"One short trip for a proton, but one giant leap for mankind!" said Nigel S. Lockyer, Director of Canada’s TRIUMF laboratory, discussing the successful steering of a proton beam around the Large Hadron Collider earlier today. The LHC, a 27 kilometer long particle accelerator at CERN in Switzerland, was "switched on" today and a proton beam was shot through the collider at very near the speed of light. Later this year, scientists are going to begin experiments searching for subatomical particles and perhaps a unifying theory of physics so physicists around the world are very excited about today's events.
This historic event marks a key moment in the transition from over two decades of preparation to a new era of scientific discovery.
CERN Press Release – First beam in the LHC - accelerating science
Renowned physicist Stephen Hawking is very excited about the LHC. He has devoted his career to researching black holes and might be able to test some of his theories if the collider creates microscopic black holes, which many scientists consider a possibility.
In Hawking's words, the Large Hadron Collider, which officially starts tomorrow with its "first beam" through the entire 27-kilometer collider, is "vital if the human race is not to stultify and eventually die out."
Hawking on LHC & Pure Research