Mini Big Bang recreated

  The Large Hadron Collider recorded its first lead ion collisions on Sunday and has since stabilised the twin beams sufficiently to start running physics experiments, said a spokeswoman for the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, or CERN.

The collisions produce an effect that is as close as researchers have ever come to observing the state of matter moments after the formation of the universe, which is believed to have begun with a colossal explosion, the Big Bang. The event inside the collider “is a very, very small bang,” Barbara Warmbein said.

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