After two years of being closed down for an overhaul, the Large Hadron Collider, or LHC is restarting the adventure to solve the mysteries in the universe and scientists will continue to seek out the illusive dark matter particles. Known as the “Big Bang” machine, the collider is the biggest and strongest particle accelerator. The collider is operated by scientists at the European Organization for Nuclear Research in Geneva, Switzerland, which is called CERN. Its first bid to learn more about the universe came on September 10, 2008.
The Large Hadron Collider is made up of a 27-kilometer sized ring of super conducting magnets with several structures that cause particles inside to accelerate, thus increasing the particle’s energy as it runs.
The main mission of the LHC is now to find a way to break out of the currently known way of our universe works, which is called the “Standard Model,” and jump into what they are calling “New Physics.”
The way the Large Hardron Collider works is that inside of it there are two high energy particle beams that travel nearly at light speed when they collide with each other. The beams travel in separate directions along different pipes, which are held in a vacuum. These are led around the accelerator’s ring by the magnetic field created by the machine’s super conducing electro-magnets.
The collider actually reproduces the same conditions thought to exist within a billionth of a second after the so-called “Big Bang” that scientists say created the spark that shaped the known universe into existence. The refurbishment of the Large Hadron Collider involved putting in some new magnets, as well as stronger voltage and higher energy beams. The collider was also checked over to make sure that all of its wiring was in good shape, and that the magnets and four main detectors in the LHC tunnel were in perfect working order.
Since the refit, the collider will be twice as powerful as it was the last time it was operated between 2010 and 2013, when it was able to travel close to the speed of light. During the last mission of the Large Hadron Collider, the scientists were able to discover the Higgs Boson particle by looking at all the recorded debris created by the collider’s particle collision experiments held at CERN.
The Large Hadron Collider will also seek out dark matter during this adventure in science. Dark matter is said to be part of 96 percent of existing matter, but it is hard to detect and is only discernible in measuring the way it influences matter that can be seen. The CERN scientists are getting ready to restart their series of particle smashing experiments in June 2015, but say they are unlikely to be able to announce any new findings until sometime next year in 2016.