News of the WeekParticle Physics

Running at Half-Energy Keeps LHC in Race for Discoveries

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Science  14 Aug 2009:
Vol. 325, Issue 5942, pp. 799
DOI: 10.1126/science.325_799a

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The world's largest atom smasher will finally start blasting particles together this winter, but at only half of its maximum energy, officials at the European particle physics laboratory, CERN, decided last week. Officials say that energy is low enough to ensure that the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) will not wreck itself the way it did last fall. But the energy is also high enough, physicists say, to give the LHC a shot next year at surpassing its rival, the aging Tevatron collider at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, which holds the record for the highest-energy collisions.