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CERN's Large Hadron Collider started -- are we still here? (updated with video)

Thomas Ricker , @trixxy

Hello? Tap, tap, tap, this thing on?

CERN's $9 billion, 17-mile long atom smasher was just turned on and we're awaiting reports on how the tests have gone. The Large Hadron Collider did experience "small electrical problems" overnight. However, these were not expected to delay the first test firing at 9:30am CEST. As such, the clockwise and counter-clockwise firing of particles should already be in progress.

Remember, no smashing will be done today, for that we'll have to wait until later this month. We'll update you here as things progress.

09:49 -- Confirmed, the first beam of protons has been fired! It took 48-seconds for the pulse to generate and then a tiny flash of light on a computer screen indicated a successful firing around the first 3-km of the 27-km ring -- they will methodically extend the range throughout the day.

10:25 -- The beam just completed the full ring (in stages) in less than an hour. Things are going much more quickly than expected. Counterclockwise test next.

12:18 -- CERN estimates that the LHC will be fully operational for physics work in the next few months. Added NASA-like video of the reaction to the full-loop, first beam success after the break (watch for two flashes on the left-most screen).

Note: Insert, the following string into VLC to watch live: mms://

Read -- small electrical issues
Read -- webcast (currently down)
Read -- First beam fired