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CosmosUp | September 28, 2020

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Large Hadron Collider Ready to Push Physics Frontier

Large Hadron Collider Ready to Push Physics Frontier

Two extraordinary events are underway in February in science and technology, the first in quantum physics and the other in computer security. The Large Hadron Collider at CERN will be brought back online next month to face its next challenge, to seek evidence confirming the validity of extensions to the Standard Model of physics in general, and the ominously-named ‘dark matter’, in particular.

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In 2012, the LHC helped to find evidence of the Higgs boson, the particle that is thought to explain how other particles get their mass. The discovery vindicated theoretical calculations made decades ago, and bolstered the Standard Model, the current framework of particle physics.

When the LHC fires up again this year, it will reach energies of 13 trillion electron volts, with enough current to melt 1 ton of copper. This run is expected to last until 2018.

Above is a section of the LHC's superconducting magnets that have undergone extensive upgrades to support the vast machine's increased power.

Above is a section of the LHC’s superconducting magnets that have undergone extensive upgrades to support the vast machine’s increased power.

LHC job is to finding exotic new particles in a previously-inaccessible realm that can sometimes resemble science fiction. “The most exciting thing is we really don’t know what we are going to find,” said Rolf Landua of the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN), which hosts the LHC.

Experiments at the collider seek to unlock clues as to how the Universe came into existence by studying fundamental particles, the building blocks of all matter, and the forces that control them.

During its next run, researchers will look for evidence of “new physics”. They will probe ‘supersymmetry’ — a theoretical concept, seek explanations for enigmatic dark matter, and look for signs of extra dimensions.

CERN director, Frederick Bordry, said that the organization has significant ideas for a long-term future. The instrument will continuously be upgraded during the course of the study.
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