The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has reached a major milestone, accelerating beams of particles to the highest level of energy ever achieved.
The LHC pushed the energy of its twin beams of protons to 1.18 trillion electron volts to become the most powerful particle accelerator in the world, the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) announced on Monday.
The previous record of 0.98 trillion electron volts was held by Fermi National Accelerator Lab’s Tevatron at Fermilab on the outskirts of Chicago.
The LHC, which occupies a 27-kilometer circular tunnel that straddles the French-Swiss border, was restarted earlier this month for the first time since it was shut down in September 2008.
Last week, the machine circulated two proton beams at opposite directions for the first time.
The eventual goal for the LHC is to accelerate protons to some seven trillion electron volts.
The LHC is designed to smash together beams of sub-atomic particles at just under the speed of light. Scientists hope the collider can create conditions that followed the “Big Bang” and help explain the origins of the universe.