01:32 GMT24 June 2021
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    China is planning to build the world's largest super-collider. According to China Daily, scientists have already completed an initial conceptual design of the mega facility. With construction slated to begin as early as 2020, the super, super-collider will be double the size of the Switzerland-based CERN LHC, with seven times the power.

    Following up on the work of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), whose Large Hadron Collider (LHC) discovered the Higgs boson 'God particle' in 2012, the Chinese facility is expected to generate millions of such particles. This will allow physicists to observe in detail the structure and features of the Higgs boson, and in turn to explain one of the fundamental building blocks of the universe.

    Speaking to China Daily, Chinese Academy of Sciences Institute of High Energy Physics Director Wang Yifang explained that "we have completed the initial conceptual design, and recently organized [an] international peer review, and the final conceptual design will be completed by the end of 2016."

    China Daily explained that the country's new particle accelerator, which might be built near the port city of Qinhuangdao in the northeastern Hebei province, is expected to have a circumference of between 50 and 100 km, compared with CERN's 27 km. This will allow China's Circular Electron Positron Collider (CEPC) to generate literally millions of Higgs bosons. 

    Moreover, according to Wang, the Chinese technical approach will allow the particles to be generated in a 'cleaner' fashion: "The technical route we chose is different from LHC. While LHC smashes together protons, it generates Higgs boson particles together with many other particles. The proposed CEPC, however, collides electrons and positrons to create an extremely clean environment that only produces Higgs boson particles."

    Planning ahead, China Daily notes that in the longer term (2040), the massive facility will also include an ambitious second-phase project –the Super Proton-Proton Collider, an upgraded version of the LHC, with a 100 TeV (electron volt) rating, compared with the LHC's rating of 13 TeV. This will allow physicists to experiment with collisions at higher energy and momentum, allowing them to probe physics in shorter times and at shorter distances.

    Noting that physicists from around the world have already traveled to China to help with the project, Wang noted that "this is a machine for the world and by the world: not a Chinese one," emphasizing that the Chinese particle accelerator will help scientists in making advances and discoveries that will benefit all of humanity.

    Commenting on the ambitious project, Institute of Advance Study particle physicist Nima Arkani-Hamed noted that while China is "going to need help" in getting the project off the ground, "they have financial muscle and they have ambition."


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    physics, subatomic particles, particle smashing, Higgs boson, Large Hadron Collider, European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), China
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