# Large Hadron Collider Information (Geography)

General properties Layout of the LHC complex Synchrotron proton, heavy ion collider 6.8 TeV per beam (13.6 TeV collision energy) 1×1034/(cm2⋅s) 26,659 metres(16.565 miles) Near Geneva, Switzerland; across the border of France and Switzerland. Mostly in France. .mw-parser-output .geo-default,.mw-parser-output .geo-dms,.mw-parser-output .geo-dec{display:inline}.mw-parser-output .geo-nondefault,.mw-parser-output .geo-multi-punct{display:none}.mw-parser-output .longitude,.mw-parser-output .latitude{white-space:nowrap} CERN 2010 – present Large Electron–Positron Collider
LHC experiments Plan of the LHC experiments and the preaccelerators. A Toroidal LHC Apparatus Compact Muon Solenoid LHC-beauty A Large Ion Collider Experiment Total Cross Section, Elastic Scattering and Diffraction Dissociation LHC-forward Monopole and Exotics Detector At the LHC ForwArd Search ExpeRiment Scattering and Neutrino Detector Linear accelerators for protons (Linac 4) and lead (Linac 3) Proton Synchrotron Booster Proton Synchrotron Super Proton Synchrotron
Current particle and nuclear facilities Accelerates protons and heavy ions Accelerates ions Accelerates protons and ions Accelerates protons Accelerates protons or ions Injects heavy ions into LEIR Accelerates ions Decelerates antiprotons Decelerates antiprotons Produces radioactive ion beams

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the world's largest and highest-energy particle collider. [1] [2] It was built by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) between 1998 and 2008 in collaboration with over 10,000 scientists and hundreds of universities and laboratories, as well as more than 100 countries. [3] It lies in a tunnel 27 kilometres (17 mi) in circumference and as deep as 175 metres (574 ft) beneath the France–Switzerland border near Geneva.

The first collisions were achieved in 2010 at an energy of 3.5  tera electronvolts (TeV) per beam, about four times the previous world record. [4] [5] After upgrades it reached 6.5 TeV per beam (13 TeV total collision energy). [6] [7] [8] [9] At the end of 2018, it was shut down for three years for further upgrades.

The collider has four crossing points where the accelerated particles collide. Seven detectors, each designed to detect different phenomena, are positioned around the crossing points. The LHC primarily collides proton beams, but it can also accelerate beams of heavy ions: lead–lead collisions and proton–lead collisions are typically performed for one month a year.

The LHC's goal is to allow physicists to test the predictions of different theories of particle physics, including measuring the properties of the Higgs boson, [10] searching for the large family of new particles predicted by supersymmetric theories, [11] and other unresolved questions in particle physics.

## Background

The term hadron refers to subatomic composite particles composed of quarks held together by the strong force (analogous to the way that atoms and molecules are held together by the electromagnetic force). [12] The best-known hadrons are the baryons such as protons and neutrons; hadrons also include mesons such as the pion and kaon, which were discovered during cosmic ray experiments in the late 1940s and early 1950s. [13]

A collider is a type of a particle accelerator which brings two opposing particle beams together such that the particles collide. In particle physics, colliders, though harder to construct, are a powerful research tool because they reach a much higher center of mass energy than fixed target setups. [1] Analysis of the byproducts of these collisions gives scientists good evidence of the structure of the subatomic world and the laws of nature governing it. Many of these byproducts are produced only by high-energy collisions, and they decay after very short periods of time. Thus many of them are hard or nearly impossible to study in other ways. [14]

## Purpose

Many physicists hope that the Large Hadron Collider will help answer some of the fundamental open questions in physics, which concern the basic laws governing the interactions and forces among the elementary objects, the deep structure of space and time, and in particular the interrelation between quantum mechanics and general relativity. [15]

Data are also needed from high-energy particle experiments to suggest which versions of current scientific models are more likely to be correct – in particular to choose between the Standard Model and Higgsless model and to validate their predictions and allow further theoretical development.

