The world largest particle collider, the Large Hadron Collider, is ready for a new series of scientific experiments. The huge installation is going to be restarted by the end of March by an international team of physicists. The new task of the particle collider is to discover what is dark matter.
The mysterious dark matter and dark energy were first discovered by the Hubble telescope. It further enlightened that noticeable matter is just 5 percent of the universe and 70 percent of the universe is dark energy and the remaining 25 percent is dark matter.
But what is dark matter? According to scientists is the stuff that has a gravitational pull on matter around it. Dark matter is invisible. It does not interact with light, which makes it very difficult for researchers to study it.
The scientists at CERN want to find out more about this strange particle and it’s strange properties. Dark matter is still a mystery for the scientific world, but with the help of the LHC collider, researchers hope they will get a glance at it. Scientists believe that they will find the particle responsible for the dark matter in the debris of a particle collision.
LHC, the Large Hadron Collider, is located near Geneva, in Switzerland, and it’s the most powerful particle accelerator on Earth. It was constructed by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN).
The installation has a huge oval shaped tunnel, where protons, neutrons or other subatomic particles are accelerated close to the speed of light. The particles are set on a collision course, and after the impact they generate a very hot cloud of debris. The remains are 1,000,000 times hotter than the center of the Sun, while the debris may contain some undiscovered particles.
The Large Hadron Collider was turned off for maintenance for the last two years. Now, the scientists are getting it ready for some new experiments. In 2008, just nine days after it was first started, the LHC was shut down after a major incident, which damaged some of its components.
The collider was restarted on July 4th 2012, when scientists performed a set of new experiments. The result was one of the biggest scientific finds in history. They researchers discovered the Higgs Boson, an invisible particle which gives mass to everything and holds the universe together.
Image Source: SKA Telescope