Science & Technology

A new collider is being planned for Europe – it will eclipse the LHC in size and power. Meanwhile, we are no closer to understanding the universe at all

Today’s most powerful particle accelerator is the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), but planning has been in full swing for several years for its successor, which will be even more impressive. As part of the plan, CERN officials presented a mid-term review of the feasibility study for a new giant collider that would achieve a range of scientific breakthroughs, including the detection of elusive dark energy.

The new accelerator, called the Future Circular Collider (FCC), is planned to be built on the border between France and Switzerland. Its length will be three times greater than that of the LHC – 91 kilometers versus 27. In addition, if the Large Hadron Collider, when operating at full power, is capable of producing about 13 TeV (which is already an astronomical value), then its successor will be able to reach 100 TeV.

Therefore, it is not surprising that even just writing a feasibility study for such a project takes years. The process was launched in 2021, and its completion is expected in 2025. In their mid-term review, scientists tried to include as many developments as possible, such as the location of the future accelerator ring, detector concepts, and even financing aspects.

“Our goal is to study the properties of matter on the smallest scale and with the greatest energy,” said CERN Director General Fabiola Gianotti at the presentation of the midterm review, explaining that we are also talking about such exotic phenomena as dark matter and energy.

Both of these phenomena represent as yet unresolved paradoxes within the Standard Cosmological Model. And if dark matter can, even if not be seen, be at least “felt” through its gravitational influence, then dark energy can be judged only by one effect, probably inspired by it – the accelerated expansion of the Universe.

In 2028, CERN participants will discuss the future of the new collider project. But even if everything goes well and the necessary funds are allocated, its construction will begin no earlier than the mid-2030s, and the collider will come into operation in stages.

The first phase of the FCC is the electron-positron collider, which is scheduled to begin operation in 2045. According to experts, it will cost $17 billion. The next part of the collider will go into operation “no earlier than 2070”, and will require additional financial and industrial costs.

In this regard, the very idea of ​​​​creating the FCC is subject to thorough criticism. Costing many billions of euros since the discovery of the Higgs boson (which happened back in 2012), the LHC has not made any significant discoveries that would justify the huge costs of its activities. Now, CERN physicists, according to some colleagues, intend to acquire a new, much more expensive “toy”, which may also turn out to be useless.

For example, Dr. Sabine Hossenfelder of the Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy said there was no reason to expect the FCC to help discover anything new about dark matter or energy: “The most likely thing such a machine could do is simply improve measurements some constants in the standard model, and aux.

“I’m afraid that funding such an experiment will mean that a lot of smart people will waste their time on research that will not lead to any progress. The LHC had a solid rationale. The FCC doesn’t have one. Particle physicists must admit that their time has passed. This is the age of quantum physics,” Hosselfelder emphasized.

Sir David King, the former chief scientific adviser to the UK government, agrees and believes that “spending billions on this machine would be foolhardy.” However, what decision about the fate of the giant collider will be made by CERN participants in 2028 has not yet been decided.

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Is the Higgs boson a revolution in science, or not?

What we can touch with our hands and see with our eyes in the universe, from the point of view of astronomers and physicists, is matter made of fermions and leptons. In science, this sounds like baryonic matter, and it makes up less than five percent of the universe.

This means that the remaining ninety-five percent is exclusively dark matter and dark energy. It is precisely this 95% that modern science knows nothing about. We have no idea what might be there or what it might look like. Just imagine how many more particles are in the universe that have not even been discovered.

Although we must pay tribute, in 2013 there was the discovery of the Higgs boson, this is a scientific breakthrough using a particle accelerator, or, more simply, the most expensive particle. Without it, mass does not exist.

At the speed of light, two beams of particles move in the opposite direction. The result is a huge amount of energy in a minimal space, converted into matter. Energy is always undergoing evolution and transformation, and the more energy there is in such a small space, the greater the chance of creating larger particles.

Mass is always converted into energy, and the reverse process also occurs. Electrons are leptons, indivisible particles. An electron accelerated to the speed of light will have much less energy than a proton. When protons collide, we will observe a particle formed from the collision energy.

During the decay of elementary particles (bosons), traces of new particles appeared, which gave rise to a new discovery. Elementary particles are the basis of the universe, the properties of matter and forces.

But there is also the Higgs field, which covers all of space and is therefore responsible for gravity. For example, space during inertia. This field has a transfer boson, which is today known as the Higgs boson.

At the same time, no one has ever seen the field itself, and scientists only assumed its existence, since particles were discovered using the well-known collider. The same particle accelerator that converts energy into matter. The collider is already capable of moving protons almost at the speed of light.

For those who don’t understand, once again the Higgs field cannot be detected through experiments. In essence, this is a model based on a hypothesis, and by indirect evidence, it has completed the standard model of physics.

Scientific light has created a microcosm where various particles of boson action exist. The boson exists only in fermions, not in photons. This means that photons have no mass. But how matter can have particles without mass is a mystery. This means that we are no closer to understanding the universe at all.

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