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 Earth Graphics 2008 08 21 Scilhc121
Another milestone for the largest refrigerator ever made

The first particles have been injected into the biggest atom smasher on the planet, marking the start of the countdown to probing the secrets of the universe. Scientists are pushing ahead with powering up the machine, shrugging off speculative fears that it could destroy all life on Earth by sucking it into a black hole. Starting up the biggest scientific experiment ever built is not as simple as flipping a switch.

Earlier this month, the successful injection of the first particles – protons – into part of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) experiment at CERN, the European Centre for Nuclear Research, took place.

This weekend, scientists are hoping to complete testing of another part of the machine, which sits in a 17 mile circular tunnel approximately 100 metres underneath the Franco-Swiss border, with the aim of seeing particles travel the whole way around for the first time.

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.



  1. Anonymous says:

    Black holes will come suck us up, we are going to die! Oh my god!

  2. FlatTop says:

    I’ve been following the development of this thing for so long that I’m a little giddy at the thought of startup. Yay, this is gonna be fun. (In a particle physics kind of way.)

  3. tallpat says:

    The date when the Mayan calendar ends may also mark the date upon which the LHC successfully tears a hole in the space/time continuum.

  4. akshay says:

    I heard that Large hadron collider stopped working just after a few hours of its starting. My friend told me that he heard this in a private news channel in Switzerland. If this is true then it was the waste of hard labor of the scientists and also the money which was being invested int the biggest experiment ever. I think my friend is crazy he is drunk that day and poker rules, his mind. But i still haven’t found out that, what are the outcomes of the experiment.