At a meeting of the CERN Council a couple of weeks ago, one delegate stood up and reminded us that the LHC is not a turnkey machine. The great achievement of today is that those responsible for its construction and operation are making it look as if it is.


I’d like to congratulate them all, from those who originally conceived the project to those who turned the impossible technologies it demanded into reality, those who brought us from the dark days of late 2008 to the position we are in today, and last but not least, the people in the CERN Control Centre who have brought this wonder of the modern world to life in such a spectacular fashion. Today is their day.

Now it is the turn of the experimental collaborations to make their mark. Their achievement in designing and building these gargantuan, yet incredibly precise instruments is no less impressive than that of the accelerator people. The fact that they were recording and analysing data as soon as it became available last year is testimony to the work they have done, and it bodes well for the future.

The history of science is marked by periods that change our perception of the Universe and our place in it. Today could be the start of one of them.



by Rolf Heuer