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A bike ride in the Large Hadron Collider as revamp begins

Denis Balibouse / Reuters

A technician cycles in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in the French village of Cessy near Geneva in Switzerland on April 15. Technicians frequently ride bicycles to get around the collider's 17-mile-round tunnel. As hundreds of engineers and workers start two years of work to fit out the giant LHC particle collider to reach deep into unknown realms of nature, CERN physicists look to the vast machine to unveil the nature of the mysterious dark matter that makes up a quarter of the universe and perhaps find new dimensions of space by the end of the decade.

Denis Balibouse / Reuters

A technician stands near equipment of the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experience at CERN in the French village of Cessy near Geneva in Switzerland on April 15.

By Robert Evans, Reuters

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is only five years old but, after swiftly finding a crucial missing link to support mankind's main concept of the universe, is now entering a two-year revamp to double its power in the hope of breathtaking new discoveries.

Some scientists predict it will help identify the nature of strange dark matter that lurks around planets, stars and galaxies; others that it might find a zoo of new particles or even catch hints that space has more than three dimensions.

Buoyed by the early success, experimental physicists and theorists at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research housed on a sprawling campus near Geneva, hope more stunning findings may follow as soon as this decade. Continue reading.

Related: Large Hadron Collider shuts down to prepare for bigger bangs in 2015

Get a look inside the caverns and tunnels that house the Large Hadron Collider, the world's biggest atom-smasher.