Hadron Collider's Successor, an enormous new experiment that would have taken place in a hundred kilometer 62-mile) tunnel.
The Circular Colliders, the first which would begin to operate in 2040. The ambitious experiments would have been 10 times higher than those created by the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). The concept design is the first big milestone achieved by the scientific collaboration.
"It shows the community's principles and feasibility of the post-LHC Future Circular Collider," Michael Benedict, CERN accelerator physicist and the study's leader, told Gizmodo. The LHC's physics operation comes to an end in the 2030s.
Particle colliders accelerate tiny bits of "It shows that there is a credible coherent physical scenario for implementing a larger-scale project." matter to velocities close to the speed of light, slamming them together. Since energy and mass are equivalent in physics, new particles might materialize out of the collisions. The LHC discovered the Higgs.
The LHC discovers the Higgs boson, the last particle predicted by particle physics' rulebook, the Standard Model. The FCC's.
The FCC's Geneva, Switzerland, which would cost perhaps 5 billion euros (5.72 billion USD), now offers designs for a 100-kilometer round tunnel with access points. A machine that collides electrons and their antimatter partners, positrons, would occupy the space first, then perhaps a decade or later, would be replaced with a proton or atom-colliding machine akin to the LHC, Benedict explained. The LHC's own 27-kilometer-round (16-mile) tunnel at first home to Large Electron-Positron (LEP) collider.
Some particles physicists are enthusiastic about the possibility of discovering new physical phenomena to explain outstanding mysteries. "I'm excited because it allows to study the Higgs boson to factors of 20 to 50 precision," Freya Blekman, professor of particle physics at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel in Belgium and researcher at CERN, told Gizmodo. Show up as small changes in the Standard Model. " But there's some uncertainty about what the FCC really wants to tell us. In her blog, Sabine Hossenfelder wrote: "After the discovery of the Higgs-boson, there is no good reason for why there should be anything else to find, at the LHC nor at higher energies, In a one of our dream experiment posts, Duke University particle physics postdoctoral research James Beacham explained that it could require a particle accelerator around Mars or even the whole solar system to actually answer physicists' deepest question.
You might also note that China has released plans for its own 100-kilometer particle collider (which has its own unrelated issues). Benedikt said that the physics community is interested in experimenting with this.
I asked Benedict if the group had any more research on more compact accelerators footprint. He explained that these are important long-term research and development programs, but that the FCC concept proposes a facility by the end of the 2030s-essentially, there is not time to integrate two technologies. Building the larger collider wants to rely more on developing more powerful superconducting magnets.
There's a future to particle accelerators, and plenty of other experiments are underway or planned in order to test the mysteries of the universe. But whether the FCC will actually solve any of those mysteries is not yet clear.