Two years after the shutdown of its epoch-making Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the God Particle hunt by CERN resumed on Sunday at 10:41 AM local time.
The physics particle search tunnel was closed for refurbishment after it found the first instance of Higgs Boson particle, known as God’s Particle in popular parlance in 2012.
With a proton beam back in the 27-kilometer ring, another followed at 12.27pm by a second beam rotating in the opposite direction and both circulated at 450 GeV energy, said CERN. In few days all systems will be increased to their full energy of the beams.
“Operating accelerators for the benefit of the physics community is what CERN1’s here for,” said CERN Director-General Rolf Heuer. “Today, CERN’s heart beats once more to the rhythm of the LHC.”
In the last two years, some 10,000 electrical interconnections between the magnets were consolidated and a magnet protection system was added, while cryogenic, vacuum and electronics were improved and strengthened. Now, the beams will be set to produce more collisions by bunching protons closer together, with the time gap between the bunches reduced from 50 nanoseconds to 25 nanoseconds.
The LHC is now entering its crucial stage compared to last time with double energy than that of season 1 from 6.5 TeV per beam to 13 TeV. The proton-proton collisions expected before summer, preferably by June this year, hopes CERN’s LHC team.
In addition, the LHC experiments will be exploring uncharted territory such as the Brout-Englert-Higgs mechanism, dark matter, antimatter and quark-gluon plasma during the LHC season 2.
Their discovery of the Higgs boson in 2012 by the ATLAS and CMS collaborations, will now help physicists to put together the Standard Model of particle physics to its most stringent test yet — searching beyond the well-established theory on particles and their interactions.
During the running of the LHC, operators work in shifts around the clock in the control room. They will attempt to circulate beams in the LHC in both directions, at their injection energy of 450 GeV, as soon as all the lights are green.
Particle collisions at an energy of 13 TeV could start as early as June, said CERN in a statement.