CERN plans new particle accelerator
... four times bigger than Large Hadron Collider
Scientists behind the world's largest atom smasher have laid out a nearly $40 billion vision to build a new one about four times larger under the Swiss-French border, in the hopes of unlocking even more secrets of the universe.
Officials at CERN hope to build a "Future Circular Collider" (FCC) in a circular tunnel stretching 100 kilometres near Geneva that could start operating in 2040 and take over from the existing 27km Large Hadron Collider (LHC).
Colliders, also known as particle accelerators, send two high-energy particle beams down tubes in opposite directions at close to the speed of light before smashing the beams together, resulting in the creation of new particles that help explain physics and the make-up of the universe.
CERN has released a concept paper for the FCC that has been five years in the making, in the hopes that the European research agency's 22 member states will make a decision in the next few years about whether to proceed with the project.
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