CERN plans to build a new accelerator with a tunnel length of 100 km

    Source: M.Brice / CERN

    CERN is the European organization for nuclear research, which is the world's largest high-energy physics laboratory. It is located on the border of Switzerland and France, near Geneva. It was CERN with partners that built the Large Hadron Collider. The LHC has helped make many discoveries that have helped scientists better understand the structure of the microworld and the laws that prevail in this world.

    Now CERN has announced its intention to build a new accelerator, the size of which will be five times the size of the LHC. The length of the tunnel will be 100 kilometers. The new system is called Future Circular Collider (FCC). The other day, CERN published a draft of a new project, set out in four volumes.

    The cost of the new accelerator is estimated at $ 9 billion, of which $ 5 billion will be spent on creating a tunnel with a length of 100 km. Scientists plan to achieve the energy of elementary particles of the order of 100 teraelectronvolt. Initially, they will push electrons and positrons, but then the collider will be modified and reconfigured to proton-proton beams (it is with them that they work in the Large Hadron Collider).

    Despite the comprehensiveness of the report and the preparation of a solid technical base, the construction of a new collider will begin no earlier than 2040. The text of the report has already been sent to the European Physical Journal, the preprint is posted on the official CERN website.

    It is worth noting that the results of the work of the LHC somewhat surprised the scientific community, since many experts expected that when particles of several teraelectronvolts reached energy, new particles would appear in the accelerator. Prior to the LHC, there were many papers that predicted the appearance of various particles at energies of the above order. But in practice this did not happen - in the LHC, the energy of particle collisions reaches 13 teraelectronvolts, but there are no new particles.

    That is why it was decided to build an even more powerful collider that can accelerate elementary particles to energies of hundreds of teraelectronvolts. The Future Circular Collider (FCC) project was first announced in 2014. Then CERN published only the first touches of the future project.

    Now the project is analyzed more thoroughly, the work on preliminary design and analysis took more than five years. 1300 scientists from more than 150 universities took part in the development of the “Future Ring Collider”.

    As for the report, the first volume is devoted to the issues of modern physics of the microworld. The compilers of the volume talk about the potential of the FCC, the possible discoveries that it will help to make. For example, scientists hope to detect dark energy particles as well as massive neutrinos. Also, physicists hope to find out what the structure of the Higgs potential is, how and why the Higgs boson mass arises. The FCC will study quark-gluon plasma and phase transitions in the theory of electroweak interactions. Perhaps, the collider will help to clarify the parameters of the particles already detected, including vector bosons, the Higgs boson, and the top quark.

    The second volume is devoted to the structure and characteristics of the electron-positron collider. This is a technical project of the system itself. Experts show what elements the accelerator will consist of, including particle detectors, inductors, safety systems, etc. The developers plan to bring the collision energy to the parameters of 90-365 gigaelectronvolt. Luminosity will exceed 10 36 inverse square centimeters per second.

    In the third volume, the details of the collider modification are revealed when switching to proton-proton beams. In this case, the collision energy will reach 100 teraelectronvolt with a luminosity of 10 35 inverse square centimeters per second.

    The fourth volume reveals the features of the functioning of the Large Hadron Collider of high energies. This system is the predecessor of the FCC, which, moreover, is based on the existing infrastructure of the LHC. The collision energy at the “intermediate” collider will be about 27 teraelectronvolt (two times more than that of the LHC), but much less resources will be needed to create it.

    Now the LHC is being upgraded, work to transform the collider into a more powerful system began last year. So far, the LHC is not working, all work on it is suspended. FCC plan to build next to the BAC, in the vicinity of Geneva.

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