Hadron Collider smashes its first atoms

The World

In the 1920s, developments in physics from relativity to quantum mechanics were front page news stories. Only today have scientists been able to build machines able to test theories thought up decades ago that predict what matter and energy look like in extreme states. Scientists in Switzerland came a small step closer to testing some of those theories, as the Large Hadron Collider started smashing particles yesterday.

Could this lead to a breakthroughs in our understanding of the physical world? We turn to Lisa Randall, professor of science at Harvard University and author of “Warped Passages: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Universe’s Hidden Dimensions,” and James Gillies, CERN spokesman, who is at the Large Hadron Collider site in Switzerland.

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