Proton speed record hints hope for safe nuclear fuel

A group of physicists here is celebrating a new world record it set by accelerating 30 trillion protons to 99 percent of the speed of light. The mark was set last weekend after several weeks of work in the main control room of Fermilab, an experimental energy laboratory funded by the Department of Energy, officials said.

Fermilab, using the world's largest proton synchrotron accelerator, is seeking clues to the birth of the universe. In their search for the smallest particles of matter, physicists are hoping to re-create conditi ons that existed moments after the hypothetical "Big Bang."

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