Issues explored by LHC collisions include: [16] [17]

Other open questions that may be explored using high-energy particle collisions:

## Design

The collider is contained in a circular tunnel, with a circumference of 26.7 kilometres (16.6 mi), at a depth ranging from 50 to 175 metres (164 to 574 ft) underground. The variation in depth was deliberate, to reduce the amount of tunnel that lies under the Jura Mountains to avoid having to excavate a vertical access shaft there. A tunnel was chosen to avoid having to purchase expensive land on the surface, which would also have an impact on the landscape and to take advantage of the shielding against background radiation that the earth's crust provides. [29]

Map of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN

The 3.8-metre (12 ft) wide concrete-lined tunnel, constructed between 1983 and 1988, was formerly used to house the Large Electron–Positron Collider. [30] The tunnel crosses the border between Switzerland and France at four points, with most of it in France. Surface buildings hold ancillary equipment such as compressors, ventilation equipment, control electronics and refrigeration plants.

Superconducting quadrupole electromagnets are used to direct the beams to four intersection points, where interactions between accelerated protons will take place.

The collider tunnel contains two adjacent parallel beamlines (or beam pipes) each containing a beam, which travel in opposite directions around the ring. The beams intersect at four points around the ring, which is where the particle collisions take place. Some 1,232 dipole magnets keep the beams on their circular path (see image [31]), while an additional 392 quadrupole magnets are used to keep the beams focused, with stronger quadrupole magnets close to the intersection points in order to maximize the chances of interaction where the two beams cross. Magnets of higher multipole orders are used to correct smaller imperfections in the field geometry. In total, about 10,000 superconducting magnets are installed, with the dipole magnets having a mass of over 27 tonnes. [32] Approximately 96 tonnes of superfluid helium-4 is needed to keep the magnets, made of copper-clad niobium-titanium, at their operating temperature of 1.9 K (−271.25 °C), making the LHC the largest cryogenic facility in the world at liquid helium temperature. LHC uses 470 tonnes of Nb–Ti superconductor. [33]

During LHC operations, the CERN site draws roughly 200 MW of electrical power from the French electrical grid, which, for comparison, is about one-third the energy consumption of the city of Geneva; the LHC accelerator and detectors draw about 120 MW thereof. [34] Each day of its operation generates 140 terabytes of data. [35]

When running an energy of 6.5 TeV per proton, [36] once or twice a day, as the protons are accelerated from 450  GeV to 6.5  TeV, the field of the superconducting dipole magnets is increased from 0.54 to 7.7 teslas (T). The protons each have an energy of 6.5 TeV, giving a total collision energy of 13 TeV. At this energy, the protons have a Lorentz factor of about 6,930 and move at about 0.999999990 c, or about 3.1 m/s (11 km/h) slower than the speed of light (c). It takes less than 90 microseconds (μs) for a proton to travel 26.7 km around the main ring. This results in 11,245 revolutions per second for protons whether the particles are at low or high energy in the main ring, since the speed difference between these energies is beyond the fifth decimal. [37]

Rather than having continuous beams, the protons are bunched together, into up to 2,808 bunches, with 115 billion protons in each bunch so that interactions between the two beams take place at discrete intervals, mainly 25 nanoseconds (ns) apart, providing a bunch collision rate of 40 MHz. It was operated with fewer bunches in the first years. The design luminosity of the LHC is 1034 cm−2s−1, [38] which was first reached in June 2016. [39] By 2017, twice this value was achieved. [40]

The LHC protons originate from the small red hydrogen tank.

Before being injected into the main accelerator, the particles are prepared by a series of systems that successively increase their energy. The first system is the linear particle accelerator Linac4 generating 160 MeV negative hydrogen ions (H ions), which feeds the Proton Synchrotron Booster (PSB). There, both electrons are stripped from the hydrogen ions leaving only the nucleus containing one proton. Protons are then accelerated to 2 GeV and injected into the Proton Synchrotron (PS), where they are accelerated to 26 GeV. Finally, the Super Proton Synchrotron (SPS) is used to increase their energy further to 450 GeV before they are at last injected (over a period of several minutes) into the main ring. Here, the proton bunches are accumulated, accelerated (over a period of 20 minutes) to their peak energy, and finally circulated for 5 to 24 hours while collisions occur at the four intersection points. [41]

