Large Hadron Collider

Large Hadron Collider .GCH (in English Large Hadron Collider, LHC) is a particle collider and accelerator located in the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN, acronym that corresponds to its old name in French: Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire ), near Geneva, on the Franco-Swiss border.


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  • 1 History
  • 2 Experiments
  • 3 Computer network
  • 4 Budget
  • 5 Alarms about possible catastrophes
  • 6 Summarizing
  • 7 Sources


It was designed to make colliding hadrons , more exactly Protons , up to 7 TeVde energy, its main purpose to examine the validity and limits of the Standard Model, which is currently the theoretical framework of particle physics , of which he knows his breakdown at high energy levels.

Within the collider, two proton beams are accelerated in opposite directions to reach 99.99% of the speed of light , and they collide with each other, producing extremely high energies (although at subatomic scales) that would allow simulating some events that occurred immediately after. from the Big Bang .

The LHC is the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator.

It uses the 27 km circumference tunnel created for the Large Electron and Positron Collider (LEP) and more than 2000 physicists from 34 countries and hundreds of universities and laboratories have participated in its construction.

Once cooled to its operating temperature, which is 1.9 K (less than 2 degrees above absolute zero or -271.15 ° C), the first particle beams were injected on August 1 , 2008 and the first try to make them circulate throughout the course of the collider took place on 10 September of the year 2008 . Although the first high – energy collisions were initially planned for the 21 of October of 2008 , the experiment was postponed due to a fault that caused the leakage of the liquid helium that cools one of the superconducting magnets.

At the end of 2009 it was restarted, and on November 30 of that year it became the most powerful particle accelerator by achieving energies of 1.18 TeV in its beams, breaking the previous record of 0.98 TeV established by the American Tevatron. The 30 of March of 2010 the first collisions proton LHC reached an energy of 7 TeV (a colliding two beams of 3.5 TeV each) which represented a new record for this type of testing. The collider ran at medium performance for two years, after which it was planned to bring it to its maximum power of 14 TeV.

Theoretically, this instrument was expected to confirm the existence of the particle known as the Higgs Boson , sometimes called the “God particle” or “mass particle”. Observation of this particle would confirm the predictions and “missing links” of the Standard Model of physics, and it can be explained how the other elementary particles acquire properties such as mass. Verifying the existence of the Higgs boson would be a significant step in the search for a great unification theory, which aims to relate three of the four known fundamental forces, leaving only gravity outside of it. Also this boson could explain why gravity is so weak compared to the other three forces.

Along with the Higgs boson, other new particles could also be produced that were theoretically predicted and for which their search has been planned, such as strangelets, micro black holes , the magnetic monopole or supersymmetric particles.


The protons will accelerate to an energy of 7 TeV each (the total energy of the collision being 14 TeV). 5 experiments were built for the LHC. Two of them, ATLAS and CMS, these are great general purpose particle detectors. The other three, LHCb, ALICE and TOTEM, are smaller and more specialized. ALICE includes the Center for Technological Applications and Nuclear Development , CEADEN, Havana Cuba. The LHC can also be used to collide heavy ions such as lead. (The collision will have an energy of 1150 TeV). Physicists trusted the LHC to provide answers to the following questions:

The meaning of the mass (it is known how to measure it but it is not known what it really is) The mass of the particles and their origin (in particular, if the Higgs boson exists) The origin of the mass of baryons Total number of particles in the Atom To know why the elementary particles have different masses (that is, if the particles interact with a Higgs field) 95% of the mass of the universe is not made of the matter that is known and it is expected to know what the matter is dark The existence or not of supersymmetric particles If there are extra dimensions, as predicted by several models inspired by String Theory , and, if so, why they could not be perceived if there are more violations of symmetry between matter and antimatter Recreating the conditions that caused the Big Bang

The LHC is a large project and also involved an enormous engineering task. While on, the total energy stored in the magnets is 10 Gigajoules and in the beam 725 Megajoules .

Computer network

The LHC’s Computing Grid is a distribution network designed by CERN to handle the enormous amount of data that will be produced by the Large Hadron Collider. It incorporates both its own fiber optic links and parts of the high-speed Internet. The data flow provided from the detectors is estimated at approximately 300 Gb / s, which is filtered looking for “interesting events”, resulting in a flow of 300 Mb / s. The CERN computer center, considered “Row 0” of the network, has dedicated a 10 Gb / s connection. The project generated 27 Terabytes of data per day, plus 10 TB of “summary”. These data are sent outside CERN to eleven academic institutions in Europe , Asia andNorth America , which The LHC produced between 10 to 15 Petabytes of data per year. CERN has scientific contacts with Cuba.


The construction of the LHC was approved in 1995 with a budget of 2600 million Swiss francs (around 1700 million euros), along with another 210 million francs (140 million €) destined for the experiments. However, this cost was exceeded in the 2001 revision by 480 million francs (€ 300 million) in the accelerator, and 50 million francs (€ 30m) more in the section for experiments. [12] An additional 180 million francs (€ 120m) have had to be used to increase the costs of superconducting magnetic coils. And technical problems still persist in the construction of the last underground tunnel where the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) will be located.

The approved budget of the institution for 2008 is 660,515,000 euros for a total of 53,929,422 euros. The cut in funds planned for 2011 is 15 million Swiss francs within the 1,100 million euros of the total budget, which would represent less than 1.5 percent of annual investment; the following year two percent; Thus, until saving 262 million euros for 2015 .

The scientific delegate of Spain at CERN, Carlos Pajares , has assured that the Large Hadron Collider or LHC will not be affected by the cut in funds provided by the scientific institution in the face of the economic crisis. “All the countries said that the LHC program should not be touched and that is what was done. The director general has sent a message to the entire scientific community saying that CERN has tightened its belt equally but the LHC will not suffer “Carlos Pajares has pointed out.

Alarms about possible catastrophes

Since the Large Relativistic Ion Collider (RHIC) was projected, the American Walter Wagner and the Spanish Luis Sancho denounced to a court in Hawaii the CERN and the United States Government, affirming that there is the possibility that their operation will trigger processes that According to them, they would be capable of causing the destruction of the Earth. However, its position is rejected by the scientific community, since it lacks any mathematical support to support it. The catastrophic processes they denounce are: The formation of a stable black hole The formation of supermassive foreign matter, as stable as ordinary matter, The formation of magnetic monopoles (predicted in the theory of relativity) that could catalyze the decay of the proton, Activating the transition to a quantum vacuum state. In this regard, CERN has conducted studies on the possibility of disastrous events such as unstable black microholes, networks, or magnetic dysfunctions. [17] The conclusion of these studies is that “there are no founded bases that lead to these threats”.


In the hypothetical event that a black hole were created, it would be so infinitely small that it could traverse Earth without touching a single atom, since 95% of these are empty spaces. Because of this, it would not be able to grow and would reach space, where its probability of hitting something and growing is even smaller. Planet Earth is exposed to natural phenomena similar or worse than those that will occur at the LHC. Cosmic rays continuously hit Earth at enormous speeds (and therefore energies), even several orders of magnitude higher than those produced at the LHC. The sunDue to its size, it has received 10,000 times more. Considering that all the stars in the visible universe receive an equivalent number, about 1031 experiments such as the LHC have been carried out and no event such as the one postulated by Wagner and Sancho has yet been observed. During the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) operation in Brookhaven, USA, not a single strangelet was observed. The production of strangelets at the LHC is less likely than RHIC, and experience with this accelerator has validated the argument that strangelets cannot be produced.


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