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A FUTURE CIRCULAR COLLIDER

CERN’s existing particle accelerator, called the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), is the most powerful particle accelerator in the world. Located on the border between France and Switzerland, a hundred meters below the surface, between Geneva’s international airport and the nearby Jura mountains, the LHC’s circular tunnel has a
circumference of 27 kilometers. Most of the tunnel is on the French side of the border. Inside the tunnel, protons (particles that make up the atomic nucleus along with neutrons) travel at almost the speed of light and collide to generate new particles which are measured by detectors.

By analyzing the collisions, physicists at CERN and around the world are trying to better understand the laws of nature.
Seven experiments, with names such Compact Muon Solenoid, a generalpurpose detector, its mass was 125.3 billion electron volts.
While most physicists celebrated the discovery, some did not. These included the respected British theoretical physicist, Stephen Hawking.
In an interview with the BBC, Hawking described the discovery of the Higgs boson as Nobel Prize-worthy, but also, “a pity in a way, because the great advances in physics have come from experiments that gave results we didn’t expect.” Adam Mann echoed Hawking’s disappointment at Wired.com by suggesting the Higgs boson was “starting to look just a little too ordinary.”

In an email to the Times newspaper, Maria Spiropulu, a professor at the California Institute of Technology, who worked with the as Atlas, Totem and Alice, are located around the circumference of the LHC tunnel. Using different technologies, each of them studies particle collisions from a different aspect. Construction for these experiments required extraordinary feats of engineering. For example, a special crane was rented from Belgium to lower pieces of one of the detectors into its underground cavern. Each piece weighed a massive two thousand tons.5,000 huge magnets which are used to keep the particle beams stable, accurate and safe, were also lowered down a special shaft.
The LHC started colliding protons in 2010. Since then, it has generated vast quantities of data which CERN streams to laboratories around the world.

The best known discovery took place in 2012 when scientists were able to confirm the existence of a subatomic particle called the team at the Compact Muon Solenoid detector, said that she was still hoping to be surprised. “I personally do not want it to be standard model anything,” she wrote. “I don’t want it to be simple or symmetric or as predicted. I want us all to have been dealt a complex hand that will send me (and all of us) in a (good) loop for a long time.”
But that wasn’t the only concern. In the preface to a book called “Starmus”, Stephen Hawking suggested the Higgs
“potential” might become meta-stable at energies above a hundred billion giga-electronvolts. This, Hawkins postulated, might mean that the universe could undergo catastrophic vacuum decay. With a bubble of the true vacuum expanding at the speed of light, this could happen at any time and we wouldn’t see it coming. Hawking’s Higgs boson.

The existence of this particle was first postulated by the Scottish physicist, Peter Higgs, in 1964. Confirmation of its existence was thought to be essential to what is known as the “standard model” of particle physics which describes
how most of the observed forces in the universe operate. The theory is that the Higgs boson, or, to be more precise, the Higgs field, is what lends mass to fundamental particles like quarks, which would otherwise be massless.

The field, often described as a sort of “cosmic molasses,” exerts a subatomic “drag” on everything that passes through it. The Higgs field was identified independently by two groups working at two of the LHC’s enormous detectors. According to the first group at the Atlas detector, the Higgs had a mass of 126 billion electron volts.
According to the second group at the Compact Muon Solenoid, a generalpurpose detector, its mass was 125.3
billion electron volts.
While most physicists celebrated the discovery, some did not. These included the respected British theoretical physicist, Stephen Hawking. In an interview with the BBC, Hawking described the discovery of the Higgs boson as Nobel Prize-worthy, but also, “a pity in a way, because the great advances in physics have come from experiments that gave results we didn’t expect.”

Adam Mann echoed Hawking’s disappointment at Wired.com by suggesting the Higgs boson was “starting to look just a little too ordinary.” In an email to the Times newspaper, Maria Spiropulu, a professor at the California Institute of Technology, who worked with the team at the Compact Muon Solenoid detector, said that she was still hoping to be surprised. “I personally do not want it to be standard model anything,” she wrote. “I don’t want it to be simple or symmetric or as predicted. I want us all to have been dealt a complex hand that will send me (and all of us) in a (good) loop for a long time.” But that wasn’t the only concern.

In the preface to a book called “Starmus”, Stephen Hawking suggested the Higgs “potential” might become meta-stable at energies above a hundred billion giga-electronvolts.

This, Hawkins postulated, might mean that the universe could undergo catastrophic vacuum decay. With a bubble of the true vacuum expanding at the speed of light, this could happen at any time and we wouldn’t see it coming. Hawking’s concern was based on the theory that the universe exists in a meta-stable vacuum state, or false vacuum, which could slip into a “true” vacuum at any time. Not everyone agreed. Katie Mack, a theoretical astrophysicist at Melbourne University, said that what was more likely was that there was some new physics not yet understood that made the vacuum stable.
In 2013, a year after the discovery of the Higgs boson, the high-luminosity LHC project was announced as the top priority of the European Strategy for Particle Physics. The project aims to increase the luminosity of the LHC by a factor of ten beyond the LHC’s design value. Luminosity is an important indicator of the performance of an accelerator It is proportional to the number of collisions that occur in a given amount of time.
The higher the luminosity, the more data the experiments can gather.

The high-luminosity LHC, which should be operational by 2026, will allow physicists to study known mechanisms such as the Higgs boson in greater detail by producing at least fifteen million Higgs bosons per year, compared to around three million in 2017. The project began in 2011.

The design study came to a close in October 2015 and the civil engineering work started in April 2018. On January 15 of this year, CERN presented a conceptual design report for what it calls a “Future Circular Collider”.
The gigantic machine would be located next to the LHC and housed inside a circular tunnel with a circumference of 100 kilometers. According to the report, the first phase would come online in the 2040’s at a cost of €9 billion.

The machine would collide electrons with positrons, their so-called “antimatter versions”. All particles are thought to have an antimatter companion, virtually identical but with opposite charge. When a matter and an antimatter particle meet, they completely annihilate each other and their combined energy is converted into new particles.

The LHC would feed particles into the new collider like a motorway slipway. This would ultimately allow it to collide particles with energies around seven times higher than the LHC can manage
This, in turn, would push particle physics deep into an unexplored microscopic realm.
The primary goal of the electron-positron collider, says the report, would be to create millions of Higgs bosons and measure their properties in unprecedented detail. Such precision measurements would offer possibilities for new discoveries.

One of the most tantalizing is that the Higgs boson might act as a portal connecting the world of ordinary atomic matter with a hidden world of particles that are otherwise undetectable. Scientists estimate that some 85 percent of all the matter in the universe is “dark” in the sense that it’s invisible. It’s believed to exist because of the gravitational pull it appears to have on surrounding matter.
An electron-positron collider could reveal the Higgs boson decaying into these hidden particles.
A second phase of the project would come online in the late 2050’s at a cost of about €15 billion. The report envisions a superconducting proton machine, a far more powerful proton-proton collider, that would reach collision energies of a hundred trillion electron volts.
This would be a “discovery machine” capable of creating a huge range of new particles. In particular, it would almost completely explore the energy range where most forms of dark matter are likely to be found.
The concept paper took five years to produce. CERN’s website talks about “tantalizingly more powerful particle colliders that can inaugurate the post- LHC era in high-energy physics” The  advocates of the new collider hope the project will be adopted in the new European Strategy for Particle Physics to be published in 2020.

If accepted, it will begin a long process of research and development, but also of persuading national governments and the general public that the kind of research that could be carried out at the new collider is worth investing in.