LHC First Beam

“If people don’t have an under­stand­ing of what sci­ence is and what sci­ent­ists do, then they can tend to think that glob­al warm­ing, for example, is just a mat­ter of opin­ion.”
Bri­an Cox

As I’m sure you are all aware—and don’t need remind­ing—CERN’s LHC is com­men­cing its oper­a­tions this morn­ing with the first beam injec­tion tak­ing place at 0830 BST (the first col­li­sion is way off).

Now stop mak­ing jokes about the end of the world: it’s really not funny any more. For a good over­view of the so-called ‘risks’ this art­icle writ­ten by Dr. Michio Kaku (of Berkley and Har­vard, expert in String The­ory and Quantum Field The­ory) is worth read­ing in its entirety, as is CERN’s own over­view on the safety of the LHC.

Now take your mind off the frankly annoy­ing media frenzy by look­ing at these old, yet truly beau­ti­ful, pho­tos of the LHC from The Big Pic­ture.

CERN's Large Hadron Collider

Have some ques­tions? For your less demand­ing quer­ies, the BBC has com­piled a good guide to the LHC and its exper­i­ments while CERN has released it’s LHC intro­duc­tion book­let (which includes “10 Fas­cin­at­ing Facts About the LHC”). For those more in-depth ques­tions, all of the pro­ject doc­u­ment­a­tion is avail­able and CERN’s ‘First Beam’ site has a nice col­lec­tion of videos.

Oth­er inter­est­ing links: Kath­er­ine McAlpine’s Large Had­ron Col­lider Rap, Seed Magazine’s The Lords of the Ring short film, CERN’s own live web­cast of today’s pro­ceed­ings, a list of what the LHC might find (with prob­ab­il­it­ies), Bri­an Cox’s TED talk on the LHC, and Bri­an Cox present­ing BBC Four’s The Big Bang Machine (UK only, 4 days left to watch online).