Large Hadron Collider resumes operation after three years of modernization

(ORDO NEWS) — Work on the modernization of one of the main physical instruments of mankind has been completed.

Now the LHC is ready for the third campaign in its history – it has become more sensitive and can now accelerate even more protons at a time, and their beams are focused more accurately.

The first portion of hadrons swept through the annular tunnel under the French and Swiss lands last Friday.

According to the official press release , the resumption of the accelerator operation was marked by the launch of two proton beams in opposite directions.

It was a kind of diagnostic test – the particles circulated with the same energy (450 gigaelectronvolts) that they had after the preliminary acceleration before being transferred to the main 27-kilometer ring.

The hadron density in the beams was also low. Full-fledged high-energy collisions will begin no earlier than in a couple of months.

And until mid-summer, engineers and scientists will have to gradually increase the capacity of the installation. Each of its nodes will be gradually tested for compliance with operational characteristics.

Putting such a huge and complex machine into operation after a long downtime is not the easiest and fastest task.

The second long shutdown of the Large Hadron Collider began in December 2018, that is, it took about three years and four months.

During this time, almost all the main installations of the complex underwent modernization. The main thing is that significantly more data will now be taken from the detectors.

This was achieved partly due to improved focusing of particle beams, partly due to an increase in the maximum energy of the accelerator (up to 13.6 teraelectronvolts), and partly due to an increase in the resolution of the system for collecting information from detectors.

The third campaign ( Run3 ) will last for about four years and there are high hopes for it. All LHC improvements will allow the ATLAS and CMS detectors to get more collisions in the coming years than both previous campaigns combined.

At the same time, the number of events recorded by their “brother” LHCb will triple. And the ALICE detector, which specializes in heavy ion collisions , will “see” fifty times more collisions.

Enormous tasks have fallen on the shoulders of scientists working with the LHC, on which the future financing of much more complex instruments depends.

For the third campaign, it is highly desirable to obtain more statistical data on Higgs candidate particles (its existence still needs to be reliably confirmed by practice).

And also to find at least some hints of the manifestation of a hypothetical fifth physical force (in addition to weak, strong, electromagnetic and gravitational interactions).


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