The Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world’s most powerful particle accelerator that discovered the Higgs boson ten years ago, is ready to enter its third phase of activity, with new collisions resuming with record-breaking energy, which will double. Opportunities for new discoveries. “We will have a much higher capacity to explore the unknown,” said CERN Director Fabiola Gianotti.
As of July 5, Gianotti told Ansa, “The LHC will operate with unprecedented energy. Each time we jump in energy, increase the intensity of the beams and produce more collisions, our chances are enhanced to discover new particles and new phenomena, but also to more accurately measure the particles we know about. I I’m thinking in particular of the Higgs boson, which is a particle essential to understanding how basic physics and therefore the universe work.”
In addition, the director of CERN specified, “The detectors have also been improved. So we have the possibility not only to multiply the collected data, but to improve the analysis capabilities, thanks to the better performance of the detectors and advanced analysis techniques based on machine learning.”
After more than three years of modernization and maintenance, Cern will begin on July 5 the expected “Run 3,” during which the accelerator will operate continuously for nearly four years with a collision energy of 13.6 trillion electronvolts (TeV), providing experiments with unprecedented accuracy and unparalleled detection capabilities. to her.
In fact, the four major LHC experiments have undergone significant improvements: ATLAS and CMS plan to record more collisions in Run 3 than in the previous two phases combined. The LHCb experiment has been completely updated and expects data acquisition speed to increase ten times, while ALICE aims to increase the number of collisions recorded by fifty times.
Among the many goals that could be within reach of researchers at CERN in Geneva, in Fabiola Gianotti’s drawer of dreams, is to “discover the particles that make up the dark matter in the universe. We know that the universe contains about 25% of dark matter. Matter and the ability to Discovering the particle that makes up it would obviously be a big step,” confirmed the CERN director.
Responsible for the Atlas experiment at the time of the discovery of the Higgs boson, Fabiola Gianotti still fondly remembers that day, when exactly ten years ago on July 4, 2012 the European Organization for Nuclear Research announced the discovery of the “God particle”: “A wonderful day, a huge pleasure, I Personally and for the whole particle physics community, all those who participated and contributed to the project. Thousands of physicists, engineers and technicians have worked over several years. For a researcher, there is nothing more useful than the discovery of a new particle.”