Update: It worked.
In Switzerland, a CERN scientist controls a computer screen showing traces of the first protons injected in the Large Hadron Collider as they begin a 5 1/2-hour journey around a 17-mile tunnel housing the world's largest particle accelerator.
Independent (UK): Triumph! Smooth start for 'Big Bang' test
The Large Hadron Collider -- a huge particle accelerator spanning the border between Switzerland and France deep underground -- will be turned on tomorrow by CERN -- Conseil Europeen pour la Recherche Nucleaire, or the European Agency for Nuclear Research. View a live webcast of the event at 4 a.m. Eastern Time Sept. 10, at: http://webcast.cern.ch/. There is also a budding Twitter feed: http://twitter.com/cern
Once it starts up on Wednesday, scientists plan to smash particle beams together at close to the speed of light inside CERN's tightly-sealed Large Hadron Collider to create multiple mini-versions of the primeval Big Bang.
Cosmologists say that that explosion of an object the size of a small coin occurred about 13.7 billion years ago and led to formation of stars, planets -- and eventually to life on earth.
A key aim of the CERN experiment is to find the "Higgs boson," named after Scottish physicist Peter Higgs who in 1964 pointed to such a particle as the force that gave mass to matter and made the universe possible.
But other mysteries of physics and cosmology -- supersymmetry, dark matter and dark energy among them -- are at the focus of experiments in the 27-km (17-mile) circular tunnel deep underneath the Swiss-French border.
The Telegraph (UK): Large Hadron Collider: Particle accelerator to recreate birth of universe
Overview of the project
Prof Hawking, the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge, said: "The LHC will increase the energy at which we can study particle interactions by a factor of four."
However, he doubts that the machine will have the power to unravel some of the universe's more elusive secrets such as the putative Higgs boson particle - thought to have given mass to all other particles.
Prof Hawking said he has placed a bet of $100 that the scientists won't find the Higgs boson - the so-called "God particle."
"Another discovery that we might make is superpartners, partners for all the particles we know ... they could make up the mysterious dark matter that holds galaxies together," he told BBC Radio 4.
Dark Roasted Blend: This is what the world's first Time Machine may look like. Citing Russian sources, they're not really alarmed, and show lots of photos.
LHC Facts, however, is very concerned in a very detailed way.
And then there's the full-blown conspiracy theory: The Large Hadran Collider is a stargate created to blow a hole in the Van Allen radiation belt to permit the Annunaki of Niburu to return to Earth to do battle with God:
Tomorrow may not be the critical day, though. From that first Reuters story,
When the experiment begins soon after 9 a.m. (0700 GMT) on September 10, disaster scenarists will have little to work on.
In the first tests, a particle beam will be shot all the way around the LHC channel in just one direction. If all goes well, collisions might be tried within the coming weeks, but at low intensity. Any bangs at this stage, said one CERN researcher, "will be little ones.
Getting ready for Big Bang Day at TED (ideas worth spreading), expounds on this :
Once the first beam is established, the next steps, taking place later in 2008, will be to accelerate and then collide two beams, producing for an eager physics community whatever new particles they can find.
The first high-energy collisions are expected to take place after the LHC is officially unveiled, on October 21.
Blogger Emily McManus at TED also offers a list of first beam events in the United States, including pajama parties at Fermilab in Illinois and at Florida Tech. She points to the site for BBC Radio 4's recent Big Bang special, with funny videos and "the LHC in science fiction, from Dr. Who to Dan Brown."
More: Many links at Wikipedia's Large Hadron Collider page.
How the Large Hadron Collider Might Change the Web, Scientific American
One last observation, from British astrologer Jonathan Cainer:
For days now, I have been talking about the Large Hadron Collider that scientists are about to switch on it Switzerland. Will it really create a black hole, into which we all disappear? Well, if you ask a scientist, they will start a long sentence which contains the words "uncertainty" and "probability". Hardly a flat denial. They honestly don't know exactly what they are doing. Their prediction of the outcome is as good as mine. And mine is? They are about to unleash forces that will eventually make it a lot easier to bend or break the rules of time.