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Large Hadron Collider Starting Up

There was a lot of media coverage about the Large Hadron Collider startup last year, with many people freaking about about black holes, strangelets, and magnetic monopoles ripping apart the universe as we know it. As you may remember, the system was shut down before it could ever perform any collisions due to a fault in the superconducting magnets that caused a coolant leak. It’s been over a year, but the collider is finally ready to go again.

In fact, after doing some brief tests last week, the system has passed validation and is being handed over for experimentation. We will have full beam circulation tomorrow, and I’m told that data is expected around Thanksgiving.

For those of you who are interested, the Compact Muon Solenoid (one of the experiments searching for the Higgs boson) has some coverage:

CERN Twitter: http://twitter.com/cern
CMS e-commentary blog: http://cmsdoc.cern.ch/cms/performance/FirstBeam/cms-e-commentary09.htm
Live photostream (coming soon): http://cms.web.cern.ch/cms/index.html
Live CMS-TV status monitor: http://cmsdoc.cern.ch/cmscc/cmstv/cmstv.jsp?channel=1&frames=yes

The Higgs boson is the only particle predicted by the Standard Model that has never been observed. Physicists believe that if the Higgs does exist, it should be detected by the LHC.

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