CERN boosting Large Hadron Collider energy output in search of Higgs boson

Daniel McCall

The Large Hadron Collider already holds the title of the world's most powerful particle accelerator, but researchers at CERN are gearing up to boost the LHC's energy output even further in hopes of catching a glimpse of Higgs boson particle.

CERN says it will be boosting the energy output of the Large Hadron Collider by around 14%, which should improve the accelerator's chances of advancing the scientific community's understanding of particle physics and, again, to hopefully confirm or deny the existence of the Higgs boson particle.

"When we started operating the LHC for physics in 2010, we chose the lowest safe beam energy consistent with the physics we wanted to do," said Steve Myers, director for accelerators and technology at CERN.

"Two good years of operational experience with beam and many additional measurements made during 2011 give us the confidence to safely move up a notch, and thereby extend the physics reach of the experiments before we go into the LHC's first long shutdown."

The Large Hadron Collider accelerates particles at just about the speed of light, and smashes them together head-on. Detectors within the accelerator are able to detect the resulting debris from the violent collision. With the added increase in energy output, scientists expect to reap three times the amount of data from each of its experiments.

The Large Hadron Collider will continue operating with an elevated energy output until November, after which point the LHC will be shut down for 20 months to make preparations for an even larger energy boost.