End of World One Step Closer. Or Not.
Engineers had previously brought a beam of protons - tiny, sub-atomic particles - to the "doorstep" of the LHC.
On 9 August, protons will be piped through LHC magnets for the first time.
The most powerful physics experiment ever built, the LHC will re-create the conditions present in the Universe just after the Big Bang.
- This last sentence is the one that's caused a little panic amongst certain groups of the population - they are convinced that the experiment will create miniature black holes which will fall through the LHC towards the centre of the Earth, where they will orbit around, gradually consuing the planet from beneath our feet.
- My God, have these people never seen Ghostbusters??
Now that is seriously cool (well, hot, actually) - to be able to recreate what the whole of reality looked like mere femtoseconds after it started...
Critics have previously raised concerns that the production of weird hypothetical particles called strangelets in the LHC could trigger the mass conversion of nuclei in ordinary atoms into more strange matter - transforming the Earth into a hot, dead lump.
Earlier BBC story
Amusingly paranoid story
Analog Magazine article