Scientists at the CERN facilities are once again trying to look at the miniature Lego bricks that God used to build the universe one boring rainy weekend, with the Large Hadron Collider returning to action after a 27-month shutdown for maintenance.
The collider is now colliding things with more ferocity than before too, with the big red lever in the control room pushed up to a power output of 13 TeV. That's nearly double the energy it was pushing through during the last run, when teams believed they saw the first evidence of the Higgs boson -- which is sort of like the best Lego brick in the entire set and one presumed lost in the great cosmic vacuum cleaner.
The ALICE, ATLAS, CMS and LHCb experiments are now back on again, with CMS spokesperson Tiziano Camporesi saying: "The collisions we are seeing today indicate that the work we have done in the past two years to prepare and improve our detector has been successful and marks the beginning of a new era of exploration of the secrets of nature."
Paolo Giubellino from the ALICE team offers a more technical insight as to what's being done with the data that emerges from the complicated things happening in in those tunnels, explaining: "Proton-proton collisions will provide essential reference data for the run with heavy-ion beams foreseen for the end of the year, in which the LHC will provide both higher energy and luminosity as compared to run 1." [CERN via Guardian]