Last night a new very important milestone has been reached by the LHC: two counter-circulating proton beams beams have been accelerated for the first time to 3.5 TeV, the energy that they should routinely reach in the 2010-2011 running period.
In the notes of Marcello Bindi, who was ATLAS shift leader overnight, one can read "live" how this really happened. The messages on the LHC monitoring screen reported this historical half an hour as follows:
--> 5:00 "new energy records being set (with beam)...half way to 3.5 TeV"
--> 5:05 "at 2 Tev is history"
--> 5:10 "at 2.5 Tev.. 1 Tev to go"
--> 5:15 "at 3 Tev.. and counting"
--> 5:30 "At 3.5 with both beams...new energy records being set (with beam)"
A new world record has been set thanks to the ingenuity of the LHC team who has, also in this occasion, overcome the difficulties that operating a new complex machine implies.
That's an excellent start and we, in the ATLAS Control Room, are all waiting for the 7 TeV collisions to happen soon!