CERN’s Ambitious Plan to Build the Largest Particle Smasher Ever
100 Comments


The Large Hadron Collider is the largest and
most powerful atom smasher in the world. Built to hunt for new particles and probe
the fundamental forces of nature, this massive machine is a 27 kilometer underground loop
filled with supercooled magnets and massive detectors that whip particles at the highest
speeds possible, to eventually collide into each other. And during one famous sprint in 2012, particles
collided, and the Higgs Boson was officially discovered. “I would like to add my congratulations to
everybody involved in this tremendous achievement.” The Higgs is a special particle. Its presence confirmed the existence of an
invisible quantum field that’s responsible for giving particles their mass. This field permeates the universe, leading
some to suspect that the Higgs may play an important role in the origin of everything. But at this point, the Large Hadron Collider
and the community that built it are at a crossroads. Physicists haven’t found the super symmetry
particles they were hoping to see. If they did, it would have solved some open
mysteries we have about the Higgs and the inner workings of the universe. This has created a huge international debate
over what to do next. For many at CERN, the institution that runs
the Large Hadron Collider, the next step in the hunt for new physics is to build an even
bigger machine. People expected for 40 years before the Higgs
was discovered that the Higgs could not be a lonely elementary particle. It would have to come along with a lot of
other things in order to give a coherent, rational explanation for the origin of its
mass. And the big surprise since July 4, 2012, when
the Higgs was triumphantly discovered, is that has not happened. So that’s really four decades of a certain
paradigm for what’s going on in physics associated with the Higgs that has not worked out the
way that theorists had imagined that it would. And that’s kind of fascinating. I think the last time something of this degree
of surprise happened in theoretical physics was a little over 100 years ago. What nature has in mind for what the Higgs
is about is something different than what theorists had in mind. While theorists are very confused about it,
the program for experimentalists is completely clear. When you run into a kind of elementary particle
you’ve never seen before, you’ve never seen anything like it in physics before you just
put the damn thing under a microscope and you study it to death. It’s pretty remarkable that we need to build
enormous machines that produce an incredible amount of energy to probe the smallest things
in the universe. And the push towards higher collision energies
to discover new particles is connected to Albert Einstein’s famous equation, e=mc^2. There’s an equivalence here between energy
on one side and mass on the other side. When we collide two particles, we gain access
to the kinetic energy they carry. And out of this kinetic energy, new particles
can be made, according to Einstein’s relation. And of course, the higher the energy that
we bring into this collision, the higher the mass of a particle that is forming out of
this energy can be. To get more juice out of the machine, CERN
shut the LHC down for performance upgrades. They’re working on cranking up the luminosity. Luminosity is a measure for the quality of
a collider. And in some sense, it tells you how many collisions
per second this collider can provide. When two of the elementary particles have
a head on collision, you can tell that happened because the result of those collisions come
out at larger angles relative to the beams. But it’s still an incredibly messy, kind of
complicated environment and even when we produce new elementary particles like the Higgs, they
don’t come out wearing a name tag saying I am a Higgs, they decay in a blink of an eye. It’s the results of those decays that experimental
colleagues have to sift through like they’re looking for a needle in a haystack in order
to actually see the evidence. This luminosity upgrade would ultimately produce
more collisions and would make measurements of particles like the Higgs even more accurate. Once completed in 2026, it’ll produce an
estimated 15 million Higgs per year, compared to the 3 million in 2017. It will be very beneficial to operate this
infrastructure until about 2035 or 2040. By then, we will have collected such a huge
amount of data from the collisions that we somehow saturate the knowledge that can be
provided by this machine. Operating it five years longer or 10 years
longer will not give significantly more information, which means for particle physicists that the
useful time of life of this accelerator will be reached. These time scales seem way out in the future,
but to put this in perspective: planning for the Large Hadron Collider began back in the
1980s, construction was approved in 1994 and the first runs didn’t start until 2008. So to prepare for what comes next, teams are
delivering conceptual designs for next generation particle machines. There are proposals for an International Linear
Collider, which Japan just backed out on, China has a circular collider project, and
there’s one from CERN. I’m in charge of the Future Circular Collider
Study. What we’re working on is really not an upgrade
of the LHC machine. It’s really new machines to come after the
LHC era, so from 2040 onwards. It’ll take international collaboration,
billions of dollars, and scientists to invent tools that don’t even exist yet. First thing’s first though, CERN wants a bigger
tunnel. On a map, you can imagine you have a circle,
which is the LHC, and then you would put a new circle that is roughly four times larger. The whole existing CERN accelerator complex,
including the LHC, would serve as a pre-accelerator for this future 100 km machine. Like the gearbox in a car, if you want to
drive very fast you must have several gears. You start in a small gear at low velocity,
and once you accelerate, you go to the second gear, third gear, fourth gear, fifth gear. This thing is very similar. We would start with small accelerators at
low energy, and then we go larger, larger, larger, and to higher energy, higher energy,
higher energy. The CERN study presents a path forward to
achieve these energy gear shifts. There’s a new lepton collider, which collides
electrons and positrons, a more advanced hadron collider, which collides protons and protons
