The Large Hadron Collider returns in pursuit of new physics

On your marks, steady, go: The race to discover new physics returns today when the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is reignited and slammed into heavy ion particles at 99.99% the speed of light to restore a state of pristine matter that has not been visible since shortly after the Big Bang.

The Large Hadron Collider is the world’s longest and most powerful particle accelerator, firing beams of subatomic particles around a 27-kilometer loop underground near Geneva on the French-Swiss border. Since the LHC originally went online in 2010, its experiments have spawned 3,000 scientific papers, with a range of results including the most famous of all: the discovery of the Higgs boson.