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Picture taken on November 23, 2009 shows scientists reacting as they stand in front of a screen at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) control center of the ATLAS detectors during the restart of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) near Geneva.FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP / Getty Images

Geneva - Operators of the world's largest atom smasher say they have ramped up the machine to three times the energy ever achieved in a run up to experiments probing secrets of the universe.

The European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, says beams of protons circulated Friday at 3.5 trillion electron volts in both directions around the 27-kilometre tunnel housing the Large Hadron Collider under the Swiss-French border at Geneva.

The next major development is expected in several days when CERN starts colliding the beams in a new round of research to examine the tiniest particles and forces within the atom in hopes of finding out more about how matter is made up.