The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is a particle accelerator complex intended to collide opposing beams of 7 TeV protons. Its main purpose is to explore the validity and limitations of the Standard Model, the current theoretical picture for particle physics. This model is known to break down at a certain high energy level.
The LHC is being built by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), and lies under the Franco-Swiss border near Geneva, Switzerland. The LHC will become the world's largest and highest-energy particle accelerator. It is funded and built in collaboration with over two thousand physicists from thirty-four countries as well as hundreds of universities and laboratories.
The collider is currently undergoing commissioning while being cooled down to its final operating temperature of approximately 1.9 K (−271.25 °C). The initial particle beams are due for injection in August 2008, the first attempt to circulate beam through the entire LHC is scheduled for September 10, 2008, and the first high-energy collisions are planned to take place after the LHC is officially unveiled, on October 21, 2008.