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Scientists raise energy level at Big Bang machine

- Associated Press - Thursday, April 5, 2012

GENEVA (AP) - Scientists say a Big Bang machine, where high-energy beams of protons are sent crashing into each other at incredible speeds, is now able to operate at a record new energy level, improving the prospect of scientific breakthroughs.

Researchers at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, say the $10 billion Large Hadron Collider in a 27-kilometer (17-mile) tunnel under the Swiss-French border at Geneva has begun operating at 8 trillion electron volts, greater than any previous physics accelerator.

Steve Myers, a director of accelerators and technology at CERN, said in a statement that two proton beams were brought into collision at a new world record energy level Thursday.

He says it marks a new round of data collection through the remainder of the year, and "increased discovery potential."

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