Saturday, November 21, 2009

Scientists restart Big Bang machine

Updated on : Saturday, November 21, 2009

ZURICH: A team of scientists in Switzerland have restarted the world's largest sub-atomic particle collider for the first time since the nearly $10bn machine suffered a massive malfunction last year.

Scientists switched on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) on the Swiss-French border on Friday after 14 months of repairs, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (Cern) said.

The LHC aims to resolve some of the greatest questions surrounding fundamental matter, such as how particles acquire mass and how they were forged in the big bang that created the universe some 13.7bn years ago.

Scientists hope sub-atomic particles flung around the 27km of tunnel will collide at close to the speed of light.

A spokesman for the organisation said scientists hope to have beams circulating by early Saturday.

The machine circulated its first beams on September 10, 2008, but it was shut down days later because of a fault in the cooling system.

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