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Large Hadron Collider sets new record with proton collision

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The world’s largest particle collider notched up a new record on Thursday as it escalated its quest to find fundamental matter and explore the origins of the Universe, CERN said.

At 00:38 am Thursday (2238 GMT Wednesday), the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) brought together two opposing beams of protons, each with an energy of four teraelectronvolts, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) said in a press release.

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“The collision energy of 8 TeV is a new world record, and increases the machine’s discovery potential considerably,” it said.

The LHC comprises a ring-shaped tunnel near Geneva, 27 kilometres (17 miles) long and up to 175 metres (570 feet) below ground.

Beams of protons are accelerated in opposed directions to nearly the speed of light.

Superconducting magnets “bend” the beams so that the particle streams collide within four large chambers. Swathing the chambers are detectors that give a 3-D image of the traces of sub-atomic particles hurled out from the protons’ destruction.

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The tracks are then scrutinised for movements, properties or novel particles that could advance understanding of matter.

The big goal of 2012 is to determine the existence or otherwise of the Higgs Boson, which according to a theory of matter called the Standard Model would explain mass.

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The LHC had been running smoothly for two years at a collision energy totalling 7 TeV before a winter break when the decision was made to escalate to 8 TeV.

“Although the increase in collision energy is relatively modest, it translates to an increased discovery potential,” CERN said.

Higher energy collisions mean that Higgs Bosons, if they exist, will be produced more copiously, the organisation said.

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On the other hand, they also boost background noise that mimics the likely signal of the Higgs.

“That means that the full year’s running will still be necessary to convert the tantalising hints seen in 2011 into a discovery, or to rule out the Standard Model Higgs particle altogether,” CERN said.

Thursday’s increase also hikes the potential for creating hoped-for “supersymmetrical” particles.

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These could explain why visible matter only accounts for some four percent of the cosmos. Dark matter (23 percent) and dark energy (73 percent) account for the rest.

The LHC is scheduled to run until the end of 2012, when it will go into a long maintenance shutdown ahead of running at 13 TeV from late 2014, ultimately ramping up to its designed maximum of 14 TeV.

LHC collisions amount to a high concentration of energy but only at an extraordinarily tiny scale. One TeV is the equivalent energy of motion of a flying mosquito, according to CERN.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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Dick Cheney raising money for Trump’s re-election — with White House staffers Ivanka and Jared: report

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Former Vice President Dick Cheney is raising money for President Donald Trump's re-election at a fundraiser in a ritzy western resort town.

"Former vice president Richard B. Cheney and his daughter, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), are to appear at a lunch fundraiser Monday in support of President Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign and the Republican National Committee, according to an invitation to the event," The Washington Post reported Saturday. "The luncheon fundraiser in Jackson, Wyo., will feature White House advisers Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, along with acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney as 'special guests,' according to the invitation, which was obtained by The Washington Post."

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‘Go back to Harlem!’: Florida woman has n-word laced meltdown after bumping black woman’s shopping cart

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On Saturday, the Atlanta Black Star reported an incident in Florida, in which a white woman screamed racial slurs at a black woman at a Publix supermarket in Miami after their shopping carts jostled each other.

After the woman allegedly banged into Nicki Johnson's cart, she refused to apologize, saying, "I didn't hit you with my cart, and f**k you,  you f**king n****r."

Johnson whipped out her cell phone camera, and began recording the incident, saying "You, why don't you call me a n****r again?"

"You thinking I'm sorry?" snapped the woman. "Let me tell you something, I don't have to call you anything. Get away from me, I will call security and there are surveillance videos. Get away from me!"

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‘I’m a nurse, what are you?’: Tennessee lawmaker humiliates anti-choice activists in brutal public grilling

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Anti-choice activists in Tennessee were unprepared for the grilling they got from a Democratic Party lawmaker when making the case for a bill that would outlaw abortion before many women knew they were pregnant.

One of the speakers in favor of the fetal heartbeat bill was Baptist Pastor Randy Davis, who was questioned by state Sen. Katrina Robinson (D-Memphis).

"How many women executive pastors do you have in your convention?" Robinson asked Davis. "Or senior pastors."

"None," Davis replied.

"So is it the same ideology that restricts access to women being able to lead a congregation that leads you all to support women not being able to make a medical decision about their body?" Robinson asked.

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