Giant atom smasher starts up after 2-year shutdown - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Giant atom smasher starts up after 2-year shutdown

Posted: Updated:
In this Aug. 7, 2010 file picture a photographer takes a picture in the assembly room of the elements of the LHC (large hadron collider) at the European Particle Physics laboratory CERN in Geneva, Switzerland The world's biggest particle accelerator is ab In this Aug. 7, 2010 file picture a photographer takes a picture in the assembly room of the elements of the LHC (large hadron collider) at the European Particle Physics laboratory CERN in Geneva, Switzerland The world's biggest particle accelerator is ab
In this March 30, 2010 file picture the globe of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, CERN, is illuminated outside Geneva, Switzerland. The world's biggest particle accelerator is about to start up again after a two-year shutdown and upgrade. In this March 30, 2010 file picture the globe of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, CERN, is illuminated outside Geneva, Switzerland. The world's biggest particle accelerator is about to start up again after a two-year shutdown and upgrade.
In this May 20, 2011 file photo, a wall painting by artist Josef Kristofoletti is seen at the Atlas experiment site at the European Center for Nuclear Research, CERN, outside Geneva, Switzerland. The world's biggest particle accelerator is about to start In this May 20, 2011 file photo, a wall painting by artist Josef Kristofoletti is seen at the Atlas experiment site at the European Center for Nuclear Research, CERN, outside Geneva, Switzerland. The world's biggest particle accelerator is about to start

BERLIN (AP) — The world's biggest particle accelerator is back in action after a two-year shutdown and upgrade, embarking on a new mission that scientists hope could give them a look into the unseen dark universe.

Scientists at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, on Sunday shot two particle beams through the Large Hadron Collider's 27-kilometer (16.8-mile) tunnel, beneath the Swiss-French border near Geneva.

The collider was instrumental in the discovery of the Higgs boson, a subatomic particle that had long been theorized but never confirmed until 2013.

Scientists are promising nearly twice the energy and more violent particle crashes this time around. They hope to see all sorts of new physics, including a first ever glimpse of dark matter, during the collider's second three-year run.

CERN said the restart went smoothly and faster than expected. Still, it will be a while yet before the accelerator is working at full speed and particle crashes start.

"It will take us about six weeks to two months to establish the first stable collisions for the experiments, because we have to commission all the instruments, all the systems one by one," said Joerg Wenninger, the accelerator's coordinator of operations.

Dark matter — and its cousin, dark energy — make up most of the universe, but scientists haven't been able to see them yet, so researchers are looking for them in high-energy crashes, in orbit in a special experiment on the international space station, and in a deep underground mine.

CERN spent about $150 million on the upgrade, opening the massive machine every 20 meters (66 feet), checking magnets and improving connections.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 Midwest Television, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.