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Atom smasher hiatus sets stage for more discovery

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[January 04, 2013]  GENEVA (AP) -- The world's largest and most powerful atom smasher goes into a 2-year hibernation in March, aiming to reach maximum energy levels that may lead to more stunning discoveries after hunting down the so-called "God particle."

Spokesman James Gillies of the European particle physics laboratory known as CERN says the reopening of its $10 billion proton collider in early 2015 will set the stage for observing "rare events" -- and unlocking more mysteries.

Gillies told The Associated Press on Friday that the Large Hadron Collider under the Swiss-French border will operate for two more months then shut down through 2014, to allow engineers to ramp it up to "full design energy" to simulate the moments after the Big Bang nearly 14 billion years ago.

[Associated Press]

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