The Large Hadron Collider
has been busily colliding protons since it opened last year, but a new set of experiments starting later this month could tell us more about the beginnings of the universe than we've ever known before. At CERN, where the LHC is housed in Geneva, scientists will attempt to create mini Big Bangs (the full-sized one is generally accepted as having created the actual universe about 13.7 billion years ago). The process will involve shooting lead ions through the 17-mile long collider, and accelerating them to relativistic speeds before colliding them head-on with protons
. According to popular wisdom this should cause an explosion resulting in the creation of brand spanking new particles. Although similar experiments have been conducted on a much smaller scale at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider, this will be the first time scientists have attempted to accurately recreate conditions exactly like the Big Bang. Hit the source link for the full story.