April 26, 2019

CERN Teases Larger, More Powerful Particle Collider

17 January 2019, 09:58 | Dale Webster

DEAN MOUHTAROPOULOS GETTY IMAGESA control room at CERN the world's largest particle physics laboratory in Meyrin Switzerland

A control room at CERN the world's largest particle physics laboratory in Meyrin Switzerland

Officials at CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, presented their study for a "Future Circular Collider" inside a 100 kilometre circumference tunnel that could start operating in 2040.

An worldwide collaboration has published its concept design for a post-LHC future circular collider at CERN. This is significantly bigger than the 17-mile structure that houses the LHC.

CERN Director-General Fabiola Gianotti, said: "The FCC conceptual design report is a remarkable accomplishment".

"While presenting new, daunting challenges, the FCC would greatly benefit from CERN's expertise, accelerator complex and infrastructures, which have been developed over more than half a century", he said.

"The FCC timeline foresees starting with an electron-positron machine, just as LEP preceded the LHC", Frédérick Bordry, CERN director for accelerators and technology, revealed.

While the world's largest, most powerful particle collider remains closed for spring cleaning, scientists are turning their attention to a new toy. These precise measurements would provide great sensitivity to possible tiny deviations from the Standard Model expectations, which would be a sign of new physics. The SM is our best description of the observable universe, outlining the four fundamental forces that govern nature and all the known elementary particles-those that are not composed of any others. This machine could start operation in the late 2050s. The proposal calls for a 100-km superconducting proton accelerator ring, with energies as high as 100 TeV, producing a particle collider more powerful than the LHC by a whole order of magnitude. Since then, no new particles were at the LHC, however, have been sighted - much to the Regret of the particle physicists, who had cited as a Motivation for the construction of the LHC, the search for particles beyond the standard model, such as supersymmetric particles, or candidates for the mysterious Dark matter.

"Proton colliders have been the tool-of-choice for generations to venture new physics at the smallest scale", said CERN Director for Research and Computing, Eckhard Elsen in the statement. The physicists want to increase the number of proton collisions per second from one to five billion.

CERN began planning the FCC in 2014, and is talking about a 20-year timeframe to design and build it.

The ScienceAlert report also makes clear that there's no guarantee this new collider in Europe will ever get built.

Secondly it would collide electrons with heavier lead atoms.

Not all scientists agree that the Future Circular Collider would be worth the time and cost, particularly given that the current collider has yet to discover another unknown particle.

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