the long-awaited new physics is closer

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Good news. On November 18, LHC researchers they managed to collide successfully two bundles of lead nuclei with a record energy level: no less than 5.36 TeV. The implications of this milestone are profound, but a priori what is most interesting is that the itinerary established by the CERN scientists is being fulfilled to the letter.

This particle accelerator is installed on the border between France and Switzerland, and is the largest and most complex built to date by humans. In 2018, and after having reaffirmed itself as an essential tool in the field of particle physics research, it ceased its activity, but it did so for a good reason: it was necessary to increase its energy to continue exploring the mysteries of matter in the that we haven’t gotten into yet.

The LHC technicians spent a little over three years modifying and refining some of the components of this particle accelerator, such as the injectors or the superconducting magnets, with the purpose of introducing the particle beams into the collider. with a higher energy level. At the end of last April they resumed the experiments, and, fortunately, the good news has not been long in coming.

His plan: go beyond the standard model

Barely two months after resuming activity, the LHC surprised us by successfully colliding two proton beams with a record energy level: 13.6 TeV. It was precisely the milestone that the physicists at CERN had in mind, and it invited us to be reasonably optimistic about the findings that these facilities can put into our hands during the current phase of the accelerator’s activity, which will last until 2024.

ITER appeases distrust: this is how the assembly of the fusion reactor is going after the demands of the Nuclear Safety Authority

The milestone that the LHC researchers have announced a few hours ago, the collision of lead nuclei with an energy of 5.36 TeV that we have told you about in the first paragraph of this article, has allowed them to chisel one more notch on the butt of their pistols. An important. And it is relevant for a compelling reason: working in these conditions can help them to study with much more precision a state of matter known as QGP (Quark–Gluon Plasma).

Studying the state of matter QGP can help researchers develop new physics

Unlike ordinary matter, the particles that make up this plasma (quarks and gluons) are not confined inside the nucleons, which are the protons and neutrons that make up the atomic nucleus, so they can move with some freedom and interact with each other in a different way.

Studying this peculiar state of matter in more depth may help researchers to build new physics. And it is that, ultimately, what they seek is to go beyond the walls of the standard model. And to do that requires finding cracks in what is still our most robust model of particle physics.

However, this is not all. Increasing the energy with which the particles inside the detectors collide can help physicists better understand whether and under what conditions the lepton universality break described by the Standard Model actually occurs, and also shed new light. about dark matter and energy, among other possible discoveries that could be within their reach. There is nothing.

During the next two years, the researchers will continue carrying out experiments at the LHC, and in 2024 this accelerator will enter a new shutdown phase during which it will be modified in order to increase its luminosity (this parameter measures how many potential particle collisions are produce per unit area and time). The scientists hope to use this refined LHC to further study, among other things, the production of the Higgs boson. Let’s hope that everything continues to go as it has been up to now. Like a silk.

Cover image: CERN

More information: CERN

Good news. On November 18, LHC researchers they managed to collide successfully two bundles of lead nuclei with a record…

Good news. On November 18, LHC researchers they managed to collide successfully two bundles of lead nuclei with a record…

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