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10 facts about the Big Bang machine

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The Cern Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the world’s biggest, most powerful particle accelerator, potentially giving scientists clues about the origin of the universe. Here are 10 facts about one of the world’s most important pieces of architecture.

1. The collision of protons will generate heat 100,000 times hotter than the core of the sun.

2. The protons will race around the 27km circuit 11,245 times a second.

3. If stacked up, the number of CDs needed to store all the data produced by the LHC would stretch 20km.

4. Each beam of particles will travel at 99.99 per cent of the speed of light.

5. A single beam will pack as much energy as a Eurostar train travelling at 145kph.

6. It took more than 30 years to complete the project – from inception to completion.

7. The LHC uses coolers to regulate the temperature that reach -273°C – absolute zero.

8. It cost more nearly £5 billion.

9. It will aim to recreate conditions as they were milliseconds after the Big Bang more than 13 billion years ago.

10. William Hill has placed odds on the LHC causing the end of the world at 1,000,000/1.

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