Well it looks like a world-ending black hole wasn’t formed at the site of the Large Hadron Collider and that we will, in fact, be putting in a full day of work today, tomorrow, and almost every remaining day of our lives. Hooray for science!
In the middle of the night (for those of us in the US) last night, scientists at the CERN laboratory near Geneva, Switzerland started a convoy of protons around an almost 17 mile-long tunnel at just shy of the speed of light. One of the obstacles that needed to be overcome was how to steer the particles around corners, which was accomplished by using magnets spaced out along the track. According to New Scientist:
“The machine worked better than anyone expected. It took only 55 minutes for physicists to steer beams around the full 27km, and the LHC worked on its first go, far better than anyone dared to hope.”
The big experiment will come later this year, when the scientists start two proton beams in opposite directions and watch what happens when those two beams collide.