GENEVA, Switzerland, Nov. 26 (UPI) -- Experiments to simulate matter states existing after the Big Bang are successfully underway at CERN's Large Hadron Collider near Geneva, Switzerland.
CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, announced Wednesday "stable beams" from lead-ion collisions begun November 17 were observed for the first time, beginning a one-month series of experiments with positively-charged lead ions, lead atoms with electrons removed.
The collision of lead ions is part of a study to approximate conditions immediately after the Big Bang, the prevailing model for the first seconds after the birth of the universe, when for a few milliseconds, matter was hot, dense and reached a temperature of several trillion degrees.
"It is a tradition to collide ions over one month every year as part of our diverse research program at the LHC. This year, however, is special as we reach a new energy and will explore matter at an even earlier stage of our universe," said CERN Director-General Rolf Heuer.
This year's experiments, crashing individual protons together in a newly-reinforced chamber, are at a much higher rate of acceleration than in previous years. New behavior of particles is expected to be observed at these speeds, and new observations are anticipated.