CERN achieved a breakthrough on Wednesday night when protons collided in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the record-breaking energy of 13 TeV for the first time, paving the way for the next round in early June in search of the dark matter or God’s particle.
The set-up of the collimators, which absorb stray particles were adjusted in colliding-beam conditions to give the accelerator team the data they need to ensure that the LHC magnets and detectors are fully protected.
The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), in Geneva said the tests will continue as the colliding beams will stay in the LHC for several hours and they will be monitored for beam quality and optimisation.
“This is an important part of the process that will allow the experimental teams running the detectors ALICE, ATLAS, CMS, LHCb, LHCf, MOEDAL and TOTEM to switch on their experiments fully. Data taking and the start of the LHC’s second run is planned for early June,” said CERN in a statement.
After a two-year gap, the LHC began to produce proton beams since April, initially at a lower energy and on Wednesday it reached its new maximum power of 13 trillion electron volts (TeV), twice the power of the first round of science experiments, achieved in 2013.
Currently, the CERN is testing the systems that protect the machine, magnets and detectors from damage by stray particles. To absord stray particles, it is setting up the collimators to prepare for the next run of the collider, when scientists may hit upon the dark matter.
“When the positioning of all collimators has been validated the LHC will switch over to production mode, and become a ‘collision factory’, delivering data to experiments,” said Jorg Wenninger of the LHC operations team.
The next run for full-fledged protons collision is planned for early June.