Scientists at the Large Hadron Collider have created a ‘mini Big Bang’ in an experiment that mimicked conditions a millionth of a second after the birth of the universe.
By colliding lead ions – atoms of lead stripped of their electrons – at close to the speed of light, researchers generated temperatures a million times hotter than the centre of the sun.
The explosions were so powerful they created a hot dense ‘soup’ of sub-atomic particles last seen just after the Big Bang, 13.7 billion years ago.
British scientists working at the collider near Geneva stressed that the experiments were completely safe and opened up a new era in particle physics.
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