The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), the organization that brought us the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and the Higgs Boson particle, is aiming to one-up itself with an even larger and more powerful circular particle collider. The proposed Future Circular Collider will eventually replace the LHC and pave the way for extensive particle physics research through the 21st century.
The LHC went online in 2010 and lead to the discovery of the Higgs Boson particle, which had been theorized but never observed until the LHC experiments. The LHC is still being used to make exciting discoveries and expected to remain operational until 2053, but it can only do so much. To go further beyond Higgs Boson, the physicists at CERN want to build another collider that will take over where the LHC left off. Because it takes so long to build a collider and bring it online, scientist are starting their planning now
More than 1,300 scientists worked for the past five years to lay out a roadmap for the future of particle physics research. The centerpiece of this proposed research plan is the Future Circular Collider which will be significantly more powerful than the LHC. The proposed collider will have a circumference of 62 miles and energy of up to 100 TeV as compared to the 16 miles and 13 TeV for the LHC. Scientists will meet for the next two years to discuss the plans for the Future Circular Collider and particle physics research. Once constructed, the new particle collider will have a lifespan of between 15 to 20 years. It is expected to cost 9 billion euros (about $10.25 billion) to design and build.
Scientists hope a more powerful collider will open the door to a new world of physics, just like it did when they discovered the Higgs boson particle with the LHC. Scientists will be able to delve deeper into the Higgs Boson and other aspects of subatomic physics, some of which lie outside the existing Standard Model of particle physics. An even larger circular collider also may help researchers explore topics such as dark matter and matter-antimatter interactions. These experiments could lead to a better understanding of the origin and early development of our universe.
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