After a two year “vacation”, the Large Hadron Collider is ready to unleash its forces as new, even more astonishing projects await. And this time CERN scientists are not holding back on the power. Up until now, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) had been functioning at a lower intensity due to safety reasons.
This was the reason behind the two-year long absence from the science world: to let a team of engineers and technicians work on the collider’s upgrades. Everyone is now happy with the results as the LHC will be able to function at double the previous intensity.
The upgrades consisted of replacing 18 of the collider’s 1,232 superconducting dipole magnets that are used to guide the particles around the LHC. In addition to this, splices were properly fitted into more than 10,000 electrical interconnections created between the dipole magnets.
This will help the LHC generate particle collisions with an energy level of 13 TeV (or 6.5 TeV per beam) in comparison to the less potent 8 TeV (or 4 TeV) that it generated in the past. By functioning at a higher energy level, scientists will be able to further search for new particles and to return to and verify theories that could not be tested in the past.
The LHC will now be able to distribute a higher number of particles per time unit thus creating collisions at a higher rate. So protons will now be separated within 25 nanoseconds in comparison to the 50 nanoseconds it needed when functioning in 2012.
The LHC features “new sets of radiation-resistant electronics” and technicians also managed to upgrade the vacuum system that is used to get rid of “stray” molecules and particles from the beam pipe.
The disk storage has also been improved by adding almost 100 petabytes of additional disk space as it needs to withstand even stronger waves of data.
The experiments were also given a bit of refurbishing as programs were verified and consolidated and their subdetectors and data-acquisition systems upgraded.
All these improvements will help scientists continue their research regarding a “super symmetric particle” that might shed some light on the subject of dark matter.
The LHC is expected to restart in March 2015.
Image Source: Boston.com