The Large Hadron Collider, which was responsible for the discovery of the Higgs boson ten years ago, is poised to begin smashing protons together with an “unprecedented” amount of energy in an effort to learn more about the inner workings of the universe and how it functions, according to Science Alert.
After being shut down for three years to undergo maintenance and improvements in advance of its third run, the biggest and most powerful particle collider in the world resumed operations in April, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) stated last week at a press event that beginning on Tuesday July 5, it will operate around the clock for almost four years at a record energy of 13.6 trillion electronvolts.
It will fire two beams of protons, which are particles that are found in the nucleus of an atom, in opposing directions at almost the speed of light around a ring that is 27 kilometers (17 miles) long and buried 100 meters beneath the border between Switzerland and France.
The collisions that occur as a result will be recorded and analyzed by thousands of scientists as part of a large number of experiments. These experiments, which include ATLAS, CMS, ALICE, and LHCb, will use the increased power to investigate fundamental mysteries such as dark matter and dark energy. It will operate at 1.6 billion collisions a second.
“We aim to be delivering 1.6 billion proton-proton collisions per second,” according to Mike Lamont, who is in charge of the accelerators and technologies at CERN, for the ATLAS and CMS investigations.
In order to boost the collision rate, the proton beams will have their width reduced to less than 10 microns this time around. For comparison, the thickness of a human hair is around 70 microns.
The enhanced energy rate will make it possible for them to do more research on the Higgs boson, which was discovered for the first time by the Large Hadron Collider on July 4, 2012.
The Higgs boson, also known as the Higgs particle, is an elementary particle that is described by the Standard Model of particle physics. According to this model, the Higgs boson is generated by the quantum excitation of the Higgs field, which is one of the fields that are theorized to exist in particle physics.
It is sometimes referred to as The God Particle.
Fabiola Gianotti, director-general of CERN, was the one who made the first announcement of the boson’s discovery ten years ago said: “The Higgs boson is related to some of the most profound open questions in fundamental physics today.”
This time around, there will be twenty times more collisions than there were during the initial run of the collider when the boson was found. “This is a significant increase, paving the way for new discoveries,” Lamont said.
The chief of research and computing at CERN, Joachim Mnich, said that there was still a significant amount more to learn about the boson. “Is the Higgs boson really a fundamental particle or is it a composite?” he asked. “Is it the only Higgs-like particle that exists – or are there others?” He adds.
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