today's the big day and things are going crazy at CERN. For live updates check out CERN's twitter site, as well as the GridTalk twitter.
Also, just received this from Francois Grey, who is with the BBC team...
Things have gone far better than expected. It took LEP, the previous giant accelerator, 12 hours to get to this stage. Beam is now being injected every 48s, and going around about 3 times. They’re working on optimizing the parameters of all the focusing elements – this uses a lot of the information that LHC@home volunteers have helped provide through the millions of simulations they have run.
Once they’ve “cleaned up the beam”, they’ll try sending the beam around the other way. Then they’ll work on getting the beam dumps operating properly, so they can get rid of the beam in a controlled way (at present, since it is a very low energy beam, it is just being allowed to decay as it goes around the ring, but that could do damage for more intense beams). They may get to interleaving the two beams later today, but collisions are not on the cards.
Lyn Evans – the LHC project director - looks jubilant!