We are on. This afternoon just after 1PM the LHC beams have started to produce proton-proton collisions in the heart of the experiments, at the never-before achieved energy of 7 TeV.

It was a long journey to get here -the project is twenty years old- but this is just the start of a new, more exciting one: In the course of the next two years, the Large Hadron Collider will gradually increase its power, allowing the CMS and ATLAS detectors to collect enough data to significantly extend into discovery territory.

No, results are not going to come out tonight -no more than black holes are not starting to devour the ground in the caverns underneath Geneve. It will take maybe a week to see the first "public relations" figures broadcast for public consumption; months to see the first meaningful physics results -mostly showing that the detectors are working well and that the collisions are correctly reconstructed, plus maybe some very basic measurements that will add little to our knowledge of the subatomic world.

It will maybe take six months, instead, to see the first results extending our reach for physics beyond the standard model. We will first start to extend the reach for the Z' bosons, particles that are relatively easy to see if you have enough energy to produce them.

Maybe in one year or so, we will get to see competitive searches for the standard model Higgs boson. This will mark the real start of a short period of fierce competition between the Tevatron and the LHC on the hunt for that particle. The LHC will, eventually, win the struggle, but it will take more than two years to get there.

So we have a very interesting time ahead of us. Stay tuned and be ready to be amazed!