Physicists team up in Vancouver to build a new particle collider
Physicists team up in Vancouver to build a new particle collider: http://oncampus.macleans.ca/education/2013/02/22/physicists-meeting-in-vancouver-study-universes-origin/
"Some of the world’s greatest minds have collided in Vancouver and
agreed to build a new US$7.78-billion particle collider that will help
answer some of the universe’s deepest secrets. The physicists had until Thursday been designing two separate particle colliders, known as linear colliders.
The colliders were expected to hurl billions of electrons at positrons —
their anti-particles — along kilometre-long superconducting cavities at
nearly the speed of light. Timothy Meyer of TRIUMF, Canada’s
national laboratory for particle and nuclear physics, said the results
of those collisions would help scientists answer questions related to
the Big Bang and the evolution of the universe. But Meyer said the physicists met at TRIUMF in Vancouver and agreed to form a team to develop a new particle accelerator.
“Everyone wants this collider to go forward, and the technology or
which one is which is sort of a secondary concern,” he said. “It’s like
everyone is going to start rowing in the same direction.” He said
the meeting also marks the transition between the design and development
phases of the new accelerator, which scientists hope will complement a
similar accelerator already operating in Europe. Work at the Swiss
accelerator led to announcement last year that a new particle had been
found that needs further study to determine whether it’s the Higgs
particle. For more than two generations, scientists have been
hunting for the Higgs particle, which many believe is a missing piece in
the Standard Model of Particle Physics and will help shape human
understanding of the universe’s origins. According to a media
statement issued by the new team, known as the Linear Collider
Collaboration, the new accelerator will deliver “cleaner” collisions
between electrons and positrons, and probe deeper into the particle
discovered at the Swiss facility. The team said the collider will also help scientists study other phenomena of physics.
A late-afternoon news conference at TRIUMF heard the collider will cost
about US$7.78 billion, although costs dealing with site preparation,
engineering design, local taxes and operation costs have not been
included in that figure. Lyn Evans, director of the Linear Collider
Collaboration, said he expects proponents to take two to three years to
negotiate agreements to build the collider and another 10 for
construction. The current European site is not a candidate for
construction, he added, and Japan is showing the most interest in
hosting the new facility."
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