Well it looks like they’ve finally done it! The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has finally produced a collision.
Over a year after it was originally turned on, way back in September 2008, and after months of repairs it appears to be working as it was intended.
This was only a low-energy collision and is just a step towards the goal of a high-energy one which is hoped to shed light on some of the mysteries of the universe. It will be some time yet before they have a chance of looking for the elusive Higgs Boson
The LHC was first operational on September 10th 2008, but just a few days later a single solder joint failed causing a major failure in the experiment. It took several weeks to bring the collider up to a temperature where the engineers could work on it, and then several months of repairs and checks to ensure it wouldn’t happen again. Finally the whole thing had to be cooled down to a temperature 1.9K (approx -271°C) again taking several months.
It won’t be until probably 2011 at the earliest that a full power high energy collision will occur. So we have a long wait for the results of the largest physics experiment in the world.