An $18Billion capitalist investment ready to either yield profits for  
Big Capital and/or put PlanetEarth in Harms Way...

August 8, 2008

Date Set for Operation of Large Hadron Collider

Physicists, start your engines.

Officials at CERN, the European Center for Nuclear Research, outside  
Geneva, announced Thursday that their new particle accelerator, the  
world’s largest, would begin operation on Sept. 10. On that date, the  
physicists and engineers will make the first attempt to circulate a  
beam of protons around a 17-mile-long super-cooled underground  
racetrack known as the Large Hadron Collider.

The collider, 14 years and $8 billion in the making, has been built to  
smash together protons that have been accelerated to energies of 7  
trillion electron volts, and examine the remains for clues to the  
origin of mass and new forces and particles in the universe.

But the collisions will not happen immediately. The first step on the  
journey to new physics will happen this weekend, when engineers test  
their method of injecting high-energy protons, which are produced in a  
separate accelerator, the Super Proton Synchrotron, into the collider  
by sending a batch through one part of the racetrack.

In September, the first protons to circle the entire ring will have a  
relatively modest energy of 450 billion electron volts. Once the  
physicists and engineers have learned to drive their new machine and  
had a few collisions at that energy, they will ramp up the energy as  
fast as they can to 5 trillion electron volts — unexplored territory.

“Our main objective is to get to 5 TeV,” Lyn Evans, project director  
at CERN, said in an e-mail message. “How long it will take, I don’t  
know, but with the quality of the instrumentation, software, and above  
all the people we have, I am optimistic.”

Once they get up to speed later this fall, the collider will run for a  
month or two of “pilot physics.”

CERN shuts down for the winter to save money on its electric bill.  
While it sleeps, engineers will “train” the superconducting magnets  
that steer the energetic particles around their track to handle the  
high currents needed to produce fields strong enough to bend the paths  
of 7-trillion-electron-volt protons. When the collider awakens again  
in the spring it will be at full strength, and physicists will be face  
to face with their dreams.

author of "The Black Holocaust for Beginners"