Page last updated at 19:10 GMT, Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Big bang study gets 16.7m boost

Hadron collider
The research will help experiments at the Large Hadron Collider

Studies at Durham University into the origins of the universe may have been boosted by a 16.7m grant.

Physicists have the funding to continue their 10-year investigation and provide essential research into recreating conditions just after the big bang.

The cash, from Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), will also be used to explore the possibility of extra space-time dimensions.

Professor Nigel Glover said it would help "ground-breaking experiments".

The research will be conducted at Durham University's Institute for Particle Physics Phenomenology (IPPP).

'Thriving particle physics'

It will be used to provide the theory and analysis behind a number of experiments at Large Hadron Collider (LHC), a gigantic particle accelerator in Geneva.

Mr Glover said: "The IPPP has already won an international reputation for its research into particle physics.

"The new funding from STFC, together with the new investment from Durham University, will allow us to continue this vital link between theory and experiment.

"It will ensure that the UK particle physics continues to thrive and play a pivotal role in large, ground-breaking experiments such as the Large Hadron Collider."

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