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30 minutes
First broadcast:
Thursday 10 September 2009

Quentin Cooper hears what became of the Large Hadron Collider, one year on from the much-vaunted Big Bang Day.

In September 2008, Radio 4 decamped to the Swiss countryside to broadcast the launch of the most complicated experiment ever attempted, the giant, atom-smashing Large Hadron Collider at the CERN facility. But before the month was out, the experiment was suspended, after a major electrical failure.

Steve Myers, CERN's director of accelerators, recalls the events of the day, what went wrong and looks forward to the restart later this year. Experimental particle physicist Terry Wyatt describes the impact on his colleagues, and warns that CERN's rival establishment Fermilab may now be the first to discover the Higgs.

Also, with NASA warning that it can't afford to return people to the Moon, John Zarnecki looks at the relative merits of human and robotic space exploration.


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Adam Rutherford explores the research that is transforming our world.


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