The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has pulled off record-breaking high-energy particle collisions after scientists successfully operated the streams running in the 27km particle accelerator.
The LHC has been warming up for 10 days and when the twin particle streams, each carrying 3.5 trillion-electronvolts (TeV), collided the resulting impact data was recorded for future study. The 7TeV collision was three times larger than any previous experiments.
"It's a great day to be a particle physicist," said CERN director general Rolf Heuer. "A lot of people have waited a long time for this moment, but their patience and dedication is starting to pay dividends."
The data from the collision is stored in one of the biggest tape data libraries in the world. Tape is the storage medium of choice for the LHC since the terabytes of data generated by each collision make other storage systems too costly.
"With these record-shattering collision energies, the LHC experiments are propelled into a vast region to explore, and the hunt begins for dark matter, new forces, new dimensions and the Higgs boson," said ATLAS collaboration spokesperson, Fabiola Gianotti.
"The fact that the experiments have published papers already on the basis of last year’s data bodes very well for this first physics run."
The LHC will now run for about a year before being shut down for repairs and upgrades. The system was designed to run for much shorter periods but the operators decided to save time and money by opting for longer operating limits.
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