With CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, celebrating 60 years of bringing nations together through science on September 29, it's also preparing to turn the Large Hadron Collider back on after an upgrade, which it hopes will enable physicists to discover more about the universe after previously helping discover the Higgs boson - the so-called ''God Particle''. Joanna Partridge reports.
The reason CERN's known around the world. The Large Hadron Collider particle accelerator helped the European Organisation for Nuclear Research detect the Higgs boson. 100 metres underground, inside the LHC, two high-energy particle beams travel at almost the speed of light, guided by superconducting magnets, before they're made to collide. Despina Hatzifotiadou works on the ALICE experiment - one of the four detectors located at intervals along the LHC. SOUNDBITE: Researcher at CERN, Despina Hatzifotiadou, saying (English): "These collisions produce a whole load of new particles and by studying these particles we can deduce what happened in the very beginning of the collision and thus imagine what happened in the beginning of the universe." The LHC hasn't run since the Higgs boson discovery was announced - as it's being revamped. The 27-kilometre-long LHC suffered technical faults shortly after being switched on, so it's never operated at full power. After a two-year switch-off, it'll be restarted in early 2015, and will run at 14 trillion electron-volts, double its previous speed. SOUNDBITE: Engineer at CERN, Jean-Philippe Tock, saying (English): "As the energy will be almost double, it means that the energy stored in the magnet, so the energy we have to deal with and to control is almost magnified by a factor of four." Scientist Sudarshan Paramesvaran, working on the CMS experiment, is hopeful the upgrade will lead to further discoveries about the universe. SOUNDBITE: Scientist at CERN, Sudarshan Paramesvaran, saying (English): "One of these theories is supersymmetry and this predicts a whole new range of particles to look for at quite high mass, and so the extended energy that we'll get from the LHC will hopefully enable us to look for these particles and hopefully find them." Set up in the wake of the Second World War, CERN's about to celebrate its 60th anniversary of bringing nations together through science. Mainly funded by its 21 member states, CERN has spent around 5 billion euros on the LHC. Those working here would say it's impossible to put a price on a better understanding of the universe.