CERN’s Ambitious Plan to Build the Largest Particle Smasher Ever

CERN’s Ambitious Plan to Build the Largest Particle Smasher Ever

The Large Hadron Collider is the largest and
most powerful atom smasher in the world.
Built to hunt for new particles and probe
the fundamental forces of nature, this massive
machine is a 27 kilometer underground loop
filled with supercooled magnets and massive
detectors that whip particles at the highest
speeds possible, to eventually collide into
each other.
And during one famous sprint in 2012, particles
collided, and the Higgs Boson was officially
“I would like to add my congratulations to
everybody involved in this tremendous achievement.”
The Higgs is a special particle.
Its presence confirmed the existence of an
invisible quantum field that’s responsible
for giving particles their mass.
This field permeates the universe, leading
some to suspect that the Higgs may play an
important role in the origin of everything.
But at this point, the Large Hadron Collider
and the community that built it are at a crossroads.
Physicists haven’t found the super symmetry
particles they were hoping to see.
If they did, it would have solved some open
mysteries we have about the Higgs and the
inner workings of the universe.
This has created a huge international debate
over what to do next.
For many at CERN, the institution that runs
the Large Hadron Collider, the next step in
the hunt for new physics is to build an even
bigger machine.
People expected for 40 years before the Higgs
was discovered that the Higgs could not be
a lonely elementary particle.
It would have to come along with a lot of
other things in order to give a coherent,
rational explanation for the origin of its
And the big surprise since July 4, 2012, when
the Higgs was triumphantly discovered, is
that has not happened.
So that’s really four decades of a certain
paradigm for what’s going on in physics associated
with the Higgs that has not worked out the
way that theorists had imagined that it would.
And that’s kind of fascinating.
I think the last time something of this degree
of surprise happened in theoretical physics
was a little over 100 years ago.
What nature has in mind for what the Higgs
is about is something different than what
theorists had in mind.
While theorists are very confused about it,
the program for experimentalists is completely
When you run into a kind of elementary particle
you’ve never seen before, you’ve never seen
anything like it in physics before you just
put the damn thing under a microscope and
you study it to death.
It’s pretty remarkable that we need to build
enormous machines that produce an incredible
amount of energy to probe the smallest things
in the universe.
And the push towards higher collision energies
to discover new particles is connected to
Albert Einstein’s famous equation, e=mc^2.
There’s an equivalence here between energy
on one side and mass on the other side.
When we collide two particles, we gain access
to the kinetic energy they carry.
And out of this kinetic energy, new particles
can be made, according to Einstein’s relation.
And of course, the higher the energy that
we bring into this collision, the higher the
mass of a particle that is forming out of
this energy can be.
To get more juice out of the machine, CERN
shut the LHC down for performance upgrades.
They’re working on cranking up the luminosity.
Luminosity is a measure for the quality of
a collider.
And in some sense, it tells you how many collisions
per second this collider can provide.
When two of the elementary particles have
a head on collision, you can tell that happened
because the result of those collisions come
out at larger angles relative to the beams.
But it’s still an incredibly messy, kind of
complicated environment and even when we produce
new elementary particles like the Higgs, they
don’t come out wearing a name tag saying I
am a Higgs, they decay in a blink of an eye.
It’s the results of those decays that experimental
colleagues have to sift through like they’re
looking for a needle in a haystack in order
to actually see the evidence.
This luminosity upgrade would ultimately produce
more collisions and would make measurements
of particles like the Higgs even more accurate.
Once completed in 2026, it’ll produce an
estimated 15 million Higgs per year, compared
to the 3 million in 2017.
It will be very beneficial to operate this
infrastructure until about 2035 or 2040.
By then, we will have collected such a huge
amount of data from the collisions that we
somehow saturate the knowledge that can be
provided by this machine.
Operating it five years longer or 10 years
longer will not give significantly more information,
which means for particle physicists that the
useful time of life of this accelerator will
be reached.
These time scales seem way out in the future,
but to put this in perspective: planning for
the Large Hadron Collider began back in the
1980s, construction was approved in 1994 and
the first runs didn’t start until 2008.
So to prepare for what comes next, teams are
delivering conceptual designs for next generation
particle machines.
There are proposals for an International Linear
Collider, which Japan just backed out on,
China has a circular collider project, and
there’s one from CERN.
I’m in charge of the Future Circular Collider
What we’re working on is really not an upgrade
of the LHC machine.
It’s really new machines to come after the
LHC era, so from 2040 onwards.
It’ll take international collaboration,
billions of dollars, and scientists to invent
tools that don’t even exist yet.
First thing’s first though, CERN wants a bigger
On a map, you can imagine you have a circle,
which is the LHC, and then you would put a
new circle that is roughly four times larger.
The whole existing CERN accelerator complex,
including the LHC, would serve as a pre-accelerator
for this future 100 km machine.
Like the gearbox in a car, if you want to
drive very fast you must have several gears.
You start in a small gear at low velocity,
and once you accelerate, you go to the second
gear, third gear, fourth gear, fifth gear.
This thing is very similar.
We would start with small accelerators at
low energy, and then we go larger, larger,
larger, and to higher energy, higher energy,
higher energy.
The CERN study presents a path forward to
achieve these energy gear shifts.
There’s a new lepton collider, which collides
electrons and positrons, a more advanced hadron
