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CERN Powers Up

The Large Hadron Collider, also known asCERN, cost $10billion an is located on the border between France andSwitzerland. It wasactivated today. And don't worry: A new report provides the mostcomprehensive evidence available to confirm that the LargeHadron Collider?s switch-on poses no threat to mankind:Nature's own cosmic rays regularly produce more powerfulparticle collisions than those planned within the LHC, whichwill enable nature?s laws to be studied in controlledexperiments.

If particle collisions at the LHC had the power to destroythe earth, we would never have been given the chance toexist, because regular interactions with more energeticcosmic rays would already have destroyed the earth or otherastronomical bodies.

In BBC News, Paul Rincon reports that CERN containsthousands of magnets, which are arranged in a ring that runsthrough a giant tunnel. These are now being cooled to anincredibly low temperature using liquid helium. When theCollider is turned on, two beams of protons will be firedtown pipes which run through the magnets in oppositedirections at a speed that is close to the speed of light.At certain designated times, the proton beams will crosspaths, colliding with each other with incredible force. Willthese collisions create NEW particles?ortime travel?Scientists want to do this in order to recreate theconditions that existed right after the Big Bang, theexplosion which created our universe.

But before they turn it on, it has to be lowered to atemperature colder than that of deep space.

In the August 27th edition of New Scientist, MatthewChalmers quotes physicist Bilge Demirk

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