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Message from Physics Chair-at-Large Dr. James Hetrick at the CERN Large Hadron Collider: March 30, 2010

It's 1:30 pm in Geneva, and I just wanted to pass on my excitement at being at CERN today for the first real run of LHC with the highest energy collisions ever produced on Earth!!

This is the beginning of the LHC's physics program for the next several years. I'm working here this week in the Theoretical Physics Group.

The place is swamped with media, and the cafeteria is completely full. My friend Philippe de Forcrand and I managed to get a coffee there before the rush and filled a napkin with algebra. The buzz here is absolutely tangible! We are all listening to the live webcast in our offices.

They had to dump the beam already this morning because of "an electrical perturbation," so the physicists and engineers worked all morning. The amount of engineering-physics here is absolutely staggering!

Just a few minutes ago the first collisions at 7 TeV (seven trillion electronvolts) took place, and the first tracks were recorded. Beautiful!

You can see the photos here, if you haven't already: http://cdsweb.cern.ch/collection/Photos  

It's rainy today, but the snow on the Alps was visible and beautiful driving in this morning. Near the CERN exit on the road you can see the mountains in the background, which are on top of the LHC tunnels.

Perhaps someday we can do a field trip here!

All the best from this historic day at CERN,

-Professor James Hetrick

Dr. Hetrick
Dr. Hetrick in front of CERN's Globe of Science and Innovation building.

Dr. Hetrick
...And working at his CERN office in the Theoretical Physics division.

Dr. Hetrick
Colleagues share a few algebraic scribbles over coffee.