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Mankind's biggest experiment prepares to power up

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Mankind's biggest experiment prepares to power up

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Particle physicists are getting ready to power-up the world’s biggest atom-smasher in a mission to answer some of the most perplexing questions of the cosmos.

Built in a tunnel 100 metres below ground in a complex straddling the French-Swiss border, the Hadron Collider is designed to accelerate sub-atomic particles to nearly the speed of light and then smash them together.

The collision will briefly create temperatures 100,000 times hotter than the Sun, replicating conditions split-seconds after the “Big Bang” that created the Universe 13.7 billion years ago and providing, so the boffins hope, the answers to life, the Universe and everything else.