An anonymous reader writes to mention a C|Net article about the activation of the world's largest superconducting electromagnet. Switched on today at Geneva's CERN lab, the experiment is part of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) project. The magnet, called ATLAS, worked on its first start up. From the article: "In use, the magnet will be used to bend the paths of particles formed from the collision of protons or lead ions accelerated to near light speeds in 27km diameter subterranean contra-rotating circular beams. The ATLAS experiment is one of five in the LHC, and engages 1,800 scientists from 165 universities and laboratories in 35 countries."