What is this $20 billion scientific project being set up in France?

What is this $20 billion scientific project being set up in France?

Operating since 2008, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is a massive ring 27 kilometers in circumference equipped with thousands of superconducting magnets that accelerate particle beams to near-light speeds. In particular, it made it possible to confirm the existence of the Higgs boson, a crucial elementary particle in the Standard Model of particle physics.

Scientists now have the ambition to go further, and to achieve this it seems necessary to build “Higgs boson factory», i.e. a tool that will make it possible to produce these molecules in large quantities. The goal is to provide a more accurate view of the universe: “What is dark matter made of, or why is there more matter than antimatter in the universe, even though it may have been equal parts during the big bang?», specifies Ursula Bassler, President of the CERN Council.

New collider

Built on the border between France and Switzerland, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the world's largest particle accelerator ever, but that may change as researchers at CERN exploit its capabilities and hope to raise funds to build a much larger accelerator. A more efficient system.

The Future Ring Collider (FCC) will be buried 200 meters deep, compared to 80 meters at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). Above all, the main ring will be 91 kilometers in circumference, extending between France and Switzerland. Thus it becomes “The most powerful tool ever created by humanity to study the laws of nature at a fundamental level“, explained Fabiola Gianotti, Director General of CERN.

There are still two major challenges to be solved: on the one hand, finding the necessary funds, which researchers estimate at 20 billion euros, and on the other hand, overcoming the environmental and ecological obstacles associated with any large-scale work. Establishing the European Union requires the budget to be approved by the 23 members of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), which will not be an easy task.

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