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Large Hadron Collider Makes History with 1.18 TeV Protons

Thanks to Blake for the link.

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has made history and become most powerful particle accelerator on the planet.

In the early hours of Monday morning, the LHC accelerated protons to a record-breaking 1.18 TeV (tera-electronvolts). The previous record sat at 0.98 TeV and was achieved by Fermilab's Tevatron in Illinois back in 2001.

A "tera-electronvolt" (or a million million electronvolts) is a unit of kinetic energy; as the velocity of protons are pushed to higher (relativistic) speeds, their kinetic energy increases. Therefore, the LHC has also broken the land speed record for accelerator protons.

"A new record. Both beams in LHC reach 1.18 TeV at 00:42 on 30 November." --@CERN via Twitter

This amazing achievement comes hot on the heels of the first circulation of protons around the circular collider on Nov. 20 and then the surprise announcement that the first low energy collisions had been carried out weeks earlier than expected.

"We are still coming to terms with just how smoothly the LHC commissioning is going," said CERN Director General Rolf Heuer today. "However, we are continuing to take it step by step, and there is still a lot to do before we start physics in 2010. I’m keeping my champagne on ice until then."
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