KPCC News In Brief

World's largest particle collider passes first test

The world’s largest particle collider passed its first test this morning. Scientists successfully sent a beam of protons clockwise around the full length of the Large Hadron Collider, a 17-mile underground ring near Geneva, Switzerland. Then they sent a beam counterclockwise.

Scientists hope to collide two beams into each other, with the goal of recreating conditions a split second after the Big Bang. Julian Bunn is a scientist in Caltech’s Center for Advanced Computing Research.

Julian Bunn: “It’s certainly the first time since the Big Bang that these conditions have been recreated on the Earth. We believe that by recreating those conditions, we’re able to get a much better understanding of what’s going on.”

Bunn told KPCC’s AirTalk that scientists hope the experiment will teach them more about the source of dark matter and provide a better understanding of the physical world. Scientists hope to begin collisions in the next couple months.

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January 2009

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