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Researchers announced a new delay on Monday for the restart of Europe's Big Bang atom-smasher, saying the faulty multi-billion dollar machine would now be turned back on in late September.
The new director is a lot more cautious than the old French one - could this be due to the reports recently that the Hadron Collider is not as harmless as first thought? Three physicists have stated that the black holes created could last as long as a second.
The Large Hadron Collider, a 17-mile-round atom-smasher on the French-Swiss border, has been 14 years and several billion dollars in the making. The machine is designed to rev up opposing beams of particles to nearly the speed of light and smash them together. The debris, observed with detectors, including ATLAS shown here, will help scientists probe some of the deepest questions in science: What was the universe like moments after the Big Bang? What's the nature of dark matter? Why do only some particles have mass? Are there more dimensions than space and time? A few scientists are even concerned the collisions will create tiny black holes that destroy the earth. Click the "Next" arrow above to learn about six more atom-smashers that were at the cutting edge of science in their day.