Geneva atom smasher seeks dark matter discoveries

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Associated Press

Posted on March 8, 2010 at 8:03 AM

GENEVA (AP) — Operators of the world's largest atom smasher hope to provide first discoveries about the elusive nature of dark matter later this year.

The director of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, says the Large Hadron Collider will be ramped up to half-power this month. That will still be three times more energy than the world record CERN set in 2009.

Rolf-Dieter Heuer says the collider will then be able to penetrate the makeup of the atom much better than it its nearest competitor at Fermilab outside Chicago.

Heuer said Monday the discoveries could reach this year into dark matter, representing 25 percent of the universe. Standard physics only deals with the 5 percent of the universe comprised by visible matter.

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