Saturday.
The first collisions were achieved in late November, CERN said, with the record set Nov. 30.
"(The) Council is extremely pleased and impressed by the way the LHC (and) the experiments … have operated this year," CERN Council President Torsten Akesson said.
The LHC is in a 17-mile-circumference tunnel more than 500 feet beneath the French-Swiss border near Geneva. Scientists hope to use it gather data on the very beginnings of the universe and the Big Bang theory of its creation.
"So far, it is all systems go for the LHC," said Rolf Heuer, CERN director general. "This first running period has served its purpose fully: testing all the LHC's systems … to prepare the machine for a sustained period of running at higher energy. We could not have asked for a better way to bring 2009 to a close."

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