LHC in VR
The Large Hadron Collider is pausing for two years to undergo vital updates that will strengthen the next phase of groundbreaking research.
Built between 1998 and 2008, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the most powerful particle accelerator and largest machine in the world. Set in the basement between the French and Swedish borders, the LHC has been responsible for some of the most important research in particle physics in modern history. A recent article in The New York Times highlights the history of the recording project and offers an impressive virtual tour of the gigantic machine.
By the numbers
To see some of the most basic building blocks in the universe, we have to crush what's there in even smaller chunks. The LHC does this using a 17-mile electromagnetic lane, where magnets that are a hundred thousand times stronger than the Earth's magnetic field throw particles at each other 600,000 times per second. It is an engineering feat that requires 12,000 amperes of electrical current (a typical domestic output is rated between 15 and 20 amperes).
Particle collisions within the LHC are quite common, occurring at 40 million times per second. Still, very few collisions yield remarkable results, in fact, this is how lhc operates. Before any particle is fired, the computer predicts the expected results of any collision. As the results are gathered, they are compared to these predictions, and only those with unexpected results are returned to the researchers, saving immense amounts of data processing time. This is how the LHC data confirmed the existence of a theoretical Higgs boson particle that appears in only one in 10 billion collisions.
Engineers are currently refining a series of smaller tracks responsible for accelerating protons before entering the main collider. Updates should be completed by 2021, after which the LHC will run for another two years until the next stop in 2024. Then new magnets will be installed, allowing even more intense collisions to occur. At this point the machine will be known as High Luminosity L.H.C and is expected to continue contributing to the research efforts until 2035.
CONSULT MORE INFORMATION: Increased Reality: is the interval for the large Hadron Collider [The New York Times]
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