On Wednesday, after 20 years of work by 10,000 scientists and engineers, researchers start the hunt for the God particle, or the Higgs boson, which could help explain the origin of mass in the universe.
The multibillion-dollar Large Hadron Collider will explore the tiniest particles and come ever closer to re-enacting the big bang, the theory that a colossal explosion created the universe.
The machine at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, promises scientists a closer look at the makeup of matter, filling in gaps in knowledge or possibly reshaping theories.
The project has attracted researchers of 80 nationalities, some 1,200 of them from the United States, which contributed $531 million of the project’s price tag of nearly $4 billion.
Kate McAlpine, 23, a Michigan State University graduate at CERN, has produced the Large Hadron Rap, a video clip that has attracted more than a million views on YouTube.