CERN Exults at New Success with Collider Experiments

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) experiment on the French-Swiss border has set a new world record for energy.

The LHC pushed the energy of its particle beams beyond one trillion electron volts, making it the world's highest energy particle accelerator.

The previous record was held by the Tevatron particle accelerator in Chicago.

Officials say it is another milestone in the LHC's drive towards its main scientific tests set for 2010.

The LHC is designed to smash together beams of sub-atomic particles at just under the speed of light. Researchers hope to see signs of new physics in the aftermath of the collisions, helping them unlock the secrets of the Universe.

Operated by the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (better known by its French acronym Cern), the LHC is built inside a 27km-long circular tunnel.

Until now the LHC had been operating at a relatively low energy of 450 billion electron volts.

On Sunday, engineers increased the energy of this "pilot beam", reaching 1.18 trillion electron volts at 2344 GMT.

The LHC is eventually expected to operate at some seven trillion electron volts.

Last week, the machine circulated two beams of protons for the first time and carried out its first low-energy beam collisions.

Researchers working on the collider have said they are delighted with the quick progress made since the machine restarted on 20 November, according to Reuters' report.

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