The LHC physics programme is mainly based on proton–proton collisions. However, during shorter running periods, typically one month per year, heavy-ion collisions are included in the programme. While lighter ions are considered as well, the baseline scheme deals with lead ions [42] (see A Large Ion Collider Experiment). The lead ions are first accelerated by the linear accelerator LINAC 3, and the Low Energy Ion Ring (LEIR) is used as an ion storage and cooler unit. The ions are then further accelerated by the PS and SPS before being injected into LHC ring, where they reach an energy of 2.3 TeV per nucleon (or 522 TeV per ion), [43] higher than the energies reached by the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider. The aim of the heavy-ion programme is to investigate quark–gluon plasma, which existed in the early universe. [44]

### Detectors

Nine detectors have been constructed at the LHC, located underground in large caverns excavated at the LHC's intersection points. Two of them, the ATLAS experiment and the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS), are large general-purpose particle detectors. [2] ALICE and LHCb have more specialized roles and the other five, TOTEM, MoEDAL, LHCf, SND and FASER, are much smaller and are for very specialized research. The ATLAS and CMS experiments discovered the Higgs boson, which is strong evidence that the Standard Model has the correct mechanism of giving mass to elementary particles. [45]

CMS detector for LHC

### Computing and analysis facilities

Data produced by LHC, as well as LHC-related simulation, were estimated at approximately 15 petabytes per year (max throughput while running is not stated) [46]—a major challenge in its own right at the time.

The LHC Computing Grid [47] was constructed as part of the LHC design, to handle the massive amounts of data expected for its collisions. It is an international collaborative project that consists of a grid-based computer network infrastructure initially connecting 140 computing centres in 35 countries (over 170 in 36 countries as of 2012). It was designed by CERN to handle the significant volume of data produced by LHC experiments, [48] [49] incorporating both private fibre optic cable links and existing high-speed portions of the public Internet to enable data transfer from CERN to academic institutions around the world. [50] The Open Science Grid is used as the primary infrastructure in the United States, and also as part of an interoperable federation with the LHC Computing Grid.

The distributed computing project LHC@home was started to support the construction and calibration of the LHC. The project uses the BOINC platform, enabling anybody with an Internet connection and a computer running Mac OS X, Windows or Linux to use their computer's idle time to simulate how particles will travel in the beam pipes. With this information, the scientists are able to determine how the magnets should be calibrated to gain the most stable "orbit" of the beams in the ring. [51] In August 2011, a second application (Test4Theory) went live which performs simulations against which to compare actual test data, to determine confidence levels of the results.

By 2012, data from over 6 quadrillion (6×1015) LHC proton–proton collisions had been analysed, [52] LHC collision data was being produced at approximately 25 petabytes per year, and the LHC Computing Grid had become the world's largest computing grid in 2012, comprising over 170 computing facilities in a worldwide network across 36 countries. [53] [54] [55]

## Operational history

The LHC first went operational on 10 September 2008, [56] but initial testing was delayed for 14 months from 19 September 2008 to 20 November 2009, following a magnet quench incident that caused extensive damage to over 50 superconducting magnets, their mountings, and the vacuum pipe. [57] [58] [59] [60] [61]

During its first run (2010–2013), the LHC collided two opposing particle beams of either protons at up to 4  teraelectronvolts (4 TeV or 0.64 microjoules), or lead nuclei (574 TeV per nucleus, or 2.76 TeV per nucleon). [62] [63] Its first run discoveries included the long-sought Higgs boson, several composite particles ( hadrons) like the χb (3P) bottomonium state, the first creation of a quark–gluon plasma, and the first observations of the very rare decay of the Bs meson into two muons (Bs0 → μ+μ), which challenged the validity of existing models of supersymmetry. [64]

### Construction

#### Operational challenges

The size of the LHC constitutes an exceptional engineering challenge with unique operational issues on account of the amount of energy stored in the magnets and the beams. [41] [65] While operating, the total energy stored in the magnets is 10 GJ (2,400 kilograms of TNT) and the total energy carried by the two beams reaches 724 MJ (173 kilograms of TNT). [66]

Loss of only one ten-millionth part (10−7) of the beam is sufficient to quench a superconducting magnet, while each of the two beam dumps must absorb 362 MJ (87 kilograms of TNT). These energies are carried by very little matter: under nominal operating conditions (2,808 bunches per beam, 1.15×1011 protons per bunch), the beam pipes contain 1.0×10−9 gram of hydrogen, which, in standard conditions for temperature and pressure, would fill the volume of one grain of fine sand.

