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UD physicist looks forward to upcoming experiments at the newly upgraded Large Hadron Collider

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CERN/European Organization for Nuclear Research
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The Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest and most powerful particle collider, was reactivated last weekend after a two-year hiatus.

 

Before, it was powerful enough to detect the elusive Higgs boson particle, the discovery of which completed the standard model of physics. But now, scientists have doubled the Large Hadron Collider’s energy, in attempts to forge a new theory of physics.  

Researchers at CERN have now set new goals. One of these goals is to look for dark matter, a mysterious particle that makes up 23 percent of the universe.

Physicists like Qaisar Shafi at University of Delaware are look forward to the the upcoming experiments at the Large Hadron Collider. Currently, the standard model of physics can only explain just 5 percent of the universe. Understanding the other 95 percent relies on finding evidence of mysterious particles, such as dark matter.

 

"After decades of observations, we know there is a lot of matter in the universe that is not made out of atoms, not made out of ordinary particles, but it gravitates," said Shafi.

Shafi hopes the newly upgraded Large Hadron Collider will be able to detect evidence of dark matter and supersymmetry, which is the idea that all elementary particles have a symmetric "partner" particle, now that the collider is operating at twice the energy.  The discovery of such particles would help build a new theory of physics.

 

“It would be a really exciting time for physics. It would be the first signal for really new physics at a fundamental level for three or four decades.”

Experiments at the Large Hadron Collider are scheduled to start in May.