First 13 TeV Collisions with stable beams at CERN

Last Wednesday, the Large Hadron Collider at CERN started colliding protons with stable beams at the highest energy we’ve ever achieved! I had a very early start (alarm went off at 5.30am) to be in the ATLAS Control Room and tell everyone all about it on social media through the ATLAS Twitter accounts. There was a team of us from ATLAS Outreach working that day.

Even at 8am, it was standing room only as so many people wanted to see the first stable beam collisions at 13 TeV.

CERN had a live webcast to explain what was happening and at one point, when checking it, I realised I was live in the background of an interview with ATLAS Spokesperson, Dave Charlton. So, I acted natural and was thankful that, even though I was supposed to be doing the social media, I wasn’t on Facebook.

Me on the CERN webcast.
Me on the CERN webcast.

A little before 9am, the beams that had been increasing in energy inside the LHC were dumped and they had to start again. No problem, as it’s essentially a new machine, this was not unexpected. Everyone went to get coffee and breakfast (or second breakfasts) and I updated Twitter:

At about 10.30am the beams had been brought to the right energy, squeezed and brought to collide inside each of the experiments at 13 TeV! The control room burst into applause!

Applause in the ATLAS Control Room for 13 TeV collisions! By Emma Ward.
Applause in the ATLAS Control Room for 13 TeV collisions! By Emma Ward.
ATLAS control room for 13 TeV collisions
Image: Pierre Descombe/CERN

It was great to see the first event displays coming out!

And then it was time for the champagne.

Cheers! By Emma Ward.
Cheers! By Emma Ward.

Another great event display:

To finish a very long and exciting day, I gave an interview to Sky News.

For all the tweets from the day on the ATLAS account, you can check out the Storify:

https://storify.com/ATLASexperiment/first-13tev-collisions

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