## Safety of particle collisions

The experiments at the Large Hadron Collider sparked fears that the particle collisions might produce doomsday phenomena, involving the production of stable microscopic black holes or the creation of hypothetical particles called strangelets. [174] Two CERN-commissioned safety reviews examined these concerns and concluded that the experiments at the LHC present no danger and that there is no reason for concern, [175] [176] [177] a conclusion endorsed by the American Physical Society. [178]

The reports also noted that the physical conditions and collision events that exist in the LHC and similar experiments occur naturally and routinely in the universe without hazardous consequences, [176] including ultra-high-energy cosmic rays observed to impact Earth with energies far higher than those in any human-made collider.

## Popular culture

The Large Hadron Collider gained a considerable amount of attention from outside the scientific community and its progress is followed by most popular science media. The LHC has also inspired works of fiction including novels, TV series, video games and films.

CERN employee Katherine McAlpine's "Large Hadron Rap" [179] surpassed 7 million YouTube views. [180] [181]

The band Les Horribles Cernettes was founded by women from CERN. The name was chosen so to have the same initials as the LHC. [182] [183]

National Geographic Channel's World's Toughest Fixes, Season 2 (2010), Episode 6 "Atom Smasher" features the replacement of the last superconducting magnet section in the repair of the collider after the 2008 quench incident. The episode includes actual footage from the repair facility to the inside of the collider, and explanations of the function, engineering, and purpose of the LHC. [184]

The song "Munich" off of the 2012 studio album Scars & Stories by The Fray is inspired by the LHC. Lead singer Isaac Slade said in an interview with The Huffington Post, "There's this large particle collider out in Switzerland that is kind of helping scientists peel back the curtain on what creates gravity and mass. Some very big questions are being raised, even some things that Einstein proposed, that have just been accepted for decades are starting to be challenged. They're looking for the God Particle, basically, the particle that holds it all together. That song is really just about the mystery of why we're all here and what's holding it all together, you know?" [185]

The Large Hadron Collider was the focus of the 2012 student film Decay, with the movie being filmed on location in CERN's maintenance tunnels. [186]

The feature documentary Particle Fever follows the experimental physicists at CERN who run the experiments, as well as the theoretical physicists who attempt to provide a conceptual framework for the LHC's results. It won the Sheffield International Doc/Fest in 2013.

### Fiction

The novel Angels & Demons, by Dan Brown, involves antimatter created at the LHC to be used in a weapon against the Vatican. In response, CERN published a "Fact or Fiction?" page discussing the accuracy of the book's portrayal of the LHC, CERN, and particle physics in general. [187] The movie version of the book has footage filmed on-site at one of the experiments at the LHC; the director, Ron Howard, met with CERN experts in an effort to make the science in the story more accurate. [188]

In the visual novel/ manga/anime-series Steins;Gate, SERN (a deliberate misspelling of CERN) is an organization that uses the miniature black holes created from experiments in the LHC to master time travel and take over the world. It is also involved in mass surveillance through the " ECHELON" project and has connection with many mercenary groups worldwide, to avoid the creation of other time machines.

The novel FlashForward, by Robert J. Sawyer, involves the search for the Higgs boson at the LHC. CERN published a "Science and Fiction" page interviewing Sawyer and physicists about the book and the TV series based on it. [189]

In the American Dad episode The 200, Roger accidentally falls into the Large Hadron Collider, resulting in a huge explosion that creates two hundred clones of his multiple personas.

In the American sitcom The Big Bang Theory episode "The Large Hadron Collision" (season 3 episode 15), Leonard is offered a chance to visit the Large Hadron Collider. [190]

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