The installation of superconducting electromagnets has begun at the world’s largest particle accelerator, the Associated Press reports. The first 15-meter magnet, weighing more than 38 tons, was lowered into the tunnel on Monday, where scientific experiments will take place. A total of 1232 such magnets are to be installed.
The Large Hadron Collider (LHC), a powerful accelerator with colliding beams of elementary particles-protons, is located in a tunnel that is a circle about 28 kilometers long. The tunnel is located at a depth of 50 to 150 meters under the Swiss-French border, near Geneva.
The researchers hope the LHC will help them recreate the conditions that existed immediately after the Big Bang and better understand how the universe was formed. One of the most important tasks facing scientists will be the refinement of the so-called Standard Model – a theoretical model of matter, which is the basis of modern physics of elementary particles.
The electromagnets installed in the collider will be cooled to minus 271 degrees Celsius with super-liquid helium to ensure high conductivity without wasting energy. This will allow you to control the direction of motion of protons, which are 2 thousand times heavier than electrons – elementary particles used in earlier accelerators.
6,500 scientists from 80 countries are participating in the project under the auspices of the European Laboratory for Elementary Particle Physics (CERN). This is almost half of all the specialists in the world dealing with elementary particle physics.
The collider’s construction cost is $ 1.8 billion. The annual budget of $ 800 million, the bulk of which is spent on construction, comes mainly from funds provided by the European Union, the United States and Japan.