Science and Technology Facilities Council
CERN's Large Hadron Collider prepares for upgrade
CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC) was switched off this morning ahead of a planned two-year-long upgrade, bringing to a conclusion the very successful second run of the most powerful particle accelerator in the world.
The LHC itself, CERN’s accelerator complex and the LHC experiments will now undergo major renovations and improvements in preparation for the next LHC run starting in 2021, and for the High-Luminosity LHC (HL-LHC) project which is due to start after 2025 and will allow the LHC to produce even more data.
The LHC performed beyond expectations during its second run, which started in 2015, by producing five times more data than the first run. This time round, the LHC produced approximately 16 million-billion proton-proton collisions, with more than 300 petabytes of data now permanently archived – the equivalent of 1,000 years of 24/7 video streaming.
Analysing this data has helped to expand our knowledge of fundamental physics and of the Universe. In particular, the LHC has been helping to understand the Higgs boson, which was confirmed at CERN in 2012, to see if it behaves in accordance with the Standard Model – the theory that describes our best understanding of elementary particles.
“In addition to many other beautiful results, over the past few years the LHC experiments have made tremendous progress in the understanding of the properties of the Higgs boson,” said Dr Fabiola Gianotti, CERN Director-General. “The Higgs boson is a special particle, very different from the other elementary particles observed so far; its properties may give us useful indications about the physics beyond the Standard Model.”
To find out more about the upgrade, read the article on the CERN website.
STFC and CERN
The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), part of UK Research and Innovation, co-ordinates and manages the UK’s involvement and subscription with CERN. The UK’s influence on both CERN Council and CERN Finance Committee is co-ordinated through the UK Committee on CERN (UKCC).
UK membership of CERN gives our physicists and engineers access to the experiments and allows UK industry to bid for contracts, UK nationals to compete for jobs and research positions at CERN, and UK schools and teachers to visit. UK scientists hold many key roles at CERN. Firms in the UK win contracts for work at CERN worth millions of pounds each year. The impact of winning contracts is often even greater as it enables companies to win business elsewhere.
Latest News from
Science and Technology Facilities Council
STFC director honoured by the Royal Society17/04/2019 15:20:00
Dr Andrew Taylor, most recently the Executive Director of STFC’s National Laboratories, has been elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society for his exceptional contribution to science.
Scientists invent a sniffing method to detect rotten avocados12/04/2019 15:05:00
A team of UK scientists are working to invent a type of portable sniffing device that can detect whether avocados are rotten without breaking the skin and damaging the fruit – ensuring customers do not buy fruit that is already past its best.
Astro-ecology: Counting orangutans using star-spotting technology12/04/2019 12:05:00
A collaboration between astrophysicists, conservationists and ecologists aims to save rare and endangered animals.
UK teams up with Malaysian scientists to tackle global research challenges11/04/2019 14:05:00
Scientists from the UK are collaborating with Malaysian academics on new studies that include improving the aerodynamics of supersonic vehicles, looking at physics beyond the Standard Model and trying to speed up the analysis of thousands of astronomical images.
Next generation of research leaders given funding boost03/04/2019 16:25:00
Potential future leaders in science and innovation have been awarded a funding boost by STFC to help them realise their research ambitions.
Using drones to protect coffee plants from devastating fungal disease01/04/2019 12:20:00
A team of UK scientists are researching how to apply drone technology to prevent the spread of a devastating fungal disease among one of the world’s best-loved and most valuable crops – coffee.
Upgraded detectors to resume Nobel Prize winning hunt for gravitational waves27/03/2019 15:05:00
UK astrophysicists are gearing up to resume the search for gravitational waves, the ripples in spacetime caused by some of the universe’s most spectacular events, after substantial upgrades to the three global detectors mean that they will be able to survey an even larger volume of space than ever before for powerful, wave-making events, such as the collisions of black holes.
Giving cancer patients in developing countries access to radiotherapy26/03/2019 13:05:00
Doctors and scientists from the UK and Africa have united in a bid to develop medical linear accelerators for the developing world and increase the survival rate for its cancer patients.