Preliminary run held at CERN collider

Oct. 28, 2009 at 10:16 AM

GENEVA, Switzerland, Oct. 28 (UPI) -- Scientists have quietly moved to power up the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland for a second time, officials say.

A preliminary run conducted by CERN, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics, was performed last week in a much different atmosphere than the media glare that preceded the collider's first test last year, which ended in an embarrassing failure, The Times of London reported Wednesday.

CERN officials told The Times that proton beams and lead ions were sent at relatively slow speeds around a section of the ring containing the "A Large Ion Collider Experiment," or Alice, detector. The officials also said protons were sent through its LHCb detector, traveling through a quarter of the Hadron collider's ring in total.

Steve Myers, director of accelerators and technology at CERN, told the newspaper, "The acid test of any accelerator is when you put the beam in. We were holding our breath a little bit, but it worked incredibly well."

Particles are set to be sent around the entire ring in mid-November. In the meantime, The Times said, it is gradually being ramped up to full energy to cut down on the chances of a repeat of last year's failure.

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