The Large Hadron Collider that found the ‘God particle’ might be replaced by an even larger collider to solve new mysteries of the universe,such as how gravity interacts on a molecular level.
Researchers from the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) are proposing a new underground accelerator with a circumference of 80 kilometres – three times the size of the current one under Geneva,the Daily Mail reported.
Any new collider is unlikely to be built until 2025,but the CERN team wish to get a head-start,concerned by the 25-year wait it took between proposing the first collider,and its completion in 2008.
The team is considering a range of options now that the original USD 4.6 billion particle collider has served its intended purpose.
Another option is to tear down the colliders in the current tunnel,which runs in a 27 kilometres circular track around 150 m underground near Lake Geneva,and build more sensitive equipment in its place.
Gravity is one key area which the team may work on with a new collider.
It is still not clear how gravity can operate both at the particle level,and at the level of planets,stars and solar systems.
The team said they were worried that scientific discovery would be stalled until a new collider was developed,citing how Peter Higgs,who first proposed his Higgs Boson theory in 1964,had to wait 58 years to see his ideas validated.
The first collider was suggested in 1983,but work did not start on building it until 1998.
Now a team of 18 scientists are drawing up a roadmap for CERN,including designs for new machines.
“The new machine could be installed in the LHC tunnel Alternatively,it could be installed in a new,longer tunnel,using a tunnel circumference of 80km,” the scientists wrote in their paper.
The suggestions will be discussed at a European Strategy Preparatory Group in Krakow in Poland this week.