The Large Hadron Collider Gets an Upgrade For Its Proton-Smashing Experiments

Sunday, 17 June 2018 - 1:50PM
Technology
Physics
Sunday, 17 June 2018 - 1:50PM
The Large Hadron Collider Gets an Upgrade For Its Proton-Smashing Experiments
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CERN
Back around 2012, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) made history when it was able to produce a Higgs Boson particle, more commonly known in the media as the "God particle".

Now that the LHC has been able to generate multiple Higgs Boson particles in the six years since then, its operators at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland are preparing for the next step in their experiments: make even more Higgs Boson articles by smashing proton beams into each other.

CERN announced this past Friday that the Large Hadron Collider will be receiving an upgrade, increasing the "luminosity" of its proton beams, which will increase the amount of particle collisions during any single experiment. With more particles colliding, the better chances they'll have of witnessing a Higgs Boson event or something else unusual that may pop up in this experimental field.

 

The expected upgrades are going to take a decade to fully implement, and will cost around $953 million (quantum physics isn't cheap). But they'll allow the LHC, which produced 3 million Higgs Boson particles last year alone, to start producing 15 million of them in the same timespan.

After this, the new upgraded version will be called the High Luminosity LHC, and it will still be one of the biggest machines ever invented, stretching through a tunnel that's 17 miles (27 kilometers) in circumference and going as deep as 574 feet (175 meters) beneath the Earth's surface.

The discovery of the Higgs Boson answered some major questions about how particles have mass. As CERN continues to look into this and other subjects like dark matter, it's a good time to work in quantum physics and a bad time to be a proton. 

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