May 19, 2022

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Rebooting the Large Hadron Collider in search of dark matter

Rebooting the Large Hadron Collider in search of dark matter


Deep in the Alps, on the Swiss-French border, something important has just happened in a world Physics. The Large Hadron Collider, the most powerful particle accelerator on Earth, restarted Friday morning after a three-year hiatus for upgrades.

The instrument consists of a ring 27 kilometers (16.7 miles) in circumference, which is made of superconducting magnets cooled to -271.3 °C (-456 °F) – colder than Outer Space. It works by smashing small molecules together to allow scientists to observe them and see what’s inside.

It may sound like the stuff of science fiction, but the refurbished collider will eventually allow humanity to watch dark matterPhysicists hope.

In 2011, the Large Hadron Collider, located 100 meters underground at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), helped scientists prove the existence of a subatomic particle called Higgs boson – Which is believed to be a basic building block of the universe dating back to the Big Bang billions of years ago.

The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) said on its website that the collider’s magnets “squeeze” on small particles causing them to smash together, which scientists then note.

These particles are so small that their lining to smash together, CERN said, “is like shooting two needles 10 kilometers apart with such precision that they meet halfway.”

Improvements to the collider mean scientists will be able to study the Higgs boson “in great detail,” the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) said in a press release Friday.

A team of experts now hope to be able to smash more particles together with the goal of understanding the mysteries of dark matter – an invisible and elusive mass that can’t be seen because it doesn’t absorb, reflect or emit any light.

Dark matter is thought to make up most of the matter in the universe, and it was previously discovered through its ability to create gravitational distortions in outer space.

Scientists will also focus on experiments they hope will increase their knowledge of cosmic ray showers — which occur when tiny particles from space come into contact with the atmosphere and then “fall” to Earth, according to the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN).

The Large Hadron Collider was first launched in September 2008, and has been closed for three years for upgrade. Restarting it was a complicated process.

Its operation “comes with a certain sense of tension and nervousness,” Rendy Sternberg, who is in charge of control room operations, told Reuters earlier this week.

“It doesn’t flip a button,” he said.

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