CERN’s particle accelerator starts up after a three-year hiatus

Two beams of protons flew around the Large Hadron Collider on Friday, marking the yield of the world’s largest particle accelerator after more than three years of interruption. The European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, has been carrying out maintenance work for the past three years and making major upgrades to the system. Now the group is preparing to begin a four-year period of data collection that scientists hope will reveal new secrets of the universe.

“It will be two to three times better, in terms of our experiment’s ability to detect, collect and analyze data,” said Marcella Bona, a particle physicist at Queen Mary University of London, told BBC.

This summer will mark the beginning of the third run of the LHC, called Run 3. The upgrades in recent years mean that this run will see more particle collisions and those particles will collide with more energy than previous runs. Scientists will use the new possibilities to push the boundaries of the Standard Model of Physics, a theory that explains how particles interact at the subatomic level. Together with other experiments, they will try to find new types of particles, and perhaps even get a clearer picture of dark matteran undiscovered substance that scientists believe is responsible for a large percentage of the universe. But its existence is still not proven.

New projects will also examine in more detail the Higgs boson, a particle discovered in a historic find ten years ago through experiments at the LHC.

“It’s a very exciting time,” Bona told BBC† “We have been working on modernizing the machines for the past three years. Now we are ready.”

SOURCE – www.theverge.com

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