The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) of the European Laboratory for Particle Physics (CERN), the largest particle accelerator in the world, has resumed this Tuesday the proton collision after a stoppage of more than three years.
Now it will run 24 hours a day for almost four years at a record energy of 13.6 trillion electron volts (TeV), which will make it possible to recreate and study the density that existed in the first 10 microseconds after the Big Bang, the phenomenon that started the universe.
“Live from CERN: Join us for the first collisions for physics at 13.6 TeV! https://t.co/qxW3MXp1Ev“
— CERN (@CERN) July 5, 2022
The beams of protons, that is, the particles of the nucleus of the atom, will be accelerated to a speed close to the speed of light and will circulate in opposite directions in the 27-kilometre ring, buried 100 meters below ground on the border between France and Swiss.
The LHC was restarted last April after three years of maintenance worko and to improve your production and detection of particles.
Collisions of up to 1.6 billion per second
Detectors from several experiments (notably ATLAS, CMS, ALICE and LHCb) will record proton collisions -up to 1,600 million per second-which are the ones that produce the ephemeral particles that explain the functioning of matter.
The more violent these collisions are, the more they allow the particles to be “broken apart” in order to identify their components and their interactions.
For this reason, the proton beams will be concentrated to reach a microscopic size at the points of interaction, “10 microns, to increase the collision rate” of the protons, according to the director of accelerators and technology at CERN, Mike Lamont.
It will accurately recreate the first 10 microseconds after the Big Bang
Likewise, the heavy ion collision programwill enable the investigation of quark-gluon plasma (QGP), a state of matter that existed in the first 10 microseconds after the Big Bang, with unprecedented precision.
“We hope to move from a phase in which we observe many interesting properties of the quark-gluon plasma to a phase in which we precisely quantify those properties and connect them with the dynamics of its constituents,” said the center’s spokesman. Luciano Musa.
In addition to the main lead-to-lead races, a short period with oxygen collisions will be included for the first time, with the aim of exploring the occurrence of QGP-like effects in small collision systems.
will investigate the Higgs boson
Scientists from the ATLAS and CMS experiments will also investigate the nature of the Higgs boson with unprecedented precision and in new channels in the execution. Thus, the researchers will observe the force with which it interacts with matter and with particles and will explore whether it breaks down into new particles, for example, into those that could form dark matter.
The interaction of the Higgs boson with the heaviest known particlethe top quark, is of particular interest, as it could pave the way to new physics.
It could, in fact, improve the measurement accuracy of many known processes that address fundamental questions, such as the origin of the asymmetry between matter and antimatter In the universe.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.