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Atom smasher ramps up collisions before year end

GENEVA (AP) - Operators of the world's largest atom smasher say the machine has produced 50,000 proton collisions at the highest energy level ever recorded.

The European Organization for Nuclear Research says the weekend run demonstrates how well the Large Hadron Collider near Geneva is working.

CERN Director-General Rolf Heuer said Monday the work has prepared the LHC for even higher energy next year for experiments to delve into the makeup of matter.

The new $10 billion machine has made a nearly flawless comeback after being heavily damaged during a startup collapse a year ago.

After further tests and preparations next year it will pursue suspected phenomena such as dark matter and antimatter.

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