By ALEXANDER G. HIGGINS, Associated Press Writer Alexander G. Higgins, Associated Press Writer
GENEVA – Scientists moved Saturday to prepare the world's largest atom smasher for exploring the depths of matter after successfully restarting the $10 billion machine following more than a year of repairs.
The nuclear physicists working on the Large Hadron Collider were surprised that they could so quickly get beams of protons whizzing near the speed of light during the restart late Friday, said James Gillies, spokesman for the European Organization for Nuclear Research.
The machine was heavily damaged by a simple electrical fault in September last year.
Some scientists had gone home early Friday and had to be called back as the project jumped ahead, Gillies said.
At a meeting early Saturday "they basically had to tear up the first few pages of their PowerPoint presentation which had outlined the procedures that they were planning to follow," he said. "That was all wrapped up by midnight. They are going through the paces really very fast."
The European Organization for Nuclear Research has taken the restart of the collider step by step to avoid further setbacks as it moves toward new scientific experiments — probably starting in January — regarding the makeup of matter and the universe.
CERN, as it is known, had hoped by 7 a.m. (0600 GMT) Saturday to get the beams to travel the 27-kilometer (17-mile) circular tunnel under the Swiss-French border, but things went so well Friday evening that they had achieved the operation seven hours earlier.
Praise from scientists around the world was quick. "First beam through the Atlas!" whooped an Internet message from Adam Yurkewicz, an American scientist working on the massive Atlas detector on the machine.
"I congratulate the scientists and engineers that have worked to get the LHC back up and running," said Dennis Kovar of the U.S. Department of Energy, which participates in the project.
"The LHC is a machine unprecedented in size, in complexity, and in the scope of the international collaboration that has built it over the last 15 years," said Kovar.
The next step, possibly later Saturday, was to decide whether to collide beams in the detectors to get necessary measuring data or to try using the machine to accelerate the protons to higher energy than any machine has ever reached, said Gillies.
In the meantime CERN is using about 2,000 superconducting magnets — some of them 15 meters (50 feet) long — to improve control of the beams of billions of protons so they will remain tightly bunched and stay clear of sensitive equipment.
Gillies said the scientists are being very conservative.
"They're leaving a lot of time so that the guys who are operating the machine are under no pressure whatsoever to tick off the boxes and move forward," he said.
Officials said Friday evening's progress was an important step on the road toward scientific discoveries at the LHC, which are expected in 2010.
"We've still got some way to go before physics can begin, but with this milestone we're well on the way," CERN Director General Rolf Heuer said.
See "Link to External Source Article" below to read further.
And for your consideration, a few Urantia Book passages discussing the ultimaton, which very well could be the particle which the physicists are searching for...
42:1.2 Matter—energy—for they are but diverse manifestations of the same cosmic reality, as a universe phenomenon is inherent in the Universal Father. "In him all things consist." Matter may appear to manifest inherent energy and to exhibit self-contained powers, but the lines of gravity involved in the energies concerned in all these physical phenomena are derived from, and are dependent on, Paradise, The ultimaton, the first measurable form of energy, has Paradise as its nucleus.
42:5.4 2. Ultimatonic rays. The assembly of energy into the minute spheres of the ultimatons occasions vibrations in the content of space which are discernible and measurable. And long before physicists ever discover the ultimaton, they will undoubtedly detect the phenomena of these rays as they shower in upon Urantia. These short and powerful rays represent the initial activity of the ultimatons as they are slowed down to that point where they veer towards the electronic organization of matter. As the ultimatons aggregate into electrons, condensation occurs with a consequent storage of energy.
And see "Ultimatons, Electrons, and Atoms" HERE
For the largest overview of this subject, please see "Energy - Mind and Matter"