More than 80 physicists, mathematicians and engineers met for breakfast in the Ogden Centre to watch the world’s most powerful particle accelerator the Large Hadron Colider at CERN "switch on". The LHC hopes to find answers to some of the most fundamental mysteries of our Universe, from anti-matter to dark matter, the famous Higgs particle and the possible existence of additional dimensions of space.
The first beam was successfully steered clockwise around the full 27 kilometres of the ring at 9:28 and a little later, at 14:04 the beam made its first circuit in the anti-clockwise direction. This was a vital step towards achieving the goal of collisions at full beam energy, expected in early 2009.
Professor Nigel Glover, Director of the IPPP, said: "We have spent many years making predictions for the sorts of things we hope the LHC experiments will see. We do not know what nature has in store for us, but we are confident that the LHC will give us a fascinating new insight on how the Universe works. Our theoretical predictions will play a key part in interpreting the experimental data from the LHC and unlocking the secrets of the Universe."