May 26, 2013 | 05:38 AM (BD Time)
26 May, 2013 Sunday
Big Bang machine to get huge upgrade in 2020
Reuters, Geneva :
Physicists from around the globe launched a major program on Wednesday aimed at converting the LHC "Big Bang" particle collider at CERN near Geneva into a vastly more powerful cosmic research machine by the year 2020.
CERN officials said the effort, involving scientific establishments in the European Union, the United States and Japan, would demand development of new technologies in fields ranging from super-conducting magnets to energy transfer lines. The upgrade will enable the operators to carry out up to 10 times as many collisions, or luminosity, in the LHC as the hundreds of millions a second now, and to gain deep insight into the origins and make-up of the universe.
"With processes so rare, extra luminosity makes a big difference to our ability to make precision measurements and discover new things," said Sergio Bertolucci, research director at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research.
The program was put in motion at a meeting of scientists and engineers from participant countries to plan how work will be coordinated, CERN said.
The collisions, in which particles are smashed together at just a fraction under the speed of light, produce computer- monitored explosions that have been dubbed "mini-Big Bangs." The LHC, or Large Hadron Collider, runs around a 27 km (16.8 mile) circular tunnel under the borders of Switzerland and France. It has been in operation since March 2010, producing a wealth of data for physicists and cosmologists.
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