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

Kristine Moore

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."

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."