Scientists and researchers in Switzerland prepare for a date with destiny as the Large Hadron Collider nears its big 'switch-on' tomorrow, Wednesday 10th September 2008.
Three decades after it was originally conceived, the world's most powerful and eagerly awaited physics experiment is ready to go.
The LHC is the world’s most powerful particle accelerator, producing beams seven times more energetic than any previous machine, and around 30 times more intense when it reaches design performance, probably by 2010.
Housed in a 27km tunnel, it relies on technologies that would not have been possible 30 years ago and could ultimately replicate the possible ‘big bang’ theory for the creation of planet Earth.
As the experiment has increasingly attracted the world's attention in both the past twelve months and the past twelve weeks, it has also attracted opposition from those concerned about the effects of the operation.
Some sources claim the experiment could have devastating effect as it potentially creates 'black holes' which could gradually absorb or encompass the world, and Universe, around them.
Others are simply awaiting the sacred key to unlock the Universe, as the LHC research begins to unravel and understand the building blocks of matter and how we may have come to exist.
Either way, the 10th September 2008 appears to be a something of a date with destiny as the engineers at CERN attempt to circulate a beam of particles around the 27km-long underground tunnel which houses the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).