PARIS: The Large Hadron Collider, which discovered the Higgs boson ten years ago, is poised to begin smashing protons together with unprecedented energy in an effort to learn more about the workings of the universe.
After a three-year hiatus for upgrades in anticipation of its third run, the largest and most potent particle collider in the world began operating again in April.
The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) stated last week during a press briefing that starting on Tuesday, it will operate continuously for almost four years at a record energy of 13.6 trillion electronvolts.
It will revolve a 27-kilometer (17-mile) ring buried 100 metres below the Swiss-French border with two proton beams travelling in opposite directions at nearly the speed of light.
Numerous experiments, including ATLAS, CMS, ALICE, and LHCb, which will employ the increased power to investigate dark matter, dark energy, and other fundamental mysteries, will collect and analyse the ensuing collisions.
According to Mike Lamont, head of accelerators and technologies at CERN, “we want to be producing 1.6 billion proton-proton collisions per second” for the ATLAS and CMS investigations.
He stated that in order to boost the collision rate, the proton beams will be shrunk to fewer than 10 microns this time around—a human hair is approximately 70 microns thick.
They will be able to analyse the Higgs boson, which was first discovered by the Large Hadron Collider on July 4, 2012, in greater detail thanks to the new energy rate.
The boson’s compatibility with the Standard Model, the dominant hypothesis of all the elementary particles that comprise matter and the forces that control them, contributed to the discovery’s revolutionary impact on physics.
However, a number of recent discoveries have called into doubt the Standard Model, and the recently improved collider will conduct a closer examination of the Higgs boson.
CERN director-general Fabiola Gianotti, who made the first announcement of the boson’s discovery ten years ago, stated that the Higgs boson is connected to some of the most significant unanswered topics in fundamental physics at the present time.
There will be 20 times more collisions this time around compared to the collider’s initial run, which led to the discovery of the boson.