China is building a particle collider nearly four times the size of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and is expected to produce more than one million Higgs boson particles in its first decade.
Plans for the Circron Electron Positron Collider (CEPC) – a 62-mile collider – was first announced in 2012, just months after the Higgs boson particle was discovered at the LHC. Now, researchers working on the project have released two new design reviews to show what they've been working on for the last six years and what they intend to do in the coming decades.
The report shows how the CEPC's dwarves are LHC, which has a circumference of just under 1
Like the LHC, the CEPC is circular. It is located in an underground tunnel and consists of a linear accelerator, a damping ring, a booster, transport lines and a collider. It is a double ring collider in which electrons and positron beams circulate in opposite directions in separate tubes.
The tunnel in which it is located could also serve as a Super Proton Proton Collider (SppC) – a proposal that it is currently considering. This "supercollider" would reach energies far beyond the LHC – the LHC was designed for a maximum collision energy of 14 TeV, while the SppC would work with an energy of 70 TeV.
"The concept design report shows that we have completed the basic design of accelerator, detector and civil engineering for the entire project," said Professor Gao Yuanning, chairman of the CEPC Institutional Board, in a statement. "Our next step will be focused on the research and development of key technologies and prototypes for the CEPC."
The design report was announced at a ceremony by the Institute of High Energy Physics (IHEP) in Beijing.
Geoffrey Taylor of the University of Melbourne, chair of the International Committee for Future Accelerators (ICFA) and the Asian Committee for Future Accelerators (ACFA) said: "This is an important milestone on the way to such an important facility for fundamental Physics. I have no doubt that the international community is eager to cooperate in the development and operation of the CEPC and in the search for a better understanding of the fundamental components of the matter. "
Over the next five years, scientists will carry out extensive research and construction prototypes of key technical components for the CEPC. The infrastructure for the collider is also being built. The construction of the CEPC is expected to begin in 2022 and be completed by 2030.
If the CEPC proves successful, the scientists hope that the SppC supercollider will be operational sometime in the 2030s. "As an Energy Frontier device, the SPPC could discover a whole new set of particles," says the new report. "Dark matter remains one of the most puzzling topics in particle physics and cosmology. The weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs) are still the most plausible candidates for dark matter. "The researchers could say that the SppC could help to" significantly expand "the search for WIMPs, potentially providing answers to one of the greatest mysteries in the universe.