Home LATEST NEWS The Large Hadron Collider is back in operation

The Large Hadron Collider is back in operation

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Friday,kilometers”,”text”:”two beams of protons (particles from the nucleus of the atom) traveled in opposite directions along the 27 kilometer ring”}}”>two beams of protons (particles from the nucleus of the atom) traveled in opposite directions along the 27 kilometer ring of the LHC, announced the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN).

Buried 100 meters underground on the Franco-Swiss border, the gigantic ring had been on technical shutdown since December 2018 for maintenance and improvement work in what was the second longest break in its history. The experiments at the LHC, started in 2008, notably led to the revolutionary discovery of the Higgs boson, the keystone of the fundamental structure of matter.

The recovery will take place gradually: a small number of protons have circulated for the moment in the two beams, at 450 billion electron volts (450 gigaelectron volts, or GeV), a low collision rate, but which will increase in power.

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The high-intensity, high-energy collisions will occur in a few monthsspecifies Rhodri Jones, head of the Beams department at CERN, welcoming a restart success.

The principle of the collider is to collide particles at colossal speeds to generate elementary particles, infinitely small.

As the machine returns to service, the teams will increase the energy and intensity of the beams, to conduct collision experiments with a record energy of 13.6 trillion electron volts (13.6 teraelectronvolts, or TeV).

This will allow the four main LHC detectors (ALICE, ATLAS, CMS and LHCb) to receive a greater number of particle collisions and therefore to read a much larger mass of data.

CERN physicists will be able to study the Higgs boson in great detail and further testing the Standard Model of particle physics, recently shaken by several experiments.

But the new phase of exploration aims above all to establish new physics beyond this model, with perhaps, eventually, new particles, such as supersymmetric particles; predicted by theory, but never demonstrated, they could convey dark matter, a great unknown in the Universe.

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