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This animation, courtesy of Cern, shows proton "bunches" circulating the LHC and colliding in the four big experiments This animation, courtesy of Cern, shows proton “bunches” circulating the LHC and colliding in the four big experiments

Scientists are waiting for the first new data to begin flowing from the underground particle smasher, paving the way to a new era in physics.

On Wednesday, the vast machine clattered proton beams together at much higher energies than were achieved during its first run in 2010-2013.

This should allow physicists to hunt for signs of new scientific phenomena.

Situated 100m beneath tranquil countryside on the Franco-Swiss border, the particle smasher operated by Cern has already carried out test collisions at the energy of 13 trillion electron volts (TeV), up from a high mark of 8 TeV achieved during the machine’s first run.

Now, with the first “physics collisions”, scientists can begin their work.

At 0940, operators at the control room in Geneva guided two stable beams of proton particles around the…

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