• Switzerland's news in English

CERN eyes more powerful particle collider

Nina Larson/AFP · 6 Feb 2014, 20:01

Published: 06 Feb 2014 20:01 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

 "The time has come to look even further ahead," the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) announced.
In 2012, CERN's Large Hadron Collider (LHC) —  a giant lab housed in a 27-kilometre (17-mile) tunnel straddling the French-Swiss border — identified what is believed to be the Higgs boson, the long-sought maker of mass theorized in the 1960s.
The facility flushed out the so-called God particle by crashing proton beams at velocities near the speed of light. It went offline a year ago for an 18-month overhaul.
The LHC, completed in 2008, has "at least 20 more years" of life in it, the agency said.
However, the long time needed to build its successor — the LHC took a quarter of a century —  means that planning should start now.
It will launch a feasibility study next week for a so-called Future Circular Collider (FCC) with a circumference of 80 to 100 kilometres (50 to 60 miles).
The FCC would probably be located in the same area and may incorporate the LHC tunnel in its infrastructure, CERN said in a statement.
The LHC after its overhaul will see collision energies reach 14 teraelectron volts (TeV) but the FCC should be capable of reaching unprecedented smashups of around 100 TeV, CERN said.
The FCC study will run in parallel with an ongoing probe into an alternative design — an 80-kilometre (50-mile) straight collider dubbed the Compact Linear Collider (CLIC).
The two studies will examine the feasibility and costs and produce conceptual designs by 2018/2019, when the European-wide strategy on particle physics research is set to be updated.
The winner will be "a worthy successor to the LHC," CERN said.
"Such an accelerator would allow particle physics to push back the boundaries of knowledge even further," it claimed.
Targets could include supersymmetry, the notion that there are novel particles which mirror each known particle.
It could also help shed light on dark matter, which comprises most of the cosmos and whose existence is inferred from their impact on ordinary matter.
Some 300 scientists will meet at the University of Geneva from February 12-15 to kick off the five-year feasibility study for the FCC.
There is no way of knowing how much building the FCC would cost at this stage, CERN spokesman Arnaud Marsollier told AFP.
Conceived in the 1980s and approved in the 1990s, the LHC cost five billion francs ($5.6 billion) to build.
CERN aims to have enough information by the end of the decade to — along with its global partners — be able to decide which way to go, Marsollier said.

He acknowledged that any new project is certainly decades from completion.

Nina Larson/AFP (news@thelocal.ch)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Illegal immigrant dies after setting himself on fire
The victim was treated at University Hospital Zurich. Photo: University Hospital Zurich

The 45-year-old Tunisian was threatened with deportation.

Swiss government rejects call for second immigration vote
Photo: Justus Blumer/Christophe G

The Swiss government has rejected a popular initiative calling for a revote on plans to limit immigration.

Bern: companies should report salary inequality by law
File photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

The Swiss government wants to force small companies to examine their rates of pay every four years.

Husband in custody after Orbe body identified
File photo: Bas Leenders

The deceased is a 55-year-old woman who lived in the house with her husband.

Presented by MoneyPark
How to get a mortgage in Switzerland
Houses in Zürich. Photo: Pixabay.

Ready to buy? Here’s what you need to know as an expat about Swiss regulations, how to finance your purchase, and why you should use a broker.

Autumn in Switzerland: ten stunning Instagram photos
Photo: Swiss Tourism/Jan Geerk

Switzerland is beautiful in all seasons, but as these photos show, autumn is a special time in the alpine country.

Report: Swiss progress slows on gender equality
File photo: David Soulivet

Globally, it will take 170 years to achieve gender equality, according to the World Economic Forum.

Brothers go to court to stop suicide of sibling
File photo: Lisa Edmonds

Two men have filed a legal bid to prevent the Swiss assisted suicide association Exit from helping their older brother to kill himself.

Wawrinka snubs past form to reach Basel second round
Wawrinka beat local wildcard Marco Chiudinelli. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

US Open champion Stan Wawrinka has reached the second round in Basel after going out in the first round for the past four years.

Villagers asked to help fund bridge renovations
The bridge links the two villages of Veltheim (pictured) and Holderbank. Photo: Lutz Fischer-Lamprecht

The crowdfunding campaign by the two communes is the first of its kind in Switzerland.

Photo: Unterirdisch Ueberleben
Inside Switzerland’s largest nuclear bunker – 40 years on
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Photo: The Local
Ticino firefighters rescue cow from swimming pool
Photo: Antoni Da Campo
Vegan wins battle to be accepted by Swiss army
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Ten Swiss ski resorts named most expensive in Europe
Photo: Randy Kashka
Swiss women will ‘work for free’ for the rest of year
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Montreux throws hat in Olympic rings
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Seven things you’ll miss about Switzerland if you leave
Photo: Richard Juilliard/AFP
Man makes Geneva airport bomb threat ‘for a joke’
Photo: AFP
Solar Impulse team reveals plans for unmanned plane
File photo: Martin Abegglen
Swiss to vote on passport rules for 3rd gen foreigners
Photo: AFP
Swiss wingsuit hotspot Lauterbrunnen won’t impose ban
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Six reasons Switzerland isn’t as boring as you might think
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Report: Switzerland one of world’s best places for girls
Photo: The Local
Thief returns Swiss cow bells worth thousands
File photo: Wikimedia Commons
One in three rapists isn’t locked up: statistics
Photo: activistin.ch
Tampon-tax protest turns Zurich fountains red
Photo: AFP
Geneva police to lift ban on bearded officers
Photo: Marcel Gillieron/AFP
Suicide chef’s restaurant keeps Michelin stars
Photo: Lara de Salis
11 things the Swiss get tired of hearing abroad
Photo:  Ivo Scholz/Swiss-image.ch
Survey: expats in Switzerland have money but few friends
Photo: AFP
Swiss press criticize Bern’s 'capitulation' on immigration
Photo: Jura Trois Lacs tourism
German ex-policeman is Swiss city’s new hermit
Photo: Dmitry A. Mottl
Ticino votes to favour local workers over foreigners
jobs available