December 7, 2009, 11:26 am
The biggest, most powerful atom smasher the world has ever seen, the LHC (Large Hadron Collider), with its 17-mile underground loop and TeVs (Teraelectronvolts) of proton beams, is finally up and running, with Linux in control.
After some LHC engineering problems were fixed, CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research)'s LHC is now back to work exploring if the standard theories of both how matter and energy holds up and how the universe was created. The LHC will do this by smashing together a pair of particle beams that are shot around the circle in opposite directions at just shy of the speed of light. The resulting collision will produce showers of new particles, including, scientists hope, the elusive Higgs Boson particle.