U.S. scientists celebrate the restart of the Large Hadron ColliderEarlier today, the world’s most powerful particle accelerator began its second act. After two years of upgrades and repairs, proton beams once again circulated around the Large Hadron Collider, located at the CERN laboratory near Geneva, Switzerland.  With the collider back in action, the more than 1,700 U.S. scientists who work on LHC experiments are prepared to join thousands of their international colleagues to study the highest-energy particle collisions ever achieved in the laboratory. These collisions – hundreds of millions of them every second – will lead scientists to new and unexplored realms of physics, and could yield extraordinary insights into the nature of the physical universe. A highlight of the LHC’s first run, which began in 2009, was the discovery of the Higgs boson, the last in the suite of elementary particles that make up scientists’ best picture of the universe and how it works. The discovery of the Higgs was announced in July 2012 by two experimental collaborations, ATLAS and CMS. Continuing to measure the properties of the Higgs will be a major focus of LHC Run 2. “The Higgs discovery was one of the most important scientific achievements of our time,” said James Siegrist, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Associate Director of Science for High Energy Physics. “With the LHC operational again, at even higher energies, the possibilities for new discoveries are endless, and the United States will be at the forefront of those discoveries.” FULL REPORT