CERN’s LHC ready for second round of experiments

CERN’s LHC ready for second round of experiments

It has been almost three years since CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC) discovered the Higgs boson, a mysterious particle whose existence was predicted nearly a half-century earlier. The Higgs boson was the last missing part of the Standard Model of particle physics - a theory that has been making accurate predictions about the subatomic world for the past many decades. The previously mysterious particle is expected to help scientists in understanding how the atoms that make up the world around us held together and interact.

The collider was put offline in 2013 to allow it to get required repairs and enhancement. It was refitted with the powerful magnets that control the beams of particles and testing the new equipment.

Following the required repairs, the powerful particle collider is once again ready to make further discoveries. Tara Shears, a physicist working on experiments at the massive particle collider, said, “We’re doing this because we've got unfinished business when it comes to understanding the universe.”

The enhanced collider means it will be able to smash protons together with nearly 60 per cent more power than before. In other words, it will provide CERN physicists with greater opportunities to discover something new, such as evidence for supersymmetry.

Around a couple of years ago, Stephen Hawking said at a conference that a discovery of supersymmetric partners for the known particles would revolutionize scientists’ understanding of the universe. To date, scientists haven’t been able to detect even a single supersymmetric particle.

The LHC’s second round of experiments is expected to start in spring this year.

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