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By Dan Falk
Seven years after experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) – the world's largest atomic grinder ̵
The Future Circular Collider (FCC) would be four times larger and up to ten times stronger than the LHC, the European Organization for Nuclear Research (better known) known by its French acronym CERN), which was announced in a report on Tuesday. CERN, an international consortium of 23 member states, operates the Large Hadron Collider and would also run the FCC.
"The FCC concept development report is a remarkable achievement," said CERN Director-General Fabiola Gianotti in a statement. "It demonstrates the tremendous potential of the FCC to enhance our understanding of basic physics and advance many technologies that have a far-reaching impact on society."
The new collider built near the LHC along the Swiss-French border would do so According to CERN, scientists are greatly expanding the understanding of matter and the universe. If the project goes as planned, scientists could use the new collider to search for new subatomic particles in the mid-century.
The plan for the new collider project, which was developed by more than 1,000 scientists from 150 institutions around the world, calls for a multinational collaboration to build a $ 24 billion facility consisting of several laboratories and a circular tunnel with a perimeter of 100 kilometers.
The Plan will now be reviewed by an international panel of scientists before the Governing Council of CERN decides whether to proceed further.
Small particles, large machines
Although the particles that make up the universe are small, the machines to be examined are small. They must be large. Only huge collisors can generate the enormous energy needed to study matter in the smallest of spaces. The collisors accelerate protons, electrons, and other particles to velocities close to the speed of light, shattering them in the hope of discovering unknown particles between the debris.
Physicists were present after the discovery of the Higgs boson in 2012. Work at the LHC had hoped that subsequent experiments could provide clues to a "new physics" – d. H. Unveiling previously unknown particles that are not part of the so-called standard model of physics that our current understanding of matter reveals everything in the universe.
That did not happen. The scientists, however, hope that a larger accelerator, such as the Future Circular Collider, could be successful where the LHC was unsuccessful.
Ever-increasing particle accelerators have pushed the boundaries of our understanding of the Universe and the building blocks of everything in it, "said Glenn Starkman, a physicist at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland. in an email to NBC News MACH. "We are in a moment when our vision of beyond the present limits is unusually hazy. Farewell to this haze requires bold vision and determination.
Worth the cost?
Other scientists doubt the need for a large new collider.
"In everything we currently know, this would not be a good investment," said Sabine Hossenfelder, a theoretical physicist at the Frankfurt Institute for Advanced in Germany, in an e-mail. "Of course it could be that it finds something new if we're lucky," she said, but in the face of uncertainty she said that scientists might get more for their money if Instead, they invested in larger telescopes, nuclear fusion technology, or artificial intelligence research.
David King, a physicist and former senior UK scientific advisor, similarly voiced doubt, "We have to draw a line somewhere, otherwise we'll end up with a collider like this great is that he is going to the equator, "he told the BBC." And if it does not do that Maybe there will be a request that goes to the moon and back. "
But those who want to advance large projects like the proposed Collider often point out that this basic research is of great importance and brings practical benefits as well scientific discoveries.
The construction and operation of the LHC have been recognized as having significant advances in wireless technology, robotics, computer science, cryogenics and many more. And the World Wide Web – the computer network that allows you to read this article – was invented by an English scientist named Tim Berners-Lee when he was working at CERN in the late 1980s.