CERN’s Large Hadron Collider to Resume Smashing Particles In Hunt for Dark Matter
The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) will start smashing particles together at unprecedented speed on Wednesday, churning out data for the first time in more than two years that scientists hope might help crack the mystery of “dark matter”.
The LHC, a 27 km (17 mile) underground complex near Geneva, will smash protons at 13 tera-electron-volts (TeV), almost twice the energy achieved in an initial three-year run that began in 2010. This proved the existence of the elusive Higgs boson particle, a discovery that produced two Nobel prizes in 2013.
Nobody knows quite what the LHC might reveal with its new particle collisions — mini-versions of the Big Bang primordial blast that brought the universe into being 13.8 billion years ago — but scientists hope it will produce evidence of what has been dubbed “new physics”.
This concept includes “dark matter”, thought to make up some 96 percent of the stuff of the universe while being totally invisible, and super-symmetry, or SUSY, under which all visible particles have unseen counterparts.
“The only thing we really know is that there is ‘new physics’ because the model that we have is not complete,” said Luca Malgeri, a scientist working at the European physics research center CERN.