'Big Bang' experiment starts well...

The most powerful physics experiment ever built, the Large Hadron Collider will re-create the conditions just after the Big Bang in an attempt to answer fundamental questions of science and the universe itself.

Scientists hope to see new particles in the debris of these collisions, revealing fundamental new insights into the nature of the cosmos.

They will be looking for new physics beyond the Standard Model – the framework devised in the 1970s to explain how sub-atomic particles interact.

The Standard Model comprises 16 particles – 12 matter particles and four force-carrier particles. The Standard Model has worked remarkably well so far.

But it cannot explain the best known of the so-called four fundamental forces: gravity; and it describes only ordinary matter, which makes up but a small part of the total Universe.

Also, one of the most important particles in the Standard Model – the Higgs boson – has yet to be found in an experiment.

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