Skip to main content

Large Hadron Collider Sees First Particle Collisions

The Large Hadron Collider began circulating beams last Friday, and yesterday two beams collided for the first time. The collision is ahead of schedule as the folks at CERN had previously expected the first collision to occur roughly a week after the machine had been restarted. CERN reports that the beams crossed at points 1 and 5, home to the ATLAS and CMS detectors.

"The beams were first tuned to produce collisions in the ATLAS detector, which recorded its first candidate for collisions at 14:22 yesterday afternoon. Later, the beams were optimised for CMS. In the evening, ALICE had the first optimization, followed by LHCb."

"It's a great achievement to have come this far in so short a time," said CERN Director General Rolf Heuer. "But we need to keep a sense of perspective – there's still much to do before we can start the LHC physics program."

Next on the schedule is an intense commissioning phase aimed at increasing the beam intensity and accelerating the beams. If everything goes as planned, by Christmas, the LHC should reach 1.2 TeV per beam, and have provided good quantities of collision data for the experiments' calibrations.