New phase of experiments at the LHC particle accelerator to start this Tuesday

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A new phase of experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) – considered the world’s most powerful particle accelerator – begins this Tuesday (5), the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) said in a press release. communicated.

The LHC is a 27 km long machine and found, exactly ten years ago, the Higgs boson particle – called the “God particle”. The collider sends particles at high speed so they crash into each other. The result of this collision allows scientists to simulate explosions and analyze details. The experiments seek to understand the emergence of the Universe and all the smallest particles that compose it.

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The Higgs boson is considered a subatomic element — or that which gives mass to other particles, electrons and atoms.

The so-called “third race” or Run 3, will carry out experiments until the end of 2025. The machine was turned off for three years for maintenance and updating was reactivated. Between 2009 and 2013, Run 1 took place, the second race took place from 2015 to 2018.

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Now the teams working at the LHC must report that the machine is producing stable beams, a necessary condition for the experiments to turn on all its subsystems and start collecting data that will be used for physical analysis.

Since April, the beams have been flowing through the CERN accelerator complex, with the machine and its injectors being commissioned again for operation with beams of greater intensity and greater energy.

Cern expects the LHC to operate continuously for nearly four years at the record collision energy of 13.6 trillion electron volts (TeV), bringing experiments with never-before-seen precision and unparalleled discovery potential.

Director of accelerators and technology Mike Lamont said in the release that the team should focus the proton beams at the points of interaction to reduce the beam size to 10 microns, with the aim of increasing the collision rate.

“Compared to the first run, where the Higgs boson was discovered with 12 inverse femtobarns [unidade usada para medir o número de eventos de colisão de partículas por femtobarn da seção transversal do alvo] we will reach 280 inverse femtobarns with the third run. This is a significant increase, which opens the way for new discoveries”, explained Lamont.

great experiments

In the new phase of experiments, the new changes will allow systems to collect larger, higher quality data, Cern said.

The LHC’s four big experiments made improvements to their systems for reading and sorting data, with the integration of new detector systems and new computing infrastructure.

The ATLAS detectors — an experiment that studies everything from the search for the Higgs boson to the extra dimensions of space-time, to the particles that could form dark matter — and the CMS — similar to ATLAS, with technical solutions and a magnetic system of different design — expect to record more collisions in Run 3 of the LHC than in the previous two races combined.

According to CERN, the LHCb experiment has been completely updated and plans to increase its data acquisition rate tenfold, while ALICE aims to increase the number of recorded collisions by fiftyfold—a considerable increase.

run 3

With a greater amount of data and higher collision energy, the third run should expand the fields of study of LHC physics.

At this stage, scientists will be able to observe previously inaccessible processes and also improve the accuracy of measurements of many known processes related to fundamental questions, such as the origin of matter-antimatter asymmetry in the Universe.

Cern wrote that physicists should look for the properties of matter at extreme temperatures and densities. They will also look for candidates for dark matter and other new phenomena.

Michelangelo Mangano, a CERN theorist, said the team is looking forward to measurements of Higgs boson decay into second-generation particles.

“This would be an entirely new result in the Higgs boson saga. This would be the first confirmation that second-generation particles also acquire their mass through the Higgs mechanism,” he explained.

The launch of the LHC’s Run 3 will be broadcast live on CERN’s channels, this July 5th, starting at 11:00 am (Brasilia time). The event will be commented live from the organization’s Control Center in five languages ​​(German, English, Spanish, French and Italian).

Source: CNN Brasil

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