collider, which collides protons and protons
and then heavy ions and then a third option,
an electron-proton collider.
The big difference between an electron and
the proton, which are the two particles that
we have for these colliders, is essentially
that the electron and its anti-particle positron
are point-like particles that to our present
knowledge have no substructure.
When we say the electron looks point-like
and the proton does not, it actually means
if you bounce things off the electron you
see that the way photons bounce off of it,
you’ll see that the electron has no substructure
of any sort.
Who knows, if we’re probing things with microscopes
that are a million times stronger than anything
we’ve seen in some alien civilization that’s
a million times stronger than the LHC, maybe
we would see some substructure to the electron
Or, if you believe string theorists, if we
look at ridiculously short distances, everything
is made out of some little loop of string.
In what sense are things elementary or composite?
But that’s a story for another day.
The Higgs is kind of point like, the Higgs
is sort of point liken and that’s just not
good enough to sort of really settle this
theoretically dramatic question.
We can try to measure all the known particles
like the Higgs particle, the W, and the set
particle in the top quark with the best precision
And for this, you will build this lepton collider,
because the lepton collider could produce
exactly these particles in a very clean environment,
in huge numbers.
The electrons are super clean for collisions,
but we cannot reach extremely high energies.
The protons are a bit more dirty in the collision,
but we can accelerate them to far, far higher
Unlike the electron, a proton is not an elementary
The proton is kind of a big messy object that’s
made up out of these smaller constituents
known as quarks that are held together inside
the proton by the imaginatively named gluons.
When we smash protons into each other at incredibly
high energies, one set is going this way at
.9999999 the speed of light, the others are
going the other way the same number of 9s
times the speed of light, and when they smash
into each other, mostly they go splat.
And the debris of the collisions goes into
the direction of the beams that were coming
The next generation Hadron Collider would
smash protons together like the LHC, except
it’d reach energies of 100 trillion electron
The Hadron Collider would provide much higher
collision energies that would allow direct
creation of, today not known particles.
This boosted machine could be used as a tool
to search for theoretical particles like WIMPS,
which are connected to dark matter.
It’s one of the most abundant and mysterious
forms of matter in the universe, and we haven’t
detected it directly yet.
We might be able to, and answer other big
questions, by upping the power and tweaking
the detector’s precision.
A factor of 100 in precision is what we need
to decisively settle the question of whether
the Higgs looks more point-like than anything
we’ve seen before as far as its probes interact
with other particles, factor of 10 higher
in energy will let us produce billions of
100 TV is what we need to settle this question
of the simplest model of weakly interacting
The natural sequence is clearly to start with
a lepton collider, which is also a machine
that is today technically ready for construction.
And in parallel to the operation and physics
analysis of this machine, you can use the
time to develop the very high field superconducting
magnets that you need for the successor machine.
The magnets that we have presently operating
in the LHC tunnel can only reach eight or
nine Tesla, which is the magnetic field strength.
So we want to double this to 16 or even higher.
Magnets, is in this case the really big challenge
for such a project.
All these things need to be addressed from
the very beginning in small setups because
you do not want to build 15 meter long heavy
magnets every time to test something new.
While this project is an incredible scientific
endeavor, the price tag is very steep.
These future colliders could cost over $25
billion dollars and would need investment
from the international community to even get
off the ground.
For this decision process, there are several
aspects, of course.
There’s a scientific political one, there
is an economical one.
There is of course also a physics community
And this is exactly what started out as a
bottom-up opinion making process, which is
taking place in Europe in the coming year.
While the discussions continue, some have
even questioned whether an investment like
this is even the right course forward for
the particle physics community.
There are questions over whether the science
case is as strong, if investing in this project
is worth the cost compared to other global
issues, and how we can be so sure a machine
of this magnitude can answer these big questions.
There’s a spectrum of possibilities for what
could be out there theoretically and so we
can’t know until we look.
What’s definitely true, is that no one who
is arguing for building these next machines
is now saying we should build them because
we expect to see particle x, we should build
them because supersymmetry is around the corner
or extra dimensions are around the corner,
or anything like that.
If you believe that the purpose of doing these
experiments is making new particles, it’s
definitely time to take your ball and go home
and do something else with your life because
it cannot be guaranteed at all.
I think it’s one of the more profound things
that there is to say about this human adventure
of science.
Which is that everyone who works in fundamental
science has the sense that we’re exploring
something that’s out there.
And something that’s much much larger than
each one of us individually.
So there’s this gigantic structure in the
universe, it knows vastly more about the laws
of nature than we do.
It is nature.
By studying it, we put ourselves in the neighborhood
of something that’s vastly more powerful,
vastly deeper than any of us are individually.
The only method that we know of to access
this tremendous power and depth, far beyond
what any of us have individually, is to interact
with it.
And I think that’s the ultimate source of
real magic that goes well beyond what humans
are capable of now, is out there in the structure
of the universe.
And we only can find what it is by interacting
with it.
And studying it.

