Canada's National Laboratory for Particle and Nuclear Physics Laboratoire national canadien pour la recherche en physique nucléaire et en physique des particules

World-Record Energy Collisions Achieved at LHC

09 December 2009

(Vancouver, BC) - On Tuesday evening, December 8th, thousands of physicists around the world cheered as CERN's Large Hadron Collider (LHC) smashed together subatomic particles at the highest energies ever reached by a man-made accelerator and the giant ATLAS detector observed the products of the record-breaking reactions whizzing through its sophisticated tracking devices.  Some of the loudest cheers were from Canadians who helped design, build, and commission LHC and ATLAS which are launching a new era of discovery about how the universe works.

"This is the breakthrough moment we have all been waiting for," said Rob McPherson, spokesperson and Principal Investigator for the 150 person Canadian team, professor at the University of Victoria, and Institute of Particle Physics Research Scientist. "The LHC was conceived of more than two decades ago, and today's success represents the start of a new era in our understanding of matter and the universe."  The new world record is set by the collisions of more than 10 billion protons per bunch at a total energy of 2.36 trillion electron volts, or TeV, per collision.