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World's biggest atom smasher sets first record

Large Hadron Collider generates highest-energy proton beams yet

After a year’s delay, the Large Hadron Collider near Geneva became the world’s highest-energy particle accelerator on November 30, revving up each of its twin proton beams to energies of 1.18 trillion electron volts. That smashes the record of 0.98 trillion eV held since 2001 by the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory’s Tevatron in Batavia, Ill.

However, the researchers have yet to collide the beams at this record-breaking energy. So far, the highest collision energies at the LHC have only been 450 million eV.

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