Hadron lift off!

It took 30 years in the planning, 18 months since the last glitch forced an embarrassing deferral, and several strained hours this morning, but scientists at CERN this lunchtime re-created the conditions just after the Big Bang, without destroying the world.

Two proton beams smashed into each other at 7 TeV at around 1pm Central European Time in the Large Hadron Collider, and in less than 30 minutes they had been stabilised and experiments began. Now the hard working of studying and analysing the results begins.

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Margaret McCartney is a Glasgow-based GP and FT Weekend columnist. She started writing for the Life and Arts section in 2005 and moved to the magazine in 2008. She also has her own blog: www.margaretmccartney.com/blog

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