Large Hadron Collider To Be Fired Up Again In March


Researchers hope to discover new particles that are even more incredible than the Higgs-Boson particle when they fire up the improved Large Hadron Collider next month

The Large Hadron Collider is set to be fired up after about two years of upgrades and maintenance. The CERN Control Center announced last week that it’s preparing to flip the massive machine back on, and engineers and technicians are anxiously waiting to see what will be discovered this time.

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Large Hadron Collider’s energy upped

When the Large Hadron Collider is fired back up, it will have 13 TeV worth of energy for the particle collisions. According to CERN, that’s equivalent to 6.5 TeV per beam. The last time the collider was running, the energy was at 8 TeV or 4 TeV per beam. That two-year stint resulted in the discovery of the Higgs-Boson particle.

Researchers believe the amped-up power of the Large Hadron Collider will bring about the discovery of particles that are even more unusual than the Higgs-Boson. Additionally, physicists hope to be able to test theories that were previously untestable.

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Engineers upgrade the Large Hadron Collider

The upgrades to the collider include 18 new “superconducting dipole magnets.” The Large Hadron Collider has 1,232 of them, and CERN engineers had to replace 18 of them because of wear and tear. Additionally, they fitted over 10,000 of the connections between those dipole magnets with splices that provide alternative paths for the 11,000 amp currents. This will allow the interconnections to be saved even if a fault occurs.

The beams of the Large Hadron Collider will also be running at a higher energy, and engineers have upgraded the vacuum system that “keeps the beam pipe clear of stray molecules.” Additionally, they have refurbished the cryogenics system for the collider’s “superconducting dipole magnets.”

CERN also installed nearly 60,000 new cores and more than 100 petabytes of memory so that the collider will be able to handle the significantly larger amount of data it will be processing from the experiments.

What happens inside the Large Hadron Collider

When the Large Hadron Collider is running, it will separate proton bunches by 25 nanoseconds. The last time the collider was up and running, it separated the bunches by 50 nanoseconds. The reduced separation time will send more particles per unit of time and create more collisions.

In addition to upgrading and doing maintenance on the collider itself, CERN also consolidated and ran maintenance on its ALIC, ATLAS, CMS and LHCb experiments.

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Michelle Jones is editor-in-chief for and has been with the site since 2012. Previously, she was a television news producer for eight years. She produced the morning news programs for the NBC affiliates in Evansville, Indiana and Huntsville, Alabama and spent a short time at the CBS affiliate in Huntsville. She has experience as a writer and public relations expert for a wide variety of businesses. Email her at
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