The CERN particle physics lab has started a forthcoming “revolution” in physics with the first 13 trillion electronvolts atom smashing collision. Two opposing beams of protons were steered into each other at the four collision points spaced around the lab’s Large Hadron Collidor tunnel. The energy of the collisions was 13 trillion electronvolts, dwarfing the eight trillion reached during the LHC’s first run.
Fabiola Gianotti, director designate of CERN, said “We are in the preparatory phase in which the atoms are injected in the machine and then taken to a high energy so as to obtain the collisions.”
When the atoms are perfectly aligned and ready for the collisions, the latter will furnish data capable of opening the door to so-called “new physics,” that is to say phenomena that current theories of physics are not able to explain, such as the composition of dark matter, the mysterious invisible matter that occupies some 25% of the universe.