The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) significantly increases its performance. Unfortunately for fans of groundbreaking physics, the whole thing must be closed for two years while the work is done. Once the system is up and running again, its advanced capabilities make it even more powerful.
The essence of the Large Hadron Collider is to accelerate the particles and then collide them into chambers. Cameras and detectors are trained on these collisions and the results are monitored down to the last detail. It's about discovering new particles and new reactions between particles, and watching particles break down.
This shutdown is called Long Shutdown 2 (LS2.). The first shutdown was LS1
The experimental run between LS1 and LS2 is called the second run and ran from 2015 to 2018. This run provided impressive results and a lot of data to work on. According to CERN, the second run produced 16 million billion proton-proton collisions at 13 TeV (tera-electron volts) and large lead-lead collision data sets at 5.02 TeV. This means that CERN's data archive stores 1,000 years of 24/7 video streaming.
"The second run of the LHC was impressive …" – Frédérick Bordry, director of CERN for accelerators and technology.  The enormous data cache from the experiments during the second LHC run outshines the data from the first run, and that's because the energy level of the collider was almost doubled to 13 TeV. It is becoming increasingly difficult to increase the energy level of a collider, and this second shutdown increases the energy from 13 TeV to 14 TeV.
"The second run of the LHC was impressive as we could reach far beyond our goals and expectations, five times more data than the first run, at the unprecedented 13 TeV energy," said Frédérick Bordry, CERN director of accelerators and technology. "With this second long shutdown, we will now prepare the machine for even more collisions at the design energy of 14 TeV."
The LHC was a success with every step. The existence of the Higgs boson and the Higgs field was the central issue in physics for several decades. The technology and engineering required to build a collider strong enough to figure out was simply not available. The construction of the LHC enabled the discovery of the Higgs boson in 2012.
"The Higgs boson is a special particle …" – Fabiola Gianotti, General Director of CERN.
"In addition to many other beautiful results, LHC experiments have made tremendous progress over the last few years in understanding the properties of HIGGS, the Higgs boson," adds Fabiola Gianotti, general manager of CERN. "The Higgs boson is a special particle that is very different from the other elementary particles observed so far. Its properties can give us useful information about physics beyond the standard model.
The discovery of the long theoretical Higgs boson is the culmination of the LHC, but not the only one. Many parts of the standard physics model were difficult to test before building the LHC. Hundreds of scientific papers were published on the results of the LHC and new particles were discovered, including the exotic pentaquarks and a new particle with two heavy quarks called "Xicc ++".
After the upgrades in LS2, the third run begins. One of the projects in the third run is the project High-Luminosity LHC (HL-LHC). Brightness is one of the two main aspects of colliders. The first is the voltage, which during the LS2 is improved from 13 TeV to 14 TeV. The other is the luminosity.
Luminosity means an increased number of collisions and thus more data. Since many of the things that physicists want to observe are very rare, increasing the number of collisions increases the likelihood of seeing them. In 2017, the LHC will produce about three million Higgs bosons per year, while the High Luminosity LHC will produce at least 15 million Higgs bosons per year. This is important because it was a great achievement to discover the Higgs boson, but there are still many physicists who do not know the elusive particle. Physicists will learn a lot by fivefold the number of Higgs bosons produced.
"The rich harvest of the second run allows researchers to search for very rare processes." – Eckhard Elsen CERN Director of Research and Data Processing
All the data stored at CERN from the second run of the LHC means that physicists remain busy during LS2, in this massive collection of data that no one has ever seen There is no rest for the zealous army of particle physicists of humanity.
"The rich harvest of the second cycle allows researchers to search for very rare processes," said Eckhard Elsen, Director f for research and computer science at CERN. "Throughout the shutdown, they will be busy examining the huge data sample for possible signatures of new physics that did not have the chance to emerge from the dominant contribution of standard model processes. This will lead us into the HL-LHC if the data pattern will increase by another order of magnitude.