After receiving a few upgrades, including a power boost and better cameras, CERN's Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is once again ready for business and will soon start providing scientists with glorious, glorious particle data for "the first time in 2017".
The LHC has had its share of false starts, forced holidays and animal invasions, but over the last few years it's managed some consistent output, with the most significant discovery being that of the elusive Higgs Boson.
This week, scientists finally started getting their hands dirty, writes CERN's Corinne Pralavorio:
...the Large Hadron Collider shifted up a gear, allowing the experiments to start taking data for the first time in 2017. Operations are starting gradually, with just a few proton bunches per beam. The operators who control the most powerful collider in the world will gradually increase the number of bunches circulating and will also reduce the size of the beams at the interaction points. In a few weeks’ time, over a billion collisions will be produced every second at the heart of the experiments.
Pralavorio goes on to explain that CERN is looking to outdo last year's collision numbers -- 6.5 million billion, give or take. The plan isn't necessarily to produce more, but to do so "over a shorter period".
Oh, some other good news! No black holes or dimensional rifts created so far. Guess we just need to keep at it.