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Science & Technology

CERN set to back Hadron Collider successor

By T.K. Randall
June 20, 2020 · Comment icon 8 comments



Will the Future Circular Collider get built ? Image Credit: CERN
Plans are in motion to replace the gargantuan atom smasher with a new accelerator that is four times larger.
Built between 1998 and 2008 in collaboration with more than 10,000 scientists and engineers from around the world, the Large Hadron Collider - officially the world's largest machine - consists of a ring approximately 27km in circumference which is situated near Geneva, Switzerland.

Over the years it has been responsible for many discoveries - including that of the Higgs boson - but to advance things ever further, a much larger particle accelerator is going to be needed.

To this end, on Friday CERN is expected to approve the construction of what has become tentatively known as the Future Circular Collider (FCC) - a 100km behemoth that will be four times the size and six times more powerful than the existing Large Hadron Collider.

Costing over 20 billion Euros, the new accelerator could take many years to build, but when it is ready it will be capable of advancing the field of particle physics far beyond what is currently possible.

The new accelerator could also help to unravel the secrets of dark matter and energy.
As things stand however, even if CERN does approve the new facility, there is no guarantee that it will be built, especially in the economic aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic.

"On some level I find it irresponsible," said theoretical physicist Sabine Hossenfelder. "Why don't we put the money into an international center for climate models or pandemic models ?"

The Large Hadron Collider itself, which is set to resume operations in 2021, will continue to conduct experiments until at least 2027, after which it's future will become uncertain.

"It's probing nature at the shortest distances and looking for the smallest things we can see... it's a real exploratory mission," said Professor Jon Butterworth from University College London.

"Everyone agrees that's what we need to do."

"The question has been: what's the best machine to do it ?"

Source: Guardian | Comments (8)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Seti42 3 years ago
"On some level I find it irresponsible," said theoretical physicist Sabine Hossenfelder. "Why don't we put the money into an international center for climate models or pandemic models ?" I totally agree. we need to secure the future, and then (in the future) worry about things like a new super collider, moon bases, etc. Right now, climate change, renewable energy, education, jobs, health care, housing, and pandemic study are far more important...And will also cost trillions to fix up globally. Once the future is secured, then we will have more scientists, more resources, and people willing t... [More]
Comment icon #2 Posted by Tatetopa 3 years ago
It is not really so much a lack of money as a lack of desire that keeps some projects from being funded. I wager people spend more on lip gloss, eye liner, hair color and "manscaping" than on education, jobs, or climate change. Resources are there if people can be convinced to change their priorities.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Cookie Monster 3 years ago
Why not say sod it and build a giant one around the equator or as the decades pass bigger and bigger ones will need to be built.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Rlyeh 3 years ago
Why would that happen? You obviously don't.
Comment icon #5 Posted by kartikg 3 years ago
I think we have enough money to do both, it just requires willingness, also there is talent pool for both the sciences, if we close something entirely that talent pool will be under utilized, and one cannot just shift from physics to climate or something else.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Noteverythingisaconspiracy 3 years ago
I distinctly remember that the World didn't end when the LHC was turned on despite all the doomsday predictions. They didn't even make a small dent to Geneva. Why should this time be different ? Investigating the world around us is human nature.I couldn't imagine not wanting to know how the world works.
Comment icon #7 Posted by XenoFish 3 years ago
Just build one around the moons equator. That should be big enough.
Comment icon #8 Posted by Emma_Acid 3 years ago
No, it will not "end the world". And we "investigate everything" because that's what humans do. It literally sets us apart from other animals.


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