Large Hadron Collider resumes its search for dark matter

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Researchers operating the Large Hadron Collider may be closer to discovering the secrets of our universe, now that the the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator has been upgraded to smash protons at nearly double the energy achieved during its initial run when it began operating in 2010.

The Large Hadron Collider is located 100 meters under the the Franco-Swiss border and is operated by the European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN.

Prior to the upgrade, it was able to accelerate particles at up to 8 trillion electron volts (TeV), producing the conditions that triggered the Higgs-Boson discovery in 2013.

The accelerator had been offline for the past 27 months, during which time it underwent a $150 million upgrade. It is now able to accelerate particles at up to 13 trillion electron volts (TeV). This may open the door to discovering particles such as the elusive supersymmetry particle, which is said to be the key to discovering dark matter.

In addition to the power upgrades, significant upgrades have also been made to the Large Hadron Collider’s safety, cooling and computing infrastructure, such as adding over 100 petabytes of additional data storage to cope with the increased amount of data that is expected from the new experiments phase.

CERN said on Wednesday that the Large Hadron Collider will now operate continuously for the next three years.

RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. CERN supercollider in relation to France and Switzerland on map
2. Brief overview of how hydrogen atoms are stripped to only their protons
3. Energy of particle collisions prior to the upgrade was 8 TeV
4. Superconducting magnets being switched along with higher current connections
5. Energy of particle collisions after upgrade is now 13 TeV
6. Overview of the system in action with Higgs-Boson and Supersymmetric particles highlighted.

VOICEOVER (in English):

“The European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, operates the Large Hadron Collider located 100 meters under the the Franco-Swiss border.”

“The particle accelerator first strips hydrogen atoms of their neutrons and electrons, leaving only protons.”

“Prior to the upgrade, the particles were accelerated at up to 8 trillion electron volts, producing the conditions that triggered the Higgs-Boson discovery in 2013.”

“However in the recent months, the accelerator has been overhauled with superconducting magnets able to to handle higher currents, giving it the ability to go up to and possibly beyond 13 trillion electron volts, opening the possibility to discovering particles like the elusive Supersymmetry particle that is said to be the key to discovering dark matter.”

SOURCES: Reuters, Scientific American, CERN, Forbes
http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/06/02/us-science-cern-idUSKBN0OI26M20150602
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/large-hadron-collider-starts-doing-science-again/
http://home.web.cern.ch/about/updates/2015/02/cerns-two-year-shutdown-drawing-close
http://www.forbes.com/sites/bridaineparnell/2015/02/16/upgraded-atom-smasher-could-go-beyond-higgs-to-dark-matter-and-the-first-supersymmetry-particle/