Home Technology Large Hadron Collider gets research programme cracking

Large Hadron Collider gets research programme cracking


London : Beams collided at seven trillion electron volts in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, as the research programme got underway Tuesday.

The LHC lies in a tunnel 27 km in circumference, as much as 175 metres beneath the Franco-Swiss border near Geneva, Switzerland.

Particle physicists worldwide are looking forward to a potentially rich harvest of new physics as the LHC begins its first long run at an energy three-and-a-half times higher than previously achieved at a particle accelerator.

“It’s a great day to be a particle physicist,” said CERN director general Rolf Heuer. “A lot of people have waited a long time for this moment, but their patience and dedication is starting to pay dividends.”

“With these record-shattering collision energies, the LHC experiments are propelled into a vast region to explore, and the hunt begins for dark matter, new forces, new dimensions and the Higgs boson,” said ATLAS (A Toroidal LHC Apparatus) collaboration spokesperson Fabiola Gianotti.

“We’ll address soon some of the major puzzles of modern physics like the origin of mass, the grand unification of forces and the presence of abundant dark matter in the universe. I expect very exciting times in front of us,” he added.

CERN will run the LHC for 18-24 months with the objective of delivering enough data to the experiments to make significant advances across a wide range of physics channels.

As soon as they have “re-discovered” the known Standard Model particles, a necessary precursor to looking for new physics, the LHC experiments will start the systematic search for the Higgs boson, said a CERN release.

“Over 2,000 graduate students are eagerly awaiting data from the LHC experiments,” said Heuer. “They’re a privileged bunch, set to produce the first theses at the new high-energy frontier.”