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Photos: Big day for CERN's LHC

A photo tour of CERN's Large Hadron Collider, which is set to start-up with the first particle beam sent all the way around its 27-kilometre tunnel.

A giant physics experiment buried deep in the Alps is set to go live, as scientists at CERN near Geneva send a particle beam around the 27-kilometre track that is the Large Hadron Collider.

The guts of the experiment - the search for the so-called god particle - isn't set to start up until October, when two beams are sent to collide, smashing particles together to approximate what happened in the Big Bang which started up our universe.

A feat of engineering and IT, some 100,000 CPUs will be linked up over a massive grid to process and analyse the data the experiment creates. But the tech involved isn't just IT - the system is full of giant detectors, sensitive sensors and other high-tech science equipment.

The mess of metal and wires is surprisingly beautiful, too - if you're into that sort of thing. And if you are, we've compiled a set of photos to give you an inside look at the world's most exciting experiment. Click here or on 'Gallery' above for a selection of pictures.

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