After a two-year shutdown, the Large Hadron Collider restarted on Sunday in the hope that it will unravel the secrets of the creation of the universe. For two years, scientists have been burning the midnight oil to make the biggest machine ever built by humans even faster.
The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) said that two particles beams were pushed through the collider’s 27-kilometre tunnel beneath the Swiss-French border near Geneva for the first time since February 2013.
The machine’s first run was instrumental in the discovery of the so-called “God particle”, the Higgs Boson, a subatomic particle that had long been theorized but never confirmed until 2013.
And there was jubilation among scientists at CERN as they hailed the process as 'success'.
“There is great joy here,” CERN director general Rolf-Dieter Heuer said at the control centre in Meyrin, near Geneva. “It came off brilliantly.”
The 'God Particle' was the missing piece in the standard model of physics, which describes how nature’s smallest building blocks interact but could not previously explain why they have mass. Scientists hope that restarting the Large Hadron Collider could also unlock other mysteries left unexplained by the standard model, including dark matter, a form of invisible matter that is believed to make up most of the universe.
But it could be a year before any new results can be expected.