Large Hadron Collider (LHC)

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the world's largest particle accelerator complex, lying in a 17-mile loop under the Franco-Swiss border near Geneva. Its main purpose is to explore the validity and limitations of the Standard Model, the current theoretical picture for particle physics.

The collider is currently undergoing commissioning. Initial particle beam injections were successfully carried out August 8-11, 2008. The first attempt to circulate a beam through the entire LHC is scheduled for September 10, 2008. The first high-energy collisions are planned to take place after October 21, 2008 (so, if any, Oct. 21 will the date to be be concerned, not Sept. 10).

Though I am not a physicist, and do not claim to understand half of what's been written about the LHC, a number of very intelligent scientists say that any strange effects (black holes, antimatter, etc.) should be miniscule and short-lived. That said, scientists have been wrong before, so I'll be hiding under my desk.