Better late than never (both this post and the LHC success on 30 March 2010 itself): Large Hadron Collider Smashes Protons, Sets Record
. Congratulations to all involved
Sadly they were beaten to it: Ten Year Old Makes Functioning Mini Hadron Collider in Bedroom
Nevertheless, the LHC has in fact produced its first tangible result: Man arrested at Large Hadron Collider claims he's from the future
Meanwhile, I've discovered that the 7 TeV energy of the proton collisions is in fact equivalent to no more than the combined kinetic energy of 7 flying mosquitos (1 TeV each) - and this according to CERN themselves
Of course a mosquito is squillions of times larger than a proton, so I presume the energy involved has more oomph when concentrated into such a small diameter as a proton (by the way, while having mass, do protons actually have a measureable diameter in the quantum mechanical sense?)
Whatever, this puts into perspective the scare stories about forming troublesomely-heavy black holes, at least as long as Stephen Hawking is correct that small ones on this sort of scale will rapidly evaporate.
I must brag that I had the priviledge to meet the great man on Feb 27 this year in Cambridge UK, where he was presented with the "Cosmos Award for Outstanding Public Presentation of Science"
by the Planetary Society
(where Ann Druyan, Carl Sagan's widow, and Martin Rees, 'Astronomer Royal' were also amongst several fascinating contributors at the meeting).
I passed on a letter from a good friend of mine, whose uncle Prof. Robert Berman was Hawking's tutor
when an undergraduate at University College in Oxford, and taught him all the physics he knew - at least up until then!
I must add that neither I nor my friend are physicists.