Scientists at CERN have smashed together various particles for the first time, moving closer to learning what was in the super-hot plasma wonderland that formed right after the primeval Big Bang, the European physics research centre said on Thursday.
The announcement followed another boost for physicists at CERN near Geneva with the effective endorsement by independent experts in a key journal of their claimed discovery of a new particle, the Higgs Boson.
CERN's ALICE experiment, one of six grouped around its underground Large Hadron Collider (LHC), has been analyzing particles that emerged from the overnight smashing together of tiny hydrogen-derived protons and much larger lead nuclei.
"It was really a pilot run to see if the LHC can produce these asymmetric collision systems. It showed that it can, and it worked like a charm," Johannes Wessels, an ALICE scientist, told Reuters. "We are very excited about the results."