CERN plans even larger Large Hadron Collider to find more 'God particles'

Christopher Davidson
January 17, 2019

An accelerator, we should note, that would be four times bigger and up to 10 times more powerful than today's Large Hadron Collider, which is part of a particle accelerator facility on the French-Swiss border and which helped scientists in 2012 confirm the existence of the so-called God particle, the Higgs boson.

'Proton colliders have been the tool-of-choice for generations to venture new physics at the smallest scale, ' said CERN Director for Research and Computing, Eckhard Elsen.

In a four-volume report, the Conceptual Design Report, the FCC collaboration-a collection of over a thousand physicists from over 100 universities-proposed various designs for a new circular collider to replace the LHC in the next few decades.

According to the design report, the total cost for the FCC could amount to 24 billion euros (27.3 billion US dollars), including four billion euros for an ultra-high intensity lepton collider, 15 billion euros for a 100 TeV energy frontier hadron collider, and five billion euros for the 100 km tunnel infrastructure. Reaching energies of 100 TeV and beyond would allow precise studies of how a Higgs particle interacts with another Higgs particle, and thorough exploration of the role of the electroweak symmetry breaking in the history of our universe. When complete the collider would operate for 15 to 20 years.

The FCC collaboration's Conceptual Design Report (CDR) outlines different options for delivering a future large circular collider capable of delivering electron-positron, proton-proton and ion-ion collisions at unprecedented energies and intensities.

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Plans for the FCC will be put forward to an global panel of scientists.

European physicists have just unveiled their proposal for the construction of a new particle smasher that calls for a 62-mile circular collider costing roughly the equivalent of $10 billion.

"While presenting new, daunting challenges, the FCC would greatly benefit from CERN's expertise, accelerator complex and infrastructures, which have been developed over more than half a century", he said. "Japan is also taking a look at building a particle collider".

The new collider would be a decadeslong project that would cost up to $24 billion. He was off work in December for two years of maintenance. The cost estimate for a superconducting proton machine that would afterwards use the same tunnel is around 15 billion euros. The physics programme could start by 2040 at the end of the High-Luminosity LHC. Then, in 2050, the machine could begin operation. The new FCC proton collider would reportedly need $16bn of funding (around £13bn or AU$22bn) to dig out the 100km tunnel and build the complex research equipment for its experiments.

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