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ATLAS dwarfs a pair of workmen at the CERN Large Hadron Collider near Geneva

Humongous Smashups!

<p>A HUGE DETECTOR for seeing traces of very tiny particles, <a href="http://atlas.ch/">ATLAS</a> dwarfs a pair of workmen at the CERN Large Hadron Collider near Geneva, Switzerland. Several <a href="http://www.phy.duke.edu/">Duke high-energy physicists</a> will be on hand later this year when an array of instruments begins measuring the shower of particles that results from smashing opposing beams of protons into each other. Protons will race around a 17-mile underground track at nearly the speed of light before arriving at this and three other detector sites. The goal is to recreate conditions 100 trillionths of a second after the Big Bang to explore the nature of mass and dark matter. (CERN photo, courtesy of Mark Kruse, Duke Physics)</p>