GENEVA, Switzerland, May 21 (UPI) -- The Large Hadron Collidor has broken energy records by colliding protons at 13 trillion electron volts, or TeV, nearly double the energy of its first beam after being turned back on in April for the first time in two years.
The collisions are part of testing that scientists at CERN are doing before the declare "stable beams" in June and begin recording measurements as part of the physics experiments conducted using the LHC. No collisions had been conducted since 2013, as maintenance and upgrades were made to prepare for this upcoming round of experiments.
Testing will ensure magnets and detectors will be properly protected by collimators which absorb stray particles during collisions.
"When we start to bring the beams into collision at a new energy, they often miss each other," says Jorg Wenninger of the LHC Operations team before testing. "The beams are tiny -- only about 20 microns in diameter at 6.5 TeV; more than 10 times smaller than at 450 GeV. So we have to scan around -- adjusting the orbit of each beam until collision rates provided by the experiments tell us that they are colliding properly."