The £4.5bn Cern Hadron Super-Collider was switched on this week in Switzerland, despite fears in some quarters that it could create a black hole and destroy the planet. British firms Scott Wilson, Jacobs Engineering, Taylor Woodrow and Amec played their parts in building its 27km-long tunnel and 30m-high magnetic chamber (pictured) .

Scientists now hope to use the machine to discover the “God particle”, which would explain the existence of mass.