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Large Hadron Collider Researchers Propose Building a Larger Superaccelerator

08.02.2024
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https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-68172162

However, only if its construction is approved: the cost of the new super collider is estimated at $15 billion, and this is only the initial construction cost.

This amount will be provided by member countries of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), including the UK. Some experts doubt that building a super collider makes economic sense.

The Large Hadron Collider's biggest achievement was the 2012 discovery of a new particle called the Higgs boson. Back in 1964, Scottish physicist Peter Higgs predicted the existence of a particle that gives shape to all other particles in the Universe. The Higgs boson is the last missing link in modern particle theory called the Standard Model.

However, two of the main problems of modern physics - dark matter and dark energy - continue to elude researchers, and some scientists believe that they can be detected in a cheaper way. The new accelerator is called the Future Circular Collider (“Future Circular Collider”, FCC). CERN director-general Professor Fabiola Gianotti told the BBC that if the project is approved it will be a "wonderful machine". “This is a tool that will allow humanity to take a huge step forward in questions of fundamental physics concerning our knowledge of the Universe. And for this we need a more powerful tool,” she said.

The Large Hadron Collider is located on the border of Switzerland and France near Geneva. This is an underground tunnel with a diameter of 27 km, in which atomic particles are accelerated to near light speeds in both directions and then collide with forces unattainable in other accelerators. The small subatomic particles released by collisions help scientists understand how atoms are structured and how particles interact with each other.

The FCC is planned to be built in two phases. The first will start operating in the mid-2040s, it will accelerate electrons to higher speeds than today. Presumably, increasing the energy of colliding particles will produce a larger number of Higgs bosons, and scientists will be able to study their properties in more detail. Construction of the second phase will begin in the 2070s and will require more powerful magnets that have yet to be invented and built. Instead of electrons, the supercollider will accelerate more massive protons.

The FCC will be almost three times the size of the first collider, with a circumference of 91 km. They are also going to place it at a greater depth so that the powerful radiation resulting from collisions does not reach the surface. Scientists need a new collider because the Large Collider, which cost £3.7 billion to build and began operating in 2008, has yet to detect particles that explain 95% of the Universe within the Standard Model.

 

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