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Understanding CERN and Its Future Projects



  Feb 14, 2024

Understanding CERN and Its Future Projects


What is CERN?

The European Organization for Nuclear Research, known as CERN (from its French name, Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire), is one of the world’s largest and most respected centers for scientific research in the field of particle physics. Located near Geneva, on the Franco-Swiss border, CERN operates the largest particle physics laboratory in the world.

What Does CERN Do?

CERN’s main function is to provide the particle accelerators and other infrastructure needed for high-energy physics research. Scientists at CERN study the fundamental particles that make up the universe, how they interact, and the forces between them. This research helps us understand the fundamental principles of the universe.

What is CERN Famous For?

CERN is perhaps best known for its role in the discovery of the Higgs boson, a subatomic particle crucial to the Standard Model of particle physics, which was confirmed with the help of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in 2012. The LHC is the world’s largest and most powerful particle collider.

What is the Future Circular Collider?

Looking ahead, CERN is planning the Future Circular Collider (FCC), a new particle accelerator that aims to be larger and more powerful than the LHC. The FCC is envisioned to have a 91-kilometer circumference, significantly larger than the LHC’s 27 kilometers, and is expected to reach collision energies of 100 TeV, far surpassing the LHC’s 13 TeV.

Why is the FCC Important?

The FCC represents a significant leap forward in our capacity to explore the universe at the smallest scales. It is expected to push the boundaries of human knowledge about fundamental particles, the forces that govern them, and the early moments of the universe. The FCC will also drive technological advancements in fields such as cryogenics, superconducting magnets, and vacuum technologies, with broad applications beyond particle physics.

What are the Challenges and Benefits?

The FCC, estimated to cost around 15 billion Swiss francs ($17.2 billion), faces challenges including securing funding, technical feasibility, and international collaboration. However, its potential benefits include deeper insights into fundamental physics, technological innovation, and socioeconomic impacts through the development of new technologies and the training of scientists and engineers.

What’s the Current Status?

As of now, the FCC is in the feasibility study phase, with no technical show-stoppers identified yet. The project aims for a first phase of operation by 2040, but it is still subject to approval and funding decisions.

CERN’s ongoing and future projects, like the FCC, underscore its pivotal role in expanding our understanding of the universe, demonstrating the importance of international cooperation in science, and driving innovation that transcends the field of particle physics.

SRIRAM’s


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