Plans to build a 1.6-billion-euro ($2 billion) particle accelerator in Germany cleared the first main hurdle Tuesday when authorities gave the go-ahead for construction to begin.
The environment minister for the regional state of Hesse, Lucia Puttrich, officially gave the green light for a new giant Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research in Europe (FAIR), which is to built on a 20-hectare site in Darmstadt, not far from Frankfurt.
In what is being described as one of the biggest research projects in the world, more than 3,000 scientists from more than 50 countries will work at FAIR from 2018, studying the nature and origins of the universe.
FAIR is being financed by eight different countries, including France, Russia and India.
Explore further: How Twitter shapes public opinion