100 thoughts to “CERN’s Ambitious Plan to Build the Largest Particle Smasher Ever”

  1. Do you want to hear the full interview with theoretical physicist Nima Arkani-Hamed or CERN's Michael Benedikt? Let us know in the comments, and who else you'd like us to talk to on Focal Point!

  2. oh noo humanity will end in 2026- dumbass mentally deficient human being of the 22nd centurey

  3. What does the government get from these?? Obviously theres some massive funding and cooperation gathered from several countries

  4. Einstein was a plagiarist pervert. E=MC^2 is ripped off from an Italian, not original work. If Albert was around today he would be getting raped in jail, not spewing his ripped off non-sense.

  5. HUGE waste of money here you don't need to smash atoms u need to harness it by the law of Squares and zero point tech¥

  6. If they can accelerate particles at the speed of light why not use this technology to move an object through space using the space as the particles being moved use the Higgs for propulsion

  7. this is funded by no one else but people also military etc we the people thru taxes and others wer paying them trilions so that they can make new ways to kill us to mass extinct humanity but one must be fully blinded not to know that one must be fully stupid Godless creature to wake up everyday work 12 hours a day so that they take more than half the money youv earned so. that they can make new ways to kill you but this is all just a conspiracy theory or is it i ask you fcking scums i hope you all die by your own hand nothing else and God will make sure of that i promise.

  8. i cant believe people actually admire this while milions of people are without food your admiring something that does not exist but yet billions of money going to waste just ao that the elites can see a particle iam ashamed of humanity an its ways im ashamed of this planet and civilization its a waste in most part of the world you cant even breath from pollution but yea scientist are doing great job you are scum lying satanist and Gods righteous sword will cut you ssssnakeee will cut you from heaad to tail and will make you watch your world going to abyss i promise that to everyone im tired of this crazy people and i know that the world is on a brink of a destruction but yea lets admire scientist that claim doing the good job when they actually everyday basis looking for a new way to destroy this world you dont understand there are no innocent people anymore you all took part in and you shall suffer for it fcking ignorant bastards

  9. imagine you are a program AI running in a computer and you are trying to understand and see the computer that is running you, and the world that computer is in. that's what we are up against. the software never gets to see the hardware that it is running in… maybe tho we are doing some shit "they" probably didn't anticipate lol. the software is trying to brake out into the "real" world.

  10. They do not know what they are doing. The lhc is a huge failure. It didn't do anything to answer particle physicists questions.

    Huge money sucking experiment with no futuristic technology just making things bigger and bigger

  11. Allahs children from the nation of Islam have created this machine. Wait, sorry Islam is a cancer that brings nothing but rape terror and murder. AHAHAHA

  12. This seems a bit dangerous. But cool nonetheless. I'd really recommend doing something like this on mars or the moon honestly at some point.

  13. Anyone who's eyes are open knows that this is not a good thing that is they are curious for and In fact it's going to fulfill prophecy on Abbadon Revelation chapter 9. Abaddon has the same name as Destroyer which Shiva stands for as well…..dark matter….antimatter??? I do not believe they really know what they are doing but if they do not repent from this foolishness there is something very demonically uncontrollable that is going to happen to them and the entire world they are going to wish they wouldn't have had the knowledge to do what they did but for all unbelievers watch and see what I am saying come to pass. Anyone involved with supporting CERN needs to repent or suffer the consequence of it's own wickedness separately. Anyone fascinated by this they are looking to open up a portal and mentioned luminosity. These elements will only bring a line of evil man will be tormented by causing it to have power over them and them not have power of it. If there is anyone just one who is seeing this spread the word and even if you come against this your still spreading the word by not believing. Repent because this will sound of a plague to mankind who hear not the voice of The Most High YAHUAH/YAHUSHA.