and then heavy ions and then a third option, an electron-proton collider. The big difference between an electron and
the proton, which are the two particles that we have for these colliders, is essentially
that the electron and its anti-particle positron are point-like particles that to our present
knowledge have no substructure. When we say the electron looks point-like
and the proton does not, it actually means if you bounce things off the electron you
see that the way photons bounce off of it, you’ll see that the electron has no substructure
of any sort. Who knows, if we’re probing things with microscopes
that are a million times stronger than anything we’ve seen in some alien civilization that’s
a million times stronger than the LHC, maybe we would see some substructure to the electron
too. Or, if you believe string theorists, if we
look at ridiculously short distances, everything is made out of some little loop of string. In what sense are things elementary or composite? But that’s a story for another day. The Higgs is kind of point like, the Higgs
is sort of point liken and that’s just not good enough to sort of really settle this
theoretically dramatic question. We can try to measure all the known particles
like the Higgs particle, the W, and the set particle in the top quark with the best precision
possible. And for this, you will build this lepton collider,
because the lepton collider could produce exactly these particles in a very clean environment,
in huge numbers. The electrons are super clean for collisions,
but we cannot reach extremely high energies. The protons are a bit more dirty in the collision,
but we can accelerate them to far, far higher energies. Unlike the electron, a proton is not an elementary
particle. The proton is kind of a big messy object that’s
made up out of these smaller constituents known as quarks that are held together inside
the proton by the imaginatively named gluons. When we smash protons into each other at incredibly
high energies, one set is going this way at .9999999 the speed of light, the others are
going the other way the same number of 9s times the speed of light, and when they smash
into each other, mostly they go splat. And the debris of the collisions goes into
the direction of the beams that were coming in. The next generation Hadron Collider would
smash protons together like the LHC, except it’d reach energies of 100 trillion electron
volts. The Hadron Collider would provide much higher
collision energies that would allow direct creation of, today not known particles. This boosted machine could be used as a tool
to search for theoretical particles like WIMPS, which are connected to dark matter. It’s one of the most abundant and mysterious
forms of matter in the universe, and we haven’t detected it directly yet. We might be able to, and answer other big
questions, by upping the power and tweaking the detector’s precision. A factor of 100 in precision is what we need
to decisively settle the question of whether the Higgs looks more point-like than anything
we’ve seen before as far as its probes interact with other particles, factor of 10 higher
in energy will let us produce billions of Higgs. 100 TV is what we need to settle this question
of the simplest model of weakly interacting particles. The natural sequence is clearly to start with
a lepton collider, which is also a machine that is today technically ready for construction. And in parallel to the operation and physics
analysis of this machine, you can use the time to develop the very high field superconducting
magnets that you need for the successor machine. The magnets that we have presently operating
in the LHC tunnel can only reach eight or nine Tesla, which is the magnetic field strength. So we want to double this to 16 or even higher. Magnets, is in this case the really big challenge
for such a project. All these things need to be addressed from
the very beginning in small setups because you do not want to build 15 meter long heavy
magnets every time to test something new. While this project is an incredible scientific
endeavor, the price tag is very steep. These future colliders could cost over $25
billion dollars and would need investment from the international community to even get
off the ground. For this decision process, there are several
aspects, of course. There’s a scientific political one, there
is an economical one. There is of course also a physics community
process. And this is exactly what started out as a
bottom-up opinion making process, which is taking place in Europe in the coming year. While the discussions continue, some have
even questioned whether an investment like this is even the right course forward for
the particle physics community. There are questions over whether the science
case is as strong, if investing in this project is worth the cost compared to other global
issues, and how we can be so sure a machine of this magnitude can answer these big questions. There’s a spectrum of possibilities for what
could be out there theoretically and so we can’t know until we look. What’s definitely true, is that no one who
is arguing for building these next machines is now saying we should build them because
we expect to see particle x, we should build them because supersymmetry is around the corner
or extra dimensions are around the corner, or anything like that. If you believe that the purpose of doing these
experiments is making new particles, it’s definitely time to take your ball and go home
and do something else with your life because it cannot be guaranteed at all. I think it’s one of the more profound things
that there is to say about this human adventure of science. Period. Which is that everyone who works in fundamental
science has the sense that we’re exploring something that’s out there. And something that’s much much larger than
each one of us individually. So there’s this gigantic structure in the
universe, it knows vastly more about the laws of nature than we do. It is nature. By studying it, we put ourselves in the neighborhood
of something that’s vastly more powerful, vastly deeper than any of us are individually. The only method that we know of to access
this tremendous power and depth, far beyond what any of us have individually, is to interact
with it. And I think that’s the ultimate source of
real magic that goes well beyond what humans are capable of now, is out there in the structure
of the universe. And we only can find what it is by interacting
with it. And studying it.

