July 4th marks 10 years since scientists at CERN, the world’s largest research centre based near Geneva, announced the existence of the Higgs Boson. A team of 6000 researchers working with the world's first atom splitter, the Large Hardron Collider.
The discovery of the long-sought for particle behind the origin of mass saw François Englert and Peter Higgs awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics. 45 years later after they proposed the theory, they cracked the practical side too.
For this iconic anniversary, CERN has announced it will restart its Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the machine which studies the origins of matter, and the universe.
Halting the activity of LHC for three years, CERN took the time to upgrade it. On July 5th, For the third time in its history, the Large Hadron Collider, will restart to an unprecedented level of collision energy (13.6 trillion electronvolts).
Delphine Jacquet, an engineer in charge of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), explains the technicalities the team will carry out to continue the studies.
"We will put in a collision, for the first time, in the LHC, protons at an energy record of 6.8 tev per beam. At this energy the collision will be at 13.6 tera electron volts (tev), and this will be a very nice record for the experiment."
Jacquet continues: "From this moment on, it will be the data taken from the experiment, for a long run of 3 years, hoping that we will have new discoveries and interesting things coming out from these collisions."
Smashing particles at a close speed of light in an absolute vacuum and at the lowest temperature in the universe (a teeth-chattering minus 271.3°) enables scientists to collect data from the fragmentation of particles and how they bounce off one another.
By restarting the Large Hadron Collider and studying the infinitely small fragments, physicists wish to further push the limits of our knowledge on topics like dark matter or anti-matter.
As part of its upgrade, CERN is charging itself up for three of five planned runs. They are hoping that crashing particles together may produce billions of proton-proton collisions – potentially opening up a new chapter in our understanding of the world.