You could think of it as the biggest, most powerful microscope in the history of science. The Large Hadron Collider (LHC), now being completed underneath a circle of countryside and villages a short drive from Geneva, will peer into the physics of the shortest distances (down to a nano-nanometer) and the highest energies ever probed. For a decade or more, particle physicists have been eagerly awaiting a chance to explore that domain, sometimes called the tera­scale because of the energy range involved: a trillion electron volts, or 1 TeV. Significant new physics is expected to occur at these energies, such as the elusive Higgs particle (believed to be responsible for imbuing other particles with mass) and the particle that constitutes the dark matter that makes up most of the material in the universe.