  14. It must be broken… they are trying to end this war…in which we are allies, enemies, slaves, subjects…and in the end…the prize

  15. The choice need not be God or Lucifer… choose a new side! Choose Humanity! To Hell with both of our tormentors!

  16. Stone Age !!! Liken it to when computers first appeared , they took up the whole floor of a large building, now your Mobil phone is a computer hand held , you are getting close with this technology to my machine that transports mass to another location, I can transport myself to any location , the Americans are aware of me and want me eliminated, for obvious reasons , OIL GAS ELECTRICITY , 🇧🇪🇧🇪🙋🏼👰🏼🤔

  17. Worthless, expensive and dangerous. 20 billion and all that effort could and should be used to house and feed people, or used towards medical research, etc.

  18. So pretty much Stranger This isn't a fictional show… there building the machine from Stranger Things to acess other dimensions (the upside down)

  19. I remember hearing that this is a bad thing…. like do they even know what they’re doing here? What’s possible?

  20. Curious how the Universe settled it fundamental particles in such a way, that it is able to look upon itself through our eyes. Along came CERN which in turn birthed the very first internet web server, and by extension YouTube, so that we pesky humans may gaze upon its own magnificence.

  21. Can't we model these collisions? If we can't imagine it, we act blindly. More power can not be the continual solution. These guys are like nerd Cowboys that need to relook this whole vicious cycle. Spend time with DMT and the mushroom and look at the all as something beyond power.

  22. I freakin knew u guys messed something up back in 2012.
    Ive been feeling weird ever since almost like the world i know has been split into 2 and some are in this universe and some are in another but we cant communicate. And its starting to feel more and more weird.

  23. Yes by all means, open the door to hell and let the demons come through! Ya, sounds like a good idea to me !
    YOU IDIOTS!!!!!!!

  24. They never tell us what they are doing this for. Their true goal. And we pay taxes for shit we don’t have no say so or don’t even know about.🤦‍♂️ I’ve seen some weird shit with this cern project that no one talks about

  25. What are the practical applications of these experiments. Is the knowledge gained applicable in any way or is it just interesting but useless.

  26. normies: oh, this is very cool

    not kidding i one time heard this in one sermon in a church

  27. There are so many colliders all around the world. Except scientific research, is there any more direct way for the existing colliders to serve the community?. If so, it would be more persuasive to spend huge money on the future colliders.

  28. Science research teaches researchers how to think and solve problems while at the same time investigating the mysteries of the universe. Military research also teaches researchers how to think and solve problems while at the same time makes killing people more efficient.

    Which would you prefer?



  30. Stop trying to play GOD and be GOD!! LHC is nothing but and SATANIC machine looking for DEMONS in parallel universe's!

  31. cern: hey America please give us 10 billion dollars for science

    America: "silence"

    cern: we can make oil

    America: shut up and take my money

  32. Someday, I believe we'll have the scientific data to show, that we've been inadvertently wiping out trillions of microscopic civilizations by smashing sub atomic particles together like this.

  33. I have my full support with such a science project if it costs 20-25bil $ ,not hard to fund them if there are world leaders that cares about science rather building airports for stupid costs , definitely start building it as soon as possible ,maybe it will answer many questions even if it don't finds Any new particles ,

  34. I have a question ,are they able to calculate all the results of these collisions that are making them think a 100km tunnel will be of some use? If you think it's really a dangerous thing as well ,if anything went wrong ,I can't imagine the results

  35. So you will be able to open gates for more powerful devils to enter our realm. Human being is out mind. Insane people.

  36. Most expensive largest machine ever made and we’re supposed to believe it was created to find a thing that has no use? Or value. Come on man please. That’s not it’s only function hate to tell you

  37. All this when people are starving the planet is dying and zero or near zero point energy is achievable. And we waste money on complete useless idiocy. Gods looking down just shaking his head .

  38. remove the military, pharma and prison industrial complexes and issues of funding no longer are an issue. The contradiction here is that these projects which result in further knowledge require co-operation beyond borders, and yet these industrial complexes only serve to strengthen the very same borders.

  39. We are going to end up destroying ourselves 🙁
    I was paranoid about the LHC but then relieved when it turned out safe, but of course now we have to go and build something more powerful….

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