Feeds

Triumph in Geneva! LHC beams up and running again

Dimensional portal invasion back on track

Intelligent flash storage arrays

There were emotional scenes last night at the headquarters of underground international atom-smasher science alliance CERN, as joyful boffins celebrated the successful restarting of the Large Hadron Collider. The colossal machine circulated its first beam around the entire 27-km supermagnet circuit at 22:01 Swiss time, and sent the opposing beam round the other way at midnight.

Previous days had seen control-room boffins overcome a couple of late-breaking technical hiccups. One, described by enthusiastic amateur LHC-watcher Chris Stephens - of LHC Portal fame - as "an oopsie", saw a loss of cryogenics take out two sectors of the mighty doughnut on Thursday night. Then at the last minute a "quenchino" held matters up for a short interval.

The main CERN control room was described as being pervaded by "an unnatural sense of calm" at first; but as last night's long-awaited technical triumph neared, facilities all around CERN filled with jubilant boffins. Cerebral celebrations were thought to have continued until late into the night among some, but others, exhausted by working late all week, took a well-earned rest ("heavy night of magnet circuit testing", noted one of the team on Thursday morning).

It's important to note, especially for those concerned that the LHC may destroy the world and/or entire universe - perhaps in some fashion involving inept handling of artificially created black holes, or possibly the transmutation of entire planets into soup - that beam circulation is not the real deal. The Collider has as yet done no colliding, where the two beams - racing in opposite directions at almost the speed of light - are crossed, producing sub-subatomic particulate prangs of such violence as to mangle the very fabric of time and space.

Much more likely than the destruction of the universe, according to top CERN brainbox Sergio Bertolucci, is that the LHC will open up a "door" into some kind of extradimensional continuum. "Something might come through" says Bertolucci, or alternatively we might sent something through to the other side.

Bertolucci says that the portal can only open for an unimaginably brief instant, and will be of a smallness difficult to express. But mistakes have been made before, and many of our readers - tooled up with a selection of improvised portal-monster-busting weaponry and in some cases clad in reassuring tinfoil headgear - have barricaded themselves into impromptu strongholds just in case.

We'd say it's OK to come out for a while, though, as the CERN schedule doesn't call for any actual collisions until December 3 at the last look. Naturally we'll be covering the story for as long as there's a planet Earth to report from. Or until the demons, aliens, genetic hive legions or parallel globo-Reich Nazis catch up with us, anyway. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION
Robot minishuttle X-37B returns after almost 2 years in orbit
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
You can crunch it all you like, but the answer is NOT always in the data
Hear that, 'data journalists'? Our analytics prof holds forth
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.