[Sky News] The first beam of protons completed it maiden journey through the 17-mile tunnel of the LHC without incident.
The flashing of two white dots on a computer screen indicated that the protons had reached the final point of the world’s largest particle accelerator.
This prompted a cheer and the popping of champagne corks – but there was still a long way to go.
Scientists fired up the second beam of protons – one of the building blocks of atoms – several hours later.
Its journey, which runs in the opposite direction to the first beam, also went off without a hitch.
[Telegraph] Critics of the Large Hadron Collider – a £4.4 billion machine due to be switched on in ten days time – have lodged a lawsuit at the European Court for Human Rights against the 20 countries, including the UK, that fund the project.
The device is designed to replicate conditions that existed just a fraction of a second after the Big Bang, and its creators hope it will unlock the secrets of how the universe began.
However, opponents fear the machine, which will smash pieces of atoms together at high speed and generate temperatures of more than a trillion degrees centigrade, may create a mini-black hole that could tear the earth apart.