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Scientist Smash!

September 7, 2008

This week, in a secret subterranean laboratory somewhere along the Swiss-French border, mad scientists will be smashing tiny particles together and cackling with gleeful abandon. The $10-billion (yes, billion) atom smasher known as the Large Hadron Collider is set to begin operation on September 10, and while it may not be the Death Star, it probably cost twice as much. (Inflation.) It also took 14 years to complete, which puts it just under the Egyptian pyramids and just over Mr. Crumpet’s Long-Unfinished Project.

So what’s its purpose?

“To get closer to discovering the Holy Grail of Physics, a.k.a. the Grand Unified Theory,” says resident know-it-all Phil the Owl.

“Uh-huh. Will it blow up our planet?” asks Orange Bear.

“No.”

“What about blowing up other planets?”

“No!”

“BOR-ing.”

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