- Large Hadron Collider to begin smashing proton beams at high speed
- $10 billion research tool back online after tech glitches caused 18-month delay
- Scientists hope project will prove existence of Higgs boson "God particle"
Scientists at the Large Hadron Collider managed to make two proton beams collide at high energy Tuesday, marking a "new territory" in physics, according to CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research.
The $10 billion research tool has been accelerating the beams since November in the LHC's 17-mile tunnel on the border of Switzerland and France.
The beams have routinely been circulating at 3.5 TeV, or teraelectron volts, the highest energy achieved at the LHC so far, according to CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research.
The first two attempts Tuesday failed, said Steve Myers, CERN's director for accelerators. He said the beams were lost before they reached their full energy.
Experiments at the LHC may help answer fundamental questions such as why Albert Einstein's theory of relativity -- which describes the world on a large scale -- doesn't jibe with quantum mechanics, which deals with matter far too small to see.