What future for CERN?

The Standard Model, the cornerstone of modern physics, explains 3 of the 4 fundamental interactions and all the particles revealed so far, from electrons to the very famous Higgs boson . The discovery of the latter, which earned his fathers a Nobel Prize in physics in 2013, was one of the discoveries that marked the last decade. The Higgs boson was discovered thanks to an international collaboration at CERN in the Large Hadron Collide, a 27 km long tunnel, where beams of particles at very high energies are fired and collided. The last piece of the puzzle was the Higgs boson, discovered in the now distant 2012, but the scientific discoveries have not ended here. You never stop learning. Although we have found the last missing particle, we still know very little about its properties. And even the universe still hides many secrets.

The crisis of the model

The standard model, despite its successes, today does not explain many phenomena such as dark energy, dark matter, baryonic asymmetry, neutrino mass and oscillation and the expansion of the universe. The three fundamental interactions strong, electromagnetic and weak are explained by the standard model but a great failure is the gravitational force which is not explained in the theory. In the past it has already happened that experimental evidences fought with pre-existing theories, as in the case of the so-called black body that gave birth to quantum mechanics. It will therefore be necessary to expand the standard model or theorize a so-called Physics Beyond the Standard Model that can explain phenomena that currently have no explanation.


The future

Some physicists believe that the future of physics is the discovery of new particles , so far only theorized, which have not yet been revealed in the LHC . The latter has received several improvements over time that have allowed him to shoot bundles of particles with ever greater energies, on average 8 Tev, up to reaching record peaks at 13 Tev. Despite these improvements, we have not yet revealed any new particles. Contrary to intuition, the LHC will not retire but an upgrade will be made which will increase the efficiency of the accelerator. The High-Luminosity Large Hadron Collider, this is the name of the LHC upgrade, not only provides an improvement in the accelerator itself but above all in the detectors, hence the name luminosity , which will be able to reveal many more collisions than the brothers in use now. An improvement in performance will not only serve to discover the unknown but also to help us better understand what we have discovered.

In perspective

The HiLumi LHC data socket will begin between 2025 and 2026, but until then experiments will continue despite ongoing work. The news at CERN do not end here: the ambitious plan to build a particle accelerator from scratch that could reach a maximum energy of 100 Tev, which is about 8 times the maximum energy ever obtained by the LHC . The Future Circular Collider (FCC), this is the name of the successor of the LHC, will be a tunnel of 100 km with a very high brightness that will allow to collect numerous data even of rarer events. The FFC could be the cradle of new particle discoveries, with masses much greater than those known by us today, which could allow us to answer the questions to which we have not yet found an answer. Presented in 2019, the FFC will enter into operation probably after 2036, the year in which HiLumi LHC should stop working.


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