The Large Hadron Collider will run again to find out more about the universe.
Scientists used the Large Hadron Collider to find the Higgs Boson particle and learn more about how the universe works. In 2018, they did it again, giving us new information about protons.
Now that they have a new set of questions. They plan to turn on the particle accelerator again this month to try to learn more about things. Like dark matter that is still unknown.
Dr. Sarah Demers, a physics professor at Yale University, tells NPR that this particle has answered some questions and raised many more.
Scientists first saw the Higgs boson particle. When they spun and crashed particles together. Near the speed of light at the European Center for Nuclear Research, or CERN. They did this with the help of the Large Hadron Collider. Which is the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator.
Scientists have thought this particle existed since 1964, but it took almost 50 years to find proof.
Scientists think that the Higgs field was created a tenth of a billionth of a second after the Big Bang. Without it, there would have been no stars, planets, or life.
The proof that the Higgs boson exists was a big step forward in basic physics, and Dr. Francois Englert and Dr. Peter Higgs were awarded the Nobel Prize in physics for their work. Even though science has made progress, there is still a lot to learn about how the universe works.
In 2018, the collider finished its second set of tests. which showed new things about how protons are made and how the Higgs Boson breaks down.
And on Tuesday, after more than three years of maintenance and upgrades, the collider will start up again. This time, it will collect three times as much data keep its intense beams going for longer, and make it possible to study more things.
Demers, who is also at CERN working on the third run, said, “There must be more out there because we can’t explain so many things around us.” “Something really big is missing, and by really big, I mean something that takes up 96% of the universe.”
Dark matter and dark energy are what Demers is talking about. Dark matter is an invisible matter that is thought to exist based on observations of the universe. So Dark energy is what causes the universe to expand faster and faster. She hopes that the next run will help her learn more about the mysterious and huge majority of the universe.
In a news release, CERN said, “Finding answers to these and other interesting questions will not only help us learn more about the universe at the smallest scales, but it may also help us solve some of the biggest mysteries about the universe as a whole, like how it got to be the way it is and what might happen to it in the end.”
Scientists are already starting to work on Run 4, which is set to start in 2030. The third run is expected to last for another four years.