The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is a particle accelerator and hadron collider located at CERN, near Geneva, Switzerland (46°14′N, 6°03′E). Currently under construction, the LHC is scheduled to begin operation in May 2008. The LHC is expected to become the world's largest and highest-energy particle accelerator. The LHC is being funded and built in collaboration with over two thousand physicists from thirty-four countries as well as hundreds of universities and laboratories. When activated, it is theorized that the collider will produce the elusive Higgs boson, the observation of which could confirm the predictions and 'missing links' in the Standard Model of physics and could explain how other elementary particles acquire properties such as mass.