Last week I wrote about the LHC converting from firing protons at protons, to firing Lead Ions together. The managed the first collisions on the 7th of November 2010 and since then it has been running constantly – eventually millions of mini Big Bangs will have been made.
Being much more massive (having lots of mass) means the impact is so hot the protons and neutrons inside the atoms melt into the particles that make them – quarks and gluons. This is just like the universe was after the Big Bang, before even atoms existed.
This process took place in a safe, controlled environment, generating incredibly hot and dense sub-atomic fireballs with temperatures of over ten trillion degrees, a million times hotter than the centre of the Sun – Dr David Evans, University of Birmingham
This picture shows the tracks of the millions of particles that were made by the energy of the collision. Einstein talked about Energy turning into Mass and vice versa with his E=mc2equation.
This BBC page includes a video clip giving more information about the LHC and the experiment.