CERN Is Planning To Build A Particle Smasher That Costs $17 Billion

The European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, has a history of expanding the frontiers of science. The Future Circular Collider (FCC), a $17 billion particle collider that CERN is proposing, is intended to let us explore the cosmos even further. Nonetheless, discussions over this costly undertaking have been sparked by its ambitious nature.

The FCC is much larger than its predecessor, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), measuring an astounding 57 miles (91 kilometers). Scientists hope to use the expanded capabilities of the FCC to examine the boundaries of particle physics beyond the Standard Model in an effort to resolve some of the most puzzling mysteries in the universe.

The primary focus of these investigations is attempting to understand the properties of dark matter and dark energy, which are mysterious substances that make up the great majority of the universe. Through particle collisions at previously unheard-of energies of 100 tera electron volts, the FCC hopes to discover new particles, clarify the matter-antimatter asymmetry paradox, and investigate the fundamental forces that control the world.

The director-general of CERN, Fabiola Gianotti, praised the FCC’s potential as a research tool and as an innovation accelerator. Cutting-edge technology with significant socioeconomic ramifications, such as cryogenics and superconducting magnets, are required for the project.

Despite significant strides made by the Standard Model, profound gaps persist, compelling physicists to seek avenues beyond its confines. The FCC represents a pivotal step towards elucidating these enigmas, propelled by a sevenfold increase in beam energy.

However, skepticism looms over the project’s colossal price tag and its promise of groundbreaking discoveries. Critics question whether the FCC’s exorbitant cost aligns with its potential scientific returns, advocating for alternative avenues of research.

The path forward for the FCC hinges on the deliberations of member states slated for 2028. If greenlit, the collider’s first phase could materialize by 2045, with full operation slated for the 2070s.

In the realm of particle physics, where exploration knows no bounds, the FCC stands as a beacon of scientific ambition, poised to unravel the universe’s deepest mysteries, provided its proponents can navigate the fiscal and scientific challenges that lie ahead.

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