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On 23 and 25 October, beams of protons and of lead ions were injected into the LHC ring, and successfully guided both clockwise and anti-clockwise through two of the eight sectors. Each sector is approximately 3.5km long.
The extreme cold allows the magnets inside the LHC, which align and accelerate the beam, to become "superconducting". This means they channel electric current with zero resistance and very little power loss.
Gianluigi Arduini, deputy head of hardware commissioning for the LHC, told BBC News the beam test showed that the collider's machinery was operating properly.
Originally posted by MrSmith
reply to post by MegaCurious
"But that will be in stages. We will first go to one, then 3.5... then from 2011 we're going to try to go to seven."