World's Supercollider Takes Big Step Forward

April 13, 2015 11:03 PM

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The Large Hadron Collider, or LHC, the world's most powerful particle accelerator, has taken another big step forward in its journey towards exploring new frontiers of knowledge. In the wee hours of April 10, the accelerator injected beams of protons and accelerated them to the expected operational energy of 6.5 trillion electron volts. This energy smashed the earlier record of four trillion electron volts, held by the LHC since 2011. This achievement represents a crucial advance in the commissioning of the facility, as it demonstrates that the equipment can operate at full energy.

The LHC ran from 2010 to 2012 first at 3.5 and then 4 trillion electron volts. In March of 2013, the accelerator shutdown for retrofits, refurbishments and upgrades. On April 5, scientists circulated beams in the machine, but at the lowest possible energy. That achievement demonstrated only the most...

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