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Your location: Home > Related Articles > The Large Hadron Collider restarts again, helping to search for mysterious dark matter

The Large Hadron Collider restarts again, helping to search for mysterious dark matter

Author:QINSUN Released in:2024-01 Click:73

Recently, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) restarted after 3 years of maintenance and upgrades, with two proton beams injected with 450 GeV of energy being launched inside a 27 kilometer long tunnel.

The working principle of the Large Hadron Collider is to crush atoms, then separate them, search for subatomic particles that exist within them, and observe how subatomic particles interact with each other.

In 2019, the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) shut down the Large Hadron Collider for maintenance upgrades to improve the sensitivity of the instrument and enable it to better complete its tasks.

This will enable researchers to observe the interior of atoms at higher resolution - capturing data 30 million times per second.

Launching the 27 kilometer long collider circular tunnel is a complex process that requires everything to work in harmony like an orchestra, especially during the special period of the pandemic.

Rende Steerenberg, who is responsible for operating the control room of the Large Hadron Collider, explained that this is not simply pressing a button, and there is a sense of tension and nervousness during operation, as there are many potential fault factors, such as obstacles and magnets in the tunnel.

Particle physicists hope that upgrading the Large Hadron Collider can help discover a new fundamental natural force, a new natural force beyond the four fundamental natural forces (gravity, electromagnetic force, strong and weak force), and help explain the mysteries of the universe.

Researchers say another hope is that restarting the Large Hadron Collider will help search for mysterious dark matter.

Dark matter is invisible matter in the universe, making up the majority of the known universe.

Although the Large Hadron Collider has restarted, researchers still face potential threats, including the possibility of obstacles in the tunnel, as the eight components of the Large Hadron Collider have now been cooled to a temperature of 1.9 Kelvin (equivalent to minus 271 degrees Celsius), which can cause material shrinkage and deformation.

Meanwhile, in the tunnel of the Large Hadron Collider, it is difficult to concentrate billions of particles in a tight proton beam using thousands of magnets.

Sternberg said that the Large Hadron Collider works a bit like an orchestral instrument, and to ensure that the proton beam passes through the tunnel, all magnets must function correctly at the right time to complete the correct task.

On April 22, particles passed through a 27 kilometer long circular tunnel of the collider for the first time since December 2018. However, the Large Hadron Collider takes 6-8 weeks to reach full speed, at which point proton collisions will reappear.

Rhodri Jones, Director of the Proton Beam Department at the European Center for Nuclear Research, said, "These proton beams circulate by injecting energy and contain relatively small amounts of protons. High intensity, high-energy collisions still take several months, but the first proton beam release represents the successful restart of the Large Hadron Collider after scientists have gone through a long and arduous period of confinement."

In 2010-2013, researchers from the European Center for Nuclear Research observed a large hadron collision experiment, which proved the long-term search for the existence of the Higgs boson and the energy field connected to it. Scientists believe that this particle is crucial for the birth process of the universe after the Big Bang 13.7 billion years ago.

However, particle physicists still have many unsolved mysteries to explore and discover, and the latest upgrade to the Large Hadron Collider will delve deeper into the hidden quantum realm than ever before. Meanwhile, understanding dark matter may also help uncover more cosmic secrets.

Dark matter in the universe is believed to be five times larger than ordinary matter, but it does not absorb, reflect, or release light, and scientists have yet to explore conclusive evidence of the existence of dark matter. Sternberg said, "We will significantly increase the number of particle collisions, which will also increase the possibility of new discoveries. Currently, the Large Hadron Collider will be in operation and will be shut down again from 2025 to 2027."