China aims to build the largest and most powerful machine ever built by mankind, a supercollider twice the size of CERN in an effort to finally understand the universe and its composition.
The reign of the most powerful particle accelerator in the world, the LHC, the European Centre for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Switzerland, could be coming to an end, and no, it is not going to obliterate our world and create a massive black hole in our solar system… yet.
China is actually planning to build a massive particle accelerator, one that would measure more than the double of what CERN measures. China’s version of CERN would measure between 50 and 100 kilometers and would be up to SEVEN times more powerful that the LHC in Switzerland.
According to China Daily, the new facility would be able to produce millions of Higgs bosons, many more than the European accelerator, where the Higgs boson particle was discovered in 2012.
The gigantic machine is currently in planning stages and construction is expected to start in 2021.
“We have completed the initial conceptual design and organized international peer review recently, and the final conceptual design will be completed by the end of 2016,” Wang Yifang, director of the Institute of High Energy Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, told China Daily in an exclusive interview.
The Institute of High Energy Physics already controls the largest facilities of High Energy Physics in China: the Beijing Electron Collider and Neutrino Detector Daya Bay.
But scientists want more ‘juice’ and have proposed a much more ambitious task, to build a new accelerator seven times the power of the European LHC.
Even though the LHC has managed to find all the particles predicted by the Standard Model of particle physics (the theory that predicts all the constituents of ordinary matter) there is still a lot of stuff in the universe that needs explanation.
Looking at the bigger picture, ordinary matter, which gives rise to stars and galaxies, is only responsible for a meager 4.5% of the total mass of the universe.
Another 23% is constituted by another mysterious kind of invisible matter (dark matter) and the remaining 72.5% by an even more mysterious form of energy, dark energy.
This is why many scientists agree that an entirely new form of new physics is waiting on the “other side” of the Standard Model, and in order to address it, we need a much more powerful machine than what we have on Earth today.
The Standard Model of particle physics, for example, dues not offer an explanation for gravity, which is one of the four fundamental forces of nature.
Also, it does not say anything about the astronomical observations that have demonstrated the existence of dark matter, which does not emit any radiation (so we can not see it) and that relates to the rest of the universe precisely through gravity.
The model also does not explain why matter prevailed over antimatter at the beginning of the universe, and to make matters worse, the small mass of the Higgs boson suggests that the matter of which we are all made of is fundamentally unstable.