Unlocking the secrets of the universe doesn't come cheap. The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) has spent at least 10 years and $8 billion building the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world's biggest particle accelerator, under the Alps. This month, CERN will power up the LHC, and, later this summer, start smashing particles together to try to understand the beginnings of life, the universe — and everything. Scientists hope the answers to vexing mysteries (What causes mass? How did matter survive the big bang?) will eventually emerge from the debris.