The LHC (Large Hadron Collider) at CERN has started to collide beams at the super high 7 TeV energy level today for the first time at 13:06 CEST.
The LHC team started this morning at 8:30am colliding beams. There have been some delays and failed attempts, but now stable beams collide and the First Physics project is under way. Particle physicists around the world are looking forward to a potentially rich harvest of new physics as the LHC begins its first long run at an energy three and a half times higher than previously achieved at a particle accelerator.
CERN will run the LHC for 18-24 months with the objective of delivering enough data to the experiments to make significant advances across a wide range of physics channels. As soon as they have "re-discovered" the known Standard Model particles, a necessary precursor to looking for new physics, the LHC experiments will start the systematic search for the Higgs boson. With the amount of data expected, called one inverse femtobarn by physicists, the combined analysis of ATLAS and CMS will be able to explore a wide mass range, and there’s even a chance of discovery if the Higgs has a mass near 160 GeV. If it’s much lighter or very heavy, it will be harder to find in this first LHC run.
For supersymmetry, ATLAS and CMS will each have enough data to double today’s sensitivity to certain new discoveries. Experiments today are sensitive to some supersymmetric particles with masses up to 400 GeV. An inverse femtobarn at the LHC pushes the discovery range up to 800 GeV.
More details on the CERN site.