The world’s biggest particle accelerator, the 27-kilometer Large Hadron Collider (LHC), restarted on Friday after a break of more than three years for upgrading and maintenance work amid COVID-19 in hunt for “dark matter.”

Physicists hope the resumption of collisions will help in their quest for so-called “dark matter” that lies beyond the visible universe. Dark matter is thought to be five times more prevalent than ordinary matter but does not absorb, reflect or emit light. Searches have so far left scientists empty-handed.

“We are going to increase the number of collisions drastically and therefore the probability of new discoveries also,” said Rende Steerenberg who is in charge of control room operations of LHC.

The particle accelerator, located under a Swiss-French border area near Geneva, is perhaps best known for helping confirm the subatomic Higgs boson in 2012.

cientists at Europe’s physics research center will fire up the 27-kilometer-long Large Hadron Collider (LHC) after a shutdown for maintenance and upgrades was prolonged by COVID-19 delays.

Restarting the collider is a complex procedure. Researchers at the CERN center have champagne on hand if all goes well, ready to join a row of bottles in the control room celebrating landmarks, including the discovery of the elusive Higgs boson subatomic particle a decade ago

The European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, said that two beams of protons circulated in opposite directions around the accelerator on Friday, but high-intensity, high-energy collisions are still a couple of months away.

It is the collider’s third run. A first round of experiments took place from 2010 to 2012, and a second from 2015 to 2018. This round is expected to last until 2026.

“The machines and facilities underwent major upgrades during the second long shutdown of CERN’s accelerator complex,” CERN’s director for accelerators and technology, Mike Lamont, said in a statement.

Source: This news is originally published by cgtn

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