A Collaboration Is Being Planned At CERN For A Powerful New 100 Kilometer Circular Collider

A stunning new concept design has just been published which is part of an international collaboration at CERN to build the Future Circular Collider (FCC), which will eventually succeed the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).

According to CERN, the Conceptual Design Report (CDR) that was published is quite large, at four volumes, and addresses the need to build a new and improved circular collider in the future. But what might this future collider look like and be capable of?

As CERN Director for Accelerators and Technology Frédérick Bordry explained, the post-LHC collider will run for 100 kilometers and will also contain up to 100 TeV of energy within it.

“The FCC’s ultimate goal is to provide a 100-kilometer superconducting proton accelerator ring, with an energy of up to 100 TeV, meaning an order of magnitude more powerful than the LHC. The FCC timeline foresees starting with an electron-positron machine, just as LEP preceded the LHC. This would enable a rich program to benefit the particle physics community throughout the twenty-first century.”

Discussion surrounding the future circular collider at CERN also serves another crucial function as over the next two years, particle physicists will be focusing on revamping the European Strategy for Particle Physics, with a special focus on future goals and challenges not relating to the LHC.

The study of the FCC officially began back in 2014 after the European Strategy for Particle Physics had been updated the year before, and it was written that Europe needed “to be in a position to propose an ambitious post-LHC accelerator project at CERN by the time of the next Strategy update,” something that has come to fruition now with the recent publication of the concept for the future post-LHC circular collider.

As CERN Director-General Fabiola Gianotti noted, “The FCC conceptual design report is a remarkable accomplishment. It shows the tremendous potential of the FCC to improve our knowledge of fundamental physics and to advance many technologies with a broad impact on society. While presenting new, daunting challenges, the FCC would greatly benefit from CERN’s expertise, accelerator complex and infrastructures, which have been developed over more than half a century.”

The collaboration to come up with a new circular collider at CERN has so far involved 1,300 different individuals hailing from 150 universities and research institutions around the world, and the new FCC proton collider will have the capacity to achieve even more than could be dreamt of with the Large Hadron Collider, as shocking as that may sound, according to Eckhard Elsen, CERN’s Director for Research and Computing.

“Proton colliders have been the tool-of-choice for generations to venture new physics at the smallest scale. A large proton collider would present a leap forward in this exploration and decisively extend the physics program beyond results provided by the LHC and a possible electron-positron collider.”

If you’re interested in learning more about the future post-LHC circular collider, CERN has just published their Conceptual Design Report.