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It's Official: World Has New Highest-Energy Particle Accelerator
30 November 2009 3:12 pm
The world’s largest atom smasher, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), has set a new record for accelerating subatomic particles to high energy.
Early Monday morning protons whizzed around the 27-kilometer-long accelerator at an energy of 1.18 tera-electron volts (TeV)—20% higher than the 0.98 TeV standard set by the Tevatron collider at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois. Of course, 1.18 TeV is far short of the 3.5 TeV per beam with which researchers hope to take data early next year, to say nothing of the 7 TeV per beam the LHC is designed to reach. The next steps will be to increase the intensity of the counter-circulating beams and to steer them into each other to produce copious particle collisions, which CERN physicists hope to do by 25 December.