The LHC, a particle accelerator housed in a circular tunnel 27 kilometers long outside of Geneva, will probe deeper into matter than ever before. Due to switch on this fall, it will ultimately collide beams of protons at an energy of 14 TeV . Beams of lead nuclei will be also accelerated, smashing together with a collision energy of 1150 TeV.
A TeV is a unit of energy used in particle physics. 1 TeV is about the energy of motion of a flying mosquito. What makes the LHC so extraordinary is that it squeezes energy into a space about a million million times smaller than a mosquito.
The LHC is the next step in a voyage of discovery which began a century ago, with the discovery of quantum physics. Britain's Guardian wrote of the LHC: "Particle physics is the unbelievable in pursuit of the unimaginable. To pinpoint the smallest fragments of the universe you have to build the biggest machine in the world. To recreate the first millionths of a second of creation you have to focus energy on an awesome scale."