100 thoughts on “CERN’s Ambitious Plan to Build the Largest Particle Smasher Ever

  1. Do you want to hear the full interview with theoretical physicist Nima Arkani-Hamed or CERN's Michael Benedikt? Let us know in the comments, and who else you'd like us to talk to on Focal Point!

  2. imagine you are a program AI running in a computer and you are trying to understand and see the computer that is running you, and the world that computer is in. that's what we are up against. the software never gets to see the hardware that it is running in… maybe tho we are doing some shit "they" probably didn't anticipate lol. the software is trying to brake out into the "real" world.

  3. They do not know what they are doing. The lhc is a huge failure. It didn't do anything to answer particle physicists questions.

    Huge money sucking experiment with no futuristic technology just making things bigger and bigger

  4. Allahs children from the nation of Islam have created this machine. Wait, sorry Islam is a cancer that brings nothing but rape terror and murder. AHAHAHA

  5. This seems a bit dangerous. But cool nonetheless. I'd really recommend doing something like this on mars or the moon honestly at some point.

  6. Anyone who's eyes are open knows that this is not a good thing that is they are curious for and In fact it's going to fulfill prophecy on Abbadon Revelation chapter 9. Abaddon has the same name as Destroyer which Shiva stands for as well…..dark matter….antimatter??? I do not believe they really know what they are doing but if they do not repent from this foolishness there is something very demonically uncontrollable that is going to happen to them and the entire world they are going to wish they wouldn't have had the knowledge to do what they did but for all unbelievers watch and see what I am saying come to pass. Anyone involved with supporting CERN needs to repent or suffer the consequence of it's own wickedness separately. Anyone fascinated by this they are looking to open up a portal and mentioned luminosity. These elements will only bring a line of evil man will be tormented by causing it to have power over them and them not have power of it. If there is anyone just one who is seeing this spread the word and even if you come against this your still spreading the word by not believing. Repent because this will sound of a plague to mankind who hear not the voice of The Most High YAHUAH/YAHUSHA.

  7. It must be broken… they are trying to end this war…in which we are allies, enemies, slaves, subjects…and in the end…the prize

  8. The choice need not be God or Lucifer… choose a new side! Choose Humanity! To Hell with both of our tormentors!

  9. Stone Age !!! Liken it to when computers first appeared , they took up the whole floor of a large building, now your Mobil phone is a computer hand held , you are getting close with this technology to my machine that transports mass to another location, I can transport myself to any location , the Americans are aware of me and want me eliminated, for obvious reasons , OIL GAS ELECTRICITY , 🇧🇪🇧🇪🙋🏼👰🏼🤔

  10. Worthless, expensive and dangerous. 20 billion and all that effort could and should be used to house and feed people, or used towards medical research, etc.

  11. So pretty much Stranger This isn't a fictional show… there building the machine from Stranger Things to acess other dimensions (the upside down)

  12. I remember hearing that this is a bad thing…. like do they even know what they’re doing here? What’s possible?

  13. Curious how the Universe settled it fundamental particles in such a way, that it is able to look upon itself through our eyes. Along came CERN which in turn birthed the very first internet web server, and by extension YouTube, so that we pesky humans may gaze upon its own magnificence.

  14. Can't we model these collisions? If we can't imagine it, we act blindly. More power can not be the continual solution. These guys are like nerd Cowboys that need to relook this whole vicious cycle. Spend time with DMT and the mushroom and look at the all as something beyond power.

  15. I freakin knew u guys messed something up back in 2012.
    Ive been feeling weird ever since almost like the world i know has been split into 2 and some are in this universe and some are in another but we cant communicate. And its starting to feel more and more weird.

  16. Yes by all means, open the door to hell and let the demons come through! Ya, sounds like a good idea to me !
    YOU IDIOTS!!!!!!!

  17. They never tell us what they are doing this for. Their true goal. And we pay taxes for shit we don’t have no say so or don’t even know about.🤦‍♂️ I’ve seen some weird shit with this cern project that no one talks about

  18. What are the practical applications of these experiments. Is the knowledge gained applicable in any way or is it just interesting but useless.

  19. normies: oh, this is very cool

    christians: MFKER THIS IS SATANIC. THIS WILL OPEN THE PORTAL TO HELL. ILLUMINATI IS BEHIND THIS ASGFRHK
    not kidding i one time heard this in one sermon in a church

  20. There are so many colliders all around the world. Except scientific research, is there any more direct way for the existing colliders to serve the community?. If so, it would be more persuasive to spend huge money on the future colliders.

  21. Science research teaches researchers how to think and solve problems while at the same time investigating the mysteries of the universe. Military research also teaches researchers how to think and solve problems while at the same time makes killing people more efficient.

    Which would you prefer?

  22. PARTICLE SMASHER HUH? I LOVE THE VERB…KIND OF ALIVE…..LIKE THE LIVING WORD OF GOD….I THINK I SHALL BORROW THAT WORD SINCE IT SEEMS TO FIT WHEN I THINK OF CERN

    BROOMHAHA SWEEPING THE EARTH'S FLOOR HALLELUJAH

  23. Stop trying to play GOD and be GOD!! LHC is nothing but and SATANIC machine looking for DEMONS in parallel universe's!

  24. cern: hey America please give us 10 billion dollars for science

    America: "silence"

    cern: we can make oil

    America: shut up and take my money

  25. Someday, I believe we'll have the scientific data to show, that we've been inadvertently wiping out trillions of microscopic civilizations by smashing sub atomic particles together like this.

  26. I have my full support with such a science project if it costs 20-25bil $ ,not hard to fund them if there are world leaders that cares about science rather building airports for stupid costs , definitely start building it as soon as possible ,maybe it will answer many questions even if it don't finds Any new particles ,

  27. I have a question ,are they able to calculate all the results of these collisions that are making them think a 100km tunnel will be of some use? If you think it's really a dangerous thing as well ,if anything went wrong ,I can't imagine the results

  28. So you will be able to open gates for more powerful devils to enter our realm. Human being is out mind. Insane people.

  29. Most expensive largest machine ever made and we’re supposed to believe it was created to find a thing that has no use? Or value. Come on man please. That’s not it’s only function hate to tell you

  30. All this when people are starving the planet is dying and zero or near zero point energy is achievable. And we waste money on complete useless idiocy. Gods looking down just shaking his head .

  31. remove the military, pharma and prison industrial complexes and issues of funding no longer are an issue. The contradiction here is that these projects which result in further knowledge require co-operation beyond borders, and yet these industrial complexes only serve to strengthen the very same borders.

  32. We are going to end up destroying ourselves 🙁
    I was paranoid about the LHC but then relieved when it turned out safe, but of course now we have to go and build something more powerful….

  33. Life is simple, live everyday until you die.. it is a big help if this money spend to some needy people. This people want to prove something with their theories, but it wont help alot, just live and let die.. enjoy while you can..

  34. I'm all for funding science, but I don't understand the comments calling for funding for this thing. There is almost nothing we can possibly learn from a bigger smasher. Its a waste of money. Physics has been completed, we have reached the end.

  35. I just think it's funny how the public thinks that because we can see all the cool mechanical parts, and they appear to be transparent about it, that it's not really just an energy creator. That's all it is, the scientists are trying to create a super efficient energy creator, they don't give a shit about individual particles. It's about MONEY and POWER.

  36. No offence, but clever minds should be working on how to clean our air and water of toxic microscopic plastics and all the other nasties and put this fascinating but useless Cern projects and other pointless science projects, in the face of imminent extinction, on hold until at least you have ensured the human race and all life on the planet will survive beyond a few decades, then you can go surfing again…otherwise all this will be in vain..

  37. Isnt this the same CERN that collided 2 particles that knocked us into a neighboring alternate universe back in 2017? haha

  38. How can you people not see that you are annihilating entire universes with these experiments!!!! As above, so below. You fools! Youre smashing galaxies together to see how theyre made! Look up! Its all laid out for you in endless, beautiful infinity….

  39. A question ??? You’re not afraid??? You can open a portal!!!!!! When the Humans can create the elements can colonize any planet or create one ☝️ cause water fire hair earth = 🌎☀️⛈

  40. Tryin to play god is not okay… Should just stop trying to open another dimension..u dont know whats out there..these ppl r satanist they got caught already in the middle of the night doing some weird ritual outside the place and not to mention they have that demon shiva statue …

  41. It crazy to know that what is learned from research here may not be of much use today but in the future it will be valuable. It’s work like this that was done years ago that allows us have mobile devices, internet as the connected world in our pockets.

  42. Sounds amazing! I just wish money was spent in other important areas as well..I don't feel that anyone should go hungry or homeless… what can we really achieve knowing the answers to these questions.. what can qt really achieve going to "war".. we need to love one another as a species and come together in peace. . that's the only way we will become more enlightened and prosper as humans..

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