After a lengthy pause for upgrades, CERN’s Large Hadron Collider is ready to resume its particle smashing activities and the hunt for elusive subparticles that may hold the key to the Universe’s greatest mysteries.
CERN announced that the world’s largest particle smasher would be back to work this Wednesday. On June 2, the European Organization for Nuclear Research released a public statement in which it disclosed that the machine would resume its activity of delivering high quality scientific data for the first time in more than two years.
The LHC project was put on hold due to a series of massive repairs and upgrades that required more than 27 months to complete. CERN announced that about seven months of 27 were used to recomission the collider.
The most notable upgrade is related to its energy output during collisions which is nearly twice as much as the initial collision power. Last month, the European agency disclosed that LHC had been revamped to support tremendous 13 trillion electron volt (TeV) energy outputs, which may pave the way to new discoveries.
On 20 May, CERN announced that the LHC had successfully finished a series of particle collision test runs at its enhanced maximum energy output of 13 TeVs. The tests were performed to make sure that the machine’s magnets and detectors could withstand such immensely powerful collisions.
Scientists needed more power to try and detect dark matter under laboratory conditions. Dark matter is a mysterious texture that fills in the blanks of the invisible Universe and provides the missing link to many theories that contradict traditional physics including the cosmic conditions that triggered the Big Bang.
LHC team disclosed in February that they were looking into four major mysteries of the Universe that cannot be explained via conventional particle physics.
One of the mystery is related to finding evidence on supersymmetric partners. Supersymmetry theory claims that super-small particles dubbed bosons and fermions are coupled together like two partners on a dancing floor.
For instance, gluons that support the nuclear tie that holds protons and neutrons together are bosons that have as supersymmetric partners the gluinos. Until now, no supersymmetric partner was detected at all. So CERN scientists hope to identify them during LHC’s second run of collisions.
Another mystery scientists hope to solve is related to the properties of the Higgs boson, or God particle. They do not yet know anything about its mass or occurrence.
The third mystery involves dark matter and its features. Physicists claim that in the Universe there is five times as much of dark matter as regular matter, even though the elusive matter remains hidden to optical instruments such as space telescopes. CERN hopes that LHC’s energy output could force smashing particles into releasing a dark-matter particle that can be later analyzed.
And the final mystery is related to Big Bang’s first moments. Researchers hope to simulate the exact conditions of the Universe during the few billionths of a billionth of a billionth of a second after the event occurred.
Image Source: Stay at Stove Dad
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