Science & Technology
July 6, 2022 | 0 comments
The world’s largest atom smasher is back in action after a four-year hiatus.
Having previously confirmed the existence of the elusive Higgs boson particle, the Large Hadron Collider, which is situated near Geneva in Switzerland, is finally back in action again this week following a series of upgrades enabling it to run at even higher power levels than ever before.
Now capable of smashing protons together at energy levels of up to 13.6 trillion electron volts (TeV), the enormous particle accelerator is once again on the hunt for new types of particles.
One of its primary goals is to find evidence of dark matter – a mysterious form of matter which, despite making up a large percentage of the mass of the universe, has never been directly observed.
“We will measure the strengths of the Higgs boson interactions with matter and force particles to unprecedented precision, and we will further our searches for Higgs boson decays to dark matter particles as well as searches for additional Higgs bosons,” said Andreas Hoecker, spokesperson for the facility’s ATLAS collaboration.
This third run of the Large Hadron Collider is expected to last around four years, after which it will be shut down until 2029 for yet another set of upgrades.
It will certainly be interesting to see what, if anything, the scientists at CERN discover this time around.