LHC in VR
The great Hadronian collider takes a two-year break to pass vital upgrades that will spur the next phase of this kind of research.
Built between 1998 and 2008, the Great Hadron Collider (LHC) is the most powerful particle accelerator and largest machine in the world. Located underground between the border of France and Sweden, the LHC is responsible for some of the most important research in particle physics in modern history. A recent feature of The New York Times highlights the history of a record-keeping project and offers an incredible virtual tour of the massive machine.
From the numbers
To look at some of the most basic building blocks of the universe, we must cut what is in smaller pieces. The LHC does this using a 17-kilometer electromagnetic track where magnets, which are a hundred thousand times as strong as the Earth's magnetic field, throws particles at another 600,000 times per second. It is a feat of engineering that requires 12,000 amperes electrical current (a typical household output is estimated at 15 to 20 amps).
Particle collisions within the LHC are fairly common, occurring at 40 million times per second. However, very few collisions produce remarkable results, in fact it is the way LHC works. Before all particles are lit, the computer provides the expected results of any collisions. As a result they compile they compare with these predictions, and only those with unexpected results return to the researchers saving huge amounts of time for data processing. Thus, LHC data confirmed the existence of the then theoretical Higgs Boson particle that appears in only one in every 10 billion collisions.
What comes next?
At present, engineers improve a series of smaller paths that are responsible for accelerating protons before entering the main collider. The improvements should be completed in 2021, after which the LHC will operate for two more years until the next break in 2024. New magnets will be installed, allowing even more intense clashes. At this point, the machine will be known as High Luminosity L.H.C and is expected to continue to contribute to research efforts by 2035.
READ MORE: Increased Reality: It's a ban on the great Hadron Collider [The New York Times]
More to turn off the LHC: The great Hadronian collider can only be excluded