CERN Announces MUCH Larger Hadron Collider
A 100-kilometre long machine is being built in Europe and could tell us what is making our universe grow and how it does it.
The Future Circular Collider will be built between the Swiss and French borders and is designed to break into unknown territory in the field of particle physics.
It is set to be an upgrade on the current largest machine on earth, the Large Hadron Collider, which is set to reach the limits of its discovery around the year 2035 and in this case, bigger is better.
The Large Hadron Collider is 27 kilometres long, while the new one is set to be 100 kilometres long.
So what do these machines actually do?
In essence, two beams made up of infinitesimally small particles are fired around the massive circular machine at nearly the speed of light, held in place by electromagnets that are each up to 15 metres long.
They then smash into each other at colossal speeds. Scientists study the results of the collisions to see what kind of matter is created by the energy of these particles hitting each other.
Through this, they hope to find the atomic structure of 'dark energy', the force that according to NASA drives the expansion of the universe.
"One of the goals of the producing a bigger accelerator than the Large Hadron Collider is to get up to enough energy that you might be able to produce some dark matter directly in your experiment and discover what this is," Professor Clancy James of the Curtin Institute of Radio Astronomy told 10 daily.
With higher speeds being achieved in this massive machine, and more magnets needed to control the beams the size of the machine is critical.
"You can only get magnets to be a certain strength, so this is why you need to build a much bigger tunnel to be able to get very high energy particles to come back to where they are... this is why you need to build a physically bigger thing," said Professor James.
Professor James has reassured anyone worrying about unintended consequences, however. He assured 10 daily there's not going to be any accidental black holes created by the experiments.
Because these types of particle collisions already happen all around the earth's atmosphere at higher energies than we can produce and we haven't been sucked down a black hole by them yet, Prof. James said, the new Collider should be safe.
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