Advertisement

Scientists Propose Downsizing Next Big Particle Collider

Scientists Propose Downsizing Next Big Particle Collider
From Gizmodo - November 13, 2017

An international committee devoted to the future of particle accelerators has recommended that scientists halve the energy of the next big collider, according to a statement issued last week.

The decision comes at a time when scientists worry they may not find any more new particles with the worlds present-day largest particle collider, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Geneva, Switzerland. Japan would build the proposed collider, called the International Linear Collider, though it likely wont be ready until 2030, according to an article in Nature. The report from the International Committee for Future Accelerators (ICFA) found that downsizing could potentially cut costs by around 40 percent and reduce the amount of digging required to build such an experiment.

The International Linear Collider (ILC) operating at the lower 250 GeV center-of-mass energy will provide excellent science from precision studies of the Higgs boson, writes ICFA.

A quick physics lesson: Particle colliders come in different flavors. The Large Hadron Collider is the worlds largesta 17-mile-round ring of super-cold magnets that crash bunches of protons into one another at nearly the speed of light. Pumping all of that energy into the protons creates a whole lot of debris during the collision which become particles; owing to Albert Einsteins E=mc^2 equation, we know that energy and mass are equivalent. Physicists hope that the debris will reveal particles they didnt already know about.

The International Linear Collider would instead collide electrons and their antiparticle, the positron, also with super-cold magnets. Instead of a ring, its a straight line, maybe ten miles long (depending on the final construction decision). Rather than discover new particles, this accelerators purpose would be to make precision measurements of the recently-discovered Higgs boson.

Its basically a Higgs factory, and an improved understanding of the Higgs properties may offer scientists some clues on where to look next to solve some of physics outstanding mysteries.

Advertisement

Continue reading at Gizmodo »