Saturday, 16 February, 2019

CERN Reveals Plans For 100-Kilometer Future Circular Collider

How a 'collision event' might look inside the Future Circular Collider. Pic CERN Image How a 'collision event' might look inside the Future Circular Collider. Pic CERN
Sandra Phillips | 17 January, 2019, 22:01

CERN, the European research organization responsible for operating the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), has released a report outlining a proposed particle accelerator that would be almost four times as long and 10 times as powerful as its predecessor.

She said: "It shows the tremendous potential of the FCC to improve our knowledge of fundamental physics and to advance many technologies with a broad impact on society".

Using high-field superconducting magnets, the FCC proton collider would offer a wide range of new physics opportunities-including deeper insight into the Higgs boson, or "God particle".

But the new FCC machine - at a cost of around £17.8billion - will be nearly 10 times more powerful than the Hadron Collider and would hold the potential to "significantly expand our knowledge of matter and the universe". The design for the FCC would be some 100 kilometers (62 miles) long and, when operating at full capacity, collide particles at 10 times the energy of the LHC. The 100 TeV energy would allow more precise studies of how the Higgs particle interacts with other Higgs particles. Over the next two years, the scientists will decide how to continue their research after the Large Hadron Collider. "The FCC timeline foresees starting with an electron-positron machine, just as LEP preceded the LHC".

Preparatory work on the FCC began in 2014, imagining a machine capable of providing "electron-positron, proton-proton and ion-ion collisions at unprecedented energies and intensities, with the possibility of electron-proton and electron-ion collisions".

Scientists have announced plans for the largest experiment ever conducted - a £21 billion plan to find a "theory of everything". The new plans call for a machine with a diameter 73km larger. "This would enable a rich programme to benefit the particle physics community throughout the twenty-first century", Bordry explained.

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"Proton colliders have been the tool-of-choice for generations to venture new physics at the smallest scale".

Officials hope for a decision by CERN's 22 member states within the next few years about the project that would debut with an electron-positron collider at an estimated cost of nine billion euros (NZ$15 billion).

China has also announced plans past year to build a similarly sized accelerator, aiming for a 20-mile diameter ring, and 5x the LHC output.

A second phase would involve a superconducting proton machine in the same tunnel, at a cost of about 15 billion euros (NZ$25b) more. The physics programme could start by 2040 at the end of the High-Luminosity LHC.

CERN also outlined plans to building another machine which will be incorporated into the same tunnel and is expected to come online in the late 2050s.

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