CERN restarts 'Big Bang' Hadron Collider, seeks dark universe

CERN restarts 'Big Bang' Hadron Collider, seeks dark universe

GENEVA - The Switzerland-based physics research centre CERN restarted their Large Hadron Collider (LHC) on Sunday, hoping to find evidence of the "dark universe."

No, not the one involving Thor and elves in 2013, but a universe made of dark matter, which CERN physicists believe lies beyond this visible one.

The LHC had been shut down in 2013 for upgrades and refits to double its power, and now, researchers say it can push particle beams in both directions and smash particles together at almost the speed of light.

This will enable scientists to re-create the Big Bang and venture into the unknown with what they have dubbed "New Physics."

As they can now push particles in both directions, it also means that, on a more practical note, CERN physicists can carry out two experiments at the same time.

CERN's Head of Beams Department Paul Collier says several tasks remain before particle collisions are carried out.

"We have to continue to correct a little bit the trajectory to make the beam do now multiple turns," he said.

"Then we can start capturing with the RF system. But in the meantime, we will try the other beam, the other direction, and try to get that to the same stage."

However, for all the excitement about dark matter, it will be another two months before particle collisions can be carried out, and at least a year before any results can be expected.

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