The world’s largest particle collider restarts after a long break

BERLIN (AP) – The world’s largest particle accelerator restarted Friday after a hiatus of more than three years for upgrade and maintenance work.

The 27-kilometer (17-mile) Large Hadron Collider, located below a Swiss-French border area near Geneva, is perhaps best known for helping confirm the 2012 subatomic Higgs boson.

The European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, said two beams of protons were circulating in opposite directions around the accelerator on Friday, but high-intensity, high-energy collisions are still a few months away.

This is the collider’s third race. A first round of experiments took place from 2010 to 2012, and a second from 2015 to 2018. This round is expected to last until 2026.

“The machinery and facilities underwent major upgrades during the second long shutdown of CERN’s accelerator complex,” said CERN’s Director of Accelerators and Technology, Mike Lamont, in a statement.

He added that the collider “will now operate at an even higher energy” and provide significantly more data.

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