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CERN launches new accelerator to help boost data output

May 9, 2017
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A photographer takes a picture of the Linac 4 linear accelerator before its inauguration ceremony at the CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, in Meyrin near Geneva, Switzerland, Tuesday May 9, 2017. Scientists at the world's biggest atom smasher have inaugurated their newest particle accelerator, a key step toward churning out greater amounts of data that could help explain many lingering mysteries of the universe. (Valentin Flauraud/Keystone via AP)
1 of 4
A photographer takes a picture of the Linac 4 linear accelerator before its inauguration ceremony at the CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, in Meyrin near Geneva, Switzerland, Tuesday May 9, 2017. Scientists at the world's biggest atom smasher have inaugurated their newest particle accelerator, a key step toward churning out greater amounts of data that could help explain many lingering mysteries of the universe. (Valentin Flauraud/Keystone via AP)

GENEVA (AP) — Scientists at the world’s biggest atom smasher have inaugurated their newest particle accelerator, a key step toward churning out greater amounts of data that could help explain many lingering mysteries of the universe.

The European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, announced Tuesday the completion of Linac 4, a 90-meter-long (295-foot-long) underground machine that took nearly a decade to build and will deliver proton beams for many experiments.

Linac 4 is CERN’s largest accelerator developed since the 2008 startup of the Large Hadron Collider that helped confirm the Higgs boson particle five years ago.

Director-General Fabiola Gianotti said it’s the first key element in a multi-year program to “increase the potential of the LHC experiments for discovering new physics and measuring the properties of the Higgs particle in more detail.”

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