The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the world's largest and highest-energy particle accelerator, intended to collide opposing particle beams of either protons at an energy of 7 TeV (1.12 microjoules) per particle, or lead nuclei at an energy of 574 TeV (92.0 microjoules) per nucleus. The term hadron refers to particles composed of quarks. It is expected that it will address the most fundamental questions of physics, hopefully allowing progress in understanding the deepest laws of nature. The LHC lies in a tunnel 27 kilometres (17 mi) in circumference, as much as 175 metres (574 ft) beneath the Franco-Swiss border near Geneva, Switzerland.
The Large Hadron Collider was built by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) with the intention of testing various predictions of high-energy physics, including the existence of the hypothesized Higgs boson and of the large family of new particles predicted by supersymmetry. It is funded by and built in collaboration with over 10,000