In what marks the beginning of a new era in atom-related science and technology, researchers at the world’s biggest atom collider have collided particles at record energy levels.
The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) said Tuesday that it has successfully managed to unleash unprecedented ruptures of energy and produce powerful microscopic bursts that mimic conditions close to the Big Bang that created the universe.
Referring to the record 7 TeV (teralectronvolts) energy levels achieved, CERN scientist and spokeswoman Paola Catapano described the breakthrough as “physics in the making” and “the beginning of a new era”.
After initial setbacks in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the third attempt came as a success, triggering collisions among the 20 billion protons and causing them to speed around the particle accelerator ring more than 5,000 times a second.
Located in a tunnel under the Franco-Swiss border, LHC is a giant $5.2 billion machine designed and launched by scientists in 2008 to unravel outstanding secrets of the universe, particularly its creation.
Unable to contain his excitement in a video conference from Japan, CERN Director General Rolf Heuer called the incident “a fantastic moment for science, which will open a new era in the quest for the secrets of the universe.”
The achievement won worldwide applause with CERN’s Director for Accelerators and Technology Steve Myers hailing it as “an emotional moment.”
” We’re certainly going to do the same thing several times over the coming week and hundreds of times over the year,” he said about the new stage, which is dubbed “First Physics” and marks only the beginning of an initial 18-24-month series of billions of such collisions.