Key Points:

A technical glitch has forced scientists to shut down the huge particle-smashing machine built to simulate the conditions of the "Big Bang" for at least two months, news agency Reuters reported today.

The European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) said there had been a major helium leak yesterday into the tunnel housing the biggest and most complex machine ever made.

The co-called Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in positioned in a hole under the Swiss-French border.