Beams have now circulated in both directions around the LHC (different beam-pipes), so the tubes have been verified to be empty (nothing demonstrates that better than a beam), the magnets are all well aligned and stay cold, and the focusing optics are tuned. No show-stoppers!
The counter-clockwise direction took a little longer; they had more trouble controlling the beam on the first or second try (it wiggled back and forth around the center of the beamline until they re-tuned the optics), but it has been successfully demonstrated now. On the whole, it has been a very good day for the storage ring— I don’t think anyone expected it to be so successful so early (6 hours from the first injection to complete success).
If anyone involved is reading this, congratulations!!!
- time estimates for getting one beam to go in one direction had been as much as 12 hours
- semi-official date for first collisions is Oct 21 (that can be changed, perhaps earlier)