Tunnel of the Large Hadron Collider. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Julian Herzog
With the discovery of the Higgs Boson, attentions have been turned towards a future successor to the LHC.
When the $5 billion Large Hadron Collider was first turned on in 2008, the massive particle accelerator was the biggest the world had ever seen. At the time, some people found it so intimidating that they even believed it could bring about the destruction of the planet by producing black holes that would suck us all out of existence.
Fast forward five years and while we haven't seen any black holes, the collider has been successful in enabling the discovery of the elusive God Particle, the Higgs Boson, the goal physicists had been aiming towards when the facility was first turned on. But with the Higgs now in the bag, what does the future have in store for particle physics and how do you upstage a behemoth like the Large Hadron Collider ?
At a recent US government advisory panel, theoretical physicist Michael Peskin proposed one possible answer - the Very
Large Hadron Collider. This gargantuan particle accelerator would dwarf everything that came before it, colliding particles at energies up to 10 times that of the current LHC with a tunnel almost five times as long.
While there are no immediate plans to build such a machine it is likely that it will happen eventually. "It’s only prudent to try to sketch a vision decades into the future," said Peskin.
Source: Scientific American | Comments (29)
Large